On the flight to success, a wingman can be your saviour

5 years ago

Starting any new business venture is always difficult. As a small business owner you will know the daunting prospect of starting your business, maintaining it and most importantly, growing it. Some believe that hard work and determination are key to success, which it certainly is but there is also another aspect that many small businesses needn’t be shy of doing: asking for help and taking on a business mentor.

Many of our customers have met their to-be business mentors through chance meetings and down to a bit of luck which has proved extremely fruitful for their business prospects and business growth.

In fact we recently conducted research that found that those start-ups without a mentor are twice as likely to go out of business in five years’ time than those who follow the advice of a an industry expert. Indeed, many industry leaders sing the praises of the value of having a business mentor to help guide new businesses through the choppy seas of business:

“Mentoring can be of enormous benefit to small businesses. Starting a business is at times a leap into the unknown, and listening to and learning from established entrepreneurs can allow you to avoid unforeseen pitfalls,” explains John Allan, FSB national chairman.

“Our research has shown that almost three quarters (70%) of small businesses receiving mentoring survive in business for at least five years. The FSB is a big supporter of mentoring, particularly at a grassroots level and we welcome more schemes such as Get Mentoring in the hope that entrepreneurs can work together to problem solve and share success.”

British businesses can sometimes be reluctant to ask for help, but meeting the right mentor who understands your industry, your company, and your passion can be of huge benefit to your company. Mentors understand that you do not want someone external presiding over your every business decision, but rather they know to be there when you need a sounding bar when dealing with new or potentially damaging situations that are unfortunately likely to arise at some point during your business life.

According to the COO of Yplan Peter Briffett who recently spoke at the Sage Business Huddle event at Wayra London, “Mentors should be happy to give you all the information you need.”

His top tip is “to harass them – call them until they’re putting the phone down on you.”

In other words: mentors are there to help you and your business, so make sure you make the most of it!