Owning and running a business can seem like a very tedious and lonely task, especially if you are running everything without a large team to help you along.
If you don’t have industry insights, it can seem like every problem gets ten times worse. A supportive group of friends and family can assist you along the way, but if they are inexperienced in the same field or haven’t owned a business, their support can seem just as tiring. A lack of knowledgeable support can make you lose confidence in yourself and your work, especially when problems arise that you can’t find a solution to yourself. Having people in your life who work in the same field as you and can advise, support and encourage you will make it so much easier to keep confidence in yourself.
As a business owner, there are three types of people that you should have around you that are essential for success:
- A mentor- Someone to look up to who has already succeeded in the business you hope to go in. A mentor will be there to support you and teach you the ways of success, having already experienced something similar themselves.
- A buddy- Someone in the same field as you that is at a similar point in their journey. A buddy goes along the journey with you, someone who can keep you feeling encouraged through the highs and lows, and with whom you can celebrate your wins.
- A mentee- Someone starting their journey in the same business to whom you can be a mentor. A mentee is someone who looks up to you and will inspire you to continue doing better in your industry. Having the opportunity to help and support someone else will strengthen your own skills and responses to obstacles.
Throughout history, people have inspired other people. Having a mentor that can push you to do more than you ever thought yourself capable of is crucial for success. As a business owner, if you seek a mentor and learn from them, you will eventually become the mentor yourself. This is a huge testament to your success! Mentor/ mentee relationships are important; without them, growing a business can seem impossible. A mentor is living proof that your goals can become reality, and by communicating with them, they can show you how they achieved their own goals.
It wouldn’t be much of an exaggeration to say that all successful business owners and entrepreneurs will have someone that they were able to look up to while setting up, without whom their business would not be the same. In a survey done by financial tech company Kabbage of 200 small businesses, 92% said that mentors directly impacted the growth and survival of their business. Considering small businesses make up around 99% of all UK businesses, this is quite impressive!
Mentors make a huge difference in the success of a company. Here’s a list of 6 reasons every business owner should have a mentor, regardless of existing achievements or progress!
- Mentors have experience in the field already and can provide a fresh perspective
Think of business owning like a path; you may encounter a roadblock that you cannot see past. A mentor is further up that path and can advise you on how best to get over that roadblock. Experience is an incredibly valuable asset in anyone’s career. The more experience you have, the more prepared you can be for problems. If you are new in your business, a mentor can help with that. They will often be able to see your problems as someone who has already faced them or see the way out of them that you cannot spot. A mentor will be able to guide you forward in your journey and help you to prevent failures. While you need to experience the highs and lows of your business yourself, a mentor can help you make sure that it won’t get too bad and that you can recover from any issues.
- Mentors make networking easier
Networking is an essential part of running a business giving you new opportunities for your work. A mentor will be able to help you with it since they already have an entire network of their own making. They will already be in contact with a whole host of CEOs, CFOs, leaders and professionals in your field of work; through your mentor, you will have access to them too. Thinking back to our business path, your mentor can introduce you to people while you’re walking. These new people can also offer advice on your journey if you need it, sometimes with different experiences that your mentor may not have.
- Mentors can advise you on building a company culture
The way your company and its people interact is an essential factor in whether or not your business succeeds. Nobody wants to work with a business or work for a business with a terrible work ethic. A good company culture maintains motivation and commitment in the workplace and helps attitude towards work remain positive. A mentor will be able to help you develop that culture in a way that supports the goals of your business.
- Mentors can help you make decisions
In business owning, you will sometimes need to make quick decisions that might sometimes mean the success or failure of your business. It can be like stumbling onto a minefield; one wrong step can mean disaster. A mentor can help you make this decision from a more experienced viewpoint and can help minimise the consequences of these decisions.
- Mentors can help you develop as a business owner
Businesses can be tricky to grow, but it can be trickier still to drive it forward and maintain success. Management skills, like; communication, planning, strategic thinking and problem solving, are all essential in being a business owner. A good mentor can watch how you manage your business and advise developing your skills. Think back to the path analogy. It’s all well and good for your mentor to simply give you a ladder to overcome your roadblock, but an even better mentor will also show you how to find the materials to do so yourself. With the materials and skills your mentor has helped you develop, you can build your own responses to your problems.
- Mentor/ Mentee relationships work
Surveys have proven that successful business owners have someone that they can rely on to catch them should they stumble. They have already made their own way through this path, and providing a mentee with support and advice is also beneficial to the mentor as they can learn more about problems and come up with other ways to solve them. As both mentors and mentees grow and their businesses grow, both parties reap more benefits. A mentee gets the support needed in their business, and the mentor gets to strengthen their own skills through helping others. There is no reason why you shouldn’t find yourself a mentor!
A franchise makes it easy to find all three types of people you need to become a successful business owner: mentors, buddies and mentees are everywhere you look!
At We Love Pets, our franchisees become part of the huge extended family- from its founders to its latest branch directors- everyone is working together to grow and run their businesses. Each franchisee will have taken the same starting steps in their career to become the amazing business owners that they are today, and they’re more than willing to offer advice, guidance, support and the knowledge they have gained along the way!
Existing franchisees will automatically become truly valuable mentors and will be able to advise you through any difficulties you might have in growing your business with We Love Pets. As well as mentoring you, there will likely be franchisees that join alongside you to support you too, and once you feel more settled in your work, you can become a mentor to new franchisees!