10 Compelling Reasons Why You Need a Mentor

There are many compelling reasons why a strong business mentor means your business has a better chance to survive and grow. According to a study conducted by UPS, as high as 88% of company owners believe that having a mentor is invaluable.


And statistics bear that confidence out. Survival of five years or more for small businesses that have mentors is at 70%. This rate is double that of small business owners who don’t have a mentor. Given the churn in small businesses between starting and failing, here are ten compelling reasons why new business owners need a mentor.


  1. Mentors Provide Access to Information and Knowledge – While entrepreneurs may, or may not, have experience in a specific field, many are tightly focused on their core idea. A mentor can offer access to methods and strategies to improve management skills and point out how to handle the “generalist” tasks for which many new leaders are not prepared. This information and knowledge can help everything from managing daily operations to budgeting and more, allowing them more time to focus on core products.

  2. Mentors Offer New Perspectives – New business owners often become engulfed in micro-management issues. As the enterprise scales up, they may become mired in the “Many-hat” conundrum. While these tendencies may be the result of scarce resources, small staff, or limited skillsets, there comes the point when they can become a negative factor. A mentor can help offer new perspectives that encourage entrepreneurs to look at the business holistically and from a higher level. Among others, looking at the enterprise as a business to run rather than a series of tasks to be completed can help owners make the transition.

  3. Mentors Can Offer Constructive Criticism – Because their experience is gleaned from a lengthy career or diverse exposure to business, mentors can often see things mentees need to improve that the mentee themselves cannot. And with the level of required trust in the mentor relationship, they can offer that criticism constructively to change.

  4. Mentors Spur Personal and Professional Growth – Through a deft combination of guidance, mentors can help business owners learn on their own with crucial feedback along the way with a hands-off approach. Mentors have no “boxes to check,” and allowing their mentees to engage and complete projects independently while being there as backup for advice and encouragement helps new leaders grow both personally and professionally.

  5. Mentors Set Boundaries – It’s all too familiar for new entrepreneurs to burn out. Long hours, hyper attention to core products, and other habits can form early, often turning negative as people reach the end of their tolerance. A mentor can help set boundaries for work-life balance, social interaction, and defining where the limits are to help keep owners focused without burning out.

  6. Mentors Let You Learn from Their Mistakes – Everyone makes mistakes. And newly-minted entrepreneurs will make a lot of them. A mentor can help by sharing their mistakes to help others avoid making them. This may mean common mistakes as well as not-so-obvious ones that come with experience.

  7. Mentors Help Uncover New Ideas/Or Abandon Bad Ones – When a new venture begins, ideas can come in like a flood. With unbiased advice, mentors can help nurture ideas that will add value to the company’s mission while guiding business owners to see the ones that may not or those that pull resources and skills from core value-generating products.

  8. Mentors are Highly Trusted Allies – Mentorship requires trust and transparency. And in a high-stakes world of business, a mentor’s objectivity is invaluable. Because they are giving back to their field or community, they are not competing with the owner and can become a trusted ally in developing new entrepreneurs.

  9. Mentors Open Doors to Vast Networks – Networking does not come easy to some. Whether because of personality or time limitations, new business owners may find it challenging to build and cultivate a network of their own. Mentors have an extensive, career-long network to share with new mentees. As the relationship develops and trust solidifies, mentors may help new leaders gain access they would never have been able to create independently.

  10. Mentors Provide a Real-World Education – Degrees and hands-on experience are great tools for success. But with a mentor, entrepreneurs can discover an informal education based on practical, real-world, actionable knowledge.


Including Mentorship in Your Journey


With the number of compelling reasons to find a business mentor, those on their entrepreneurial journey have a place to go. The Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC) at Georgian College is the premier location for the resources you need for innovation, research, and mentorship development. Our knowledgeable staff and business experts can help you find the right mix of skills and experience to fuel personal and professional growth. Contact us at Innovator’s Central today.


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