The Often Untapped, Valuable Asset of Start-ups: Mentors

mentorGood businessmen have a strong sense of independence and self-confidence, but great entrepreneurs recognize the value of interdependence and the wisdom of a great mentor.

Industry experts say that 9 out of 10 start-ups would fail, with reason ranging from poor management of finances to picking the wrong market and developing a product that no one needs.

These points of failure may seem excusable — inevitable, even — for starting businesses, but the truth is, these can all be avoidable if only start-ups sought the help of a mentor.

Whether in the form of other business founders, investors, board members, or business associates, mentors are valuable resources, as their advice can limit the risk of the business failure and expand opportunities for growth. This is why it makes sense to invest time and resources in an accelerators startup program; the learning environment and mentorship from experts can jumpstart business growth.

The Difference Good Mentors Make

Mentors will help identify the blind spots and weaknesses in your business plan. It’s so easy to just stick to the strategies you have established and ignore changes that may be beneficial in the long run. Entrepreneurs tend to justify their beliefs aggressively that there’s no room for improvement in business strategies.

Mentors encourage you to look at your business model from a different point of view. They give you a fresh perspective. In response, smart entrepreneurs change their minds once they see the new facts; they accept constructive feedback from mentors. Because of this new, sharpened perspective, it’s easy to reposition the business towards a completely new level of exposure to success.

The Mentor-Learner Relationship

Make the most of mentoring relationships by working with someone who has the qualities of a good mentor. A good mentor has the heart of a teacher. You need someone who is passionate about truly helping your business grow; they must have the willingness to share their expertise and knowledge.

Your role, on the other hand, is to be open-minded and listen actively. Most entrepreneurs, overly passionate about their business, do more talking than listening. Don’t be that person; remember, the more you listen, the more you’ll learn.

Nine out of 10 start-ups fail; don’t become part of the statistic. Your business is destined for success. Take advantage of mentoring programs and keep your eyes open for mentors who will be valuable for your business.