Business angel, speaker and mentor Mark Lyttleton has considerable experience of working with early-stage companies, helping founders to establish, run and grow their businesses. This article will explore the many different ways that enlisting the help of a business mentor can help entrepreneurs to establish, operate and grow their company.

Business mentors help founders to refine their ideas, develop their skills and determine the best opportunities and direction for their business. Whether the venture is a new start-up or an established business, business mentors help leadership to achieve their business goals, assisting them in a variety of different ways. The embedded infographic outlines the benefits of business mentorship from the perspective of the mentor themselves.

A business mentor is quite distinct from a business coach. The latter uses their coaching skills to provide discussion-based advice and guidance, asking incisive questions to help clients devise their own solutions to particular issues or concerns. A business mentor, on the other hand, is an experienced professional keen to share their valuable experience and knowledge with proteges, their extensive experience placing them in good stead to offer sound advice, be a good listener and serve as a positive role model. You can learn about demand for business mentoring among UK SMEs by viewing the embedded PDF.

Working with a business mentor helps business owners to feel supported and inspired. According to research, 38% of female small business owners find working with a business mentor helpful. Business mentors help in a range of different ways, including:

  • Motivating business owners and helping them to stay focused, as well as holding them accountable for their mistakes and being there to celebrate their successes with them as they grow
  • Helping business owners to identify their own strengths and weaknesses, boosting their confidence and helping them to hone specific skills that could have a transformative impact on their business
  • Providing a sounding board for ideas and pointing out and discussing different options
  • Helping business leadership to make better decisions
  • Helping to grow the business owner’s network, connecting them with valuable contacts and helping them to build their knowledge, confidence and community.

It is incredibly important for entrepreneurs to find the right person to support them, ensuring that they are clear about their business goals. Potential sources include the Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme, Business Wales Mentoring, the Women Business Leaders’ Mentoring Programme, and Mentorsme.