When it comes to starting a business, there are extensive resources on how to get started. But once the company is up and running, then what? How do you move it forward to grow and scale? And which skills and resources are needed to take it beyond a standard growth curve and send it to the proverbial "next level?"
Unfortunately, too many businesses don't take it to the next level. But a powerful combination of mentorship and innovation can help entrepreneurs realize their dreams and accelerate growth exponentially.
Mentorship is one of emerging business leaders' oldest and most reliable resource tools. Yet despite its power, many don't take advantage of it. According to Forbes, 71% of companies in the Fortune 500 use mentorship programs, but just 37% of business professionals have a mentor.
While entrepreneurs are great at turning an idea into a business case, the realities of running a business often act as constraints; managing payroll, taxes, and HR alongside other issues like cybersecurity and building corporate culture can push business owners into tunnel vision.
Mentors help keep the business owner engaged in higher-level ideas. They offer advice on navigating many administrative tasks for which an owner has little skillsets and less time to develop them.
Mentors can also help ease the strain of finding investment, adapting to governance and legal compliance, taxes, and more. They act as a sounding board for keeping the business model on track or helping adjust if it veers off course.
Effective mentorship helps entrepreneurs focus on what matters. Mentors can provide feedback so entrepreneurs know they aren’t alone in the things they’re experiencing. With experienced feedback on the issues of running a new business, mentorship will help take a business to the next level.
A great new product and service have launched countless businesses. But in a hyper-competitive environment, many business owners ask, "what's next"?
And the answer isn't always obvious.
Many new business leaders struggle with finding products to complement or replace the old ones. And the same is true for services that could complement core products. The next step isn't clear after spending so much time on the passion for their idea.
Innovation means injecting new ideas and ways of thinking that improve a process or create unique and valuable products and services. It can be done incrementally or on a single topic or product. It has many benefits, including:
- Higher productivity
- Lower costs
- Improved brand recognition
- Improved competitiveness
With a stream of new ideas that either improve a process or create new products and services, innovation will ramp a company's reputation for success and its profitability to the next level.
Leveraging the Power of Mentorship and Innovation
Taken alone, mentorship and innovation can result in boosted performance. But taken together, they can act as a powerful one-two punch to bring that performance up to a level disproportionate to a company's size.
For those looking for mentorship and innovation assistance, why not utilize a resource where both are available? The Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre (HBEC) at Georgian College offers mentorship and innovation training alongside its entrepreneurship programs and those centered around R&D.
HBEC has the staff and business experience to provide hands-on training for new business leaders and entrepreneurs. We also offer networking opportunities and opportunities to pursue financing for new business leaders or those looking to start on their own after a career in traditional business.
Contact us to learn how we can help you use mentorship and innovation to take your business to the next level.