For many startups, hiring a mentor may not be a top priority on their long list of things to do. But for entrepreneurs who are just beginning to run a business of their own, incorporating the guidance and knowledge of an experienced mentor into the program can be integral in helping avoid many of the mistakes that startups make from the get-go.
According to Entrepreneur magazine, there are 6 Common Mistakes People Make When Starting a Business, and the #1 mistake is not choosing the right team of people to work with. The saying that your company is only as strong as the team behind it has never truer than with a startup. Starting a business is hard, and there are potential wrong decisions around every corner. What tasks do you prioritize? How do you build a team that works well together and is motivated to see the business succeed? How do you position your product or service in the market? How much do you spend on marketing, and what are the best methods? As a startup, these are all decisions you must make, and an experienced mentor can help you make them.
Entrepreneurs are smart, ambitions individuals with plenty of business savvy, but the smartest entrepreneur knows that he/she is never finished learning. Most likely, the team of individuals you choose to run your startup is entrepreneurial-minded as well, which means there should be no shortage of ideas and suggestions about which direction the company should go. A seasoned mentor, with their years of business experience, market knowledge, and networking to draw from, fits naturally into this scenario. They will help the team sift through their many ideas and seize the opportunities that have the most promise.
More than anything, a mentor can help the team behind a startup grow even stronger by focusing on interpersonal relationships. They can teach you how to leverage strong personalities and how to position risk-takers and natural leaders into the right roles. If you have a team of people who work well together and operate in roles that capitalize on their strengths, you’ll have a secret weapon with the power to propel any product or service towards success.
Mentoring is quickly becoming an important aspect in most organizations’ business plans and cultures. Business leaders are starting to recognize more and more the value of mentoring, not only for the growth of their employees, but also for themselves. In the case of a startup run by a much smaller group of individuals making very big decisions, having access to the experience and guidance a mentor can offer is even more important. Mentors augment the entrepreneurial process by developing marketing strategies, offering suggestions to expand the entrepreneurial network, strengthening interpersonal relationships, and keeping an open mind for new and innovative ideas. Instead of making common startup mistakes, you'll be well on your way to building a smart company bound for success.
If this post resonated with you, check with your organization to see whether you are part of the MentorCloud network. If not, sign up for a demo here! Our vision is to create a mentoring planet in which true equality is achieved and hard work is rewarded, but it's only possible with your participation.