Updated: Jan 26, 2021
As a new entrepreneur, you’ll likely find that there’s no shortage of information on how to start and set up your business. That being said, just because someone swears by a certain strategy doesn’t mean it applies to your particular business. So, how do you sort through all that advice to create a plan that makes sense for you and your business goals? The answer may be more straightforward than you think — working with a business mentor!
A business mentor is one of the best resources you can have as an entrepreneur. They can help you navigate the ins and outs of entrepreneurship and will often be your biggest cheerleader along the way. But, that’s not all; research shows that having a mentor directly correlates to whether you’re successful in life and business. Scroll below for three benefits of working with a business mentor and resources for finding one that’s the right fit for you.
Learn From Their Experience
A huge benefit of partnering with a business mentor is learning from their experience, whether it be wins or failures. What’s more, a mentor who has “been there, done that” can offer guidance as you go through the different stages of setting up your business. They can teach you the dos and don’ts of entrepreneurship and provide an outside perspective on the challenges you may face as a new business owner.
Feel More Confident
It’s no secret that starting a business can be stressful. From creating a business plan to developing a successful marketing strategy, there are many elements that go into starting a business. Having an experienced mentor in your corner from the get-go can help you feel more confident about your decisions as a new business owner. This is significant not only for peace of mind but also because studies show confidence has a significant impact on business success. A mentor can help an entrepreneur “tap into their self-confidence and see every challenge as an opportunity.”
Expand Your Business Network
Working with a successful business mentor can open up many new opportunities for budding entrepreneurs. Why? Because they’ve got an extensive network of connections that have the potential to benefit your career. As your mentor, they’ve invested a lot of time and resources into helping your business succeed and will more than likely use their network to ensure it does so.
How Do You Find a Mentor?
Finding a business mentor that fits you and your business doesn’t have to be complicated. Start by reaching out to past connections like an old boss or coworkers. In many cases, existing business relationships can naturally transition into a mentorship. Networking events are also a gold mine for building connections and scoping out possible mentors. Making it a point to put yourself out there shows potential mentors that you’re invested in growing your business. Another option is to investigate local and state resources offered to business owners, such as the ones below.
Greater Fergus Falls Entrepreneur Initiative
Greater Fergus Falls offers a fantastic free program dedicated to helping startups in our community succeed. Entrepreneur Initiative provides one-on-one business coaching to new and early-stage entrepreneurs at no cost. Participants work with Greater Fergus Falls consultants to hammer out the technical side of their business, including developing a business plan, financial projections, marketing strategies, and more. With a plan is in place, the Greater Fergus Falls team will help you take the next steps, including finding a site and accessing capital.
Since the program began in March of 2020, Greater Fergus Falls has helped ten local businesses open in the area, and that number is set to increase in the coming months. One such company is Rustic Ruff Dog Grooming Salon. Its owners, Chelsa and Andy Anderson, got involved in the Entrepreneur Initiative for guidance on how to make their dream of owning their own business into a reality.
“One of our best experiences is the involvement with the Entrepreneur Initiative! … We started with a dream and the skillset for performing the tasks of pet grooming but lacked experience, knowledge, and confidence when it came to completing the steps necessary to set up our business,” Chelsa remarks. “The initial contact with Annie Deckert was extremely encouraging, engaging, and knowledgeable. She immediately shared the Greater Fergus Falls team's mission, which is to assist from start to finish with your business project. She responded with questions my husband and I needed to answer, how to identify our challenges, and provided the steps necessary to move forward.”
Part of the Entrepreneur Initiative program is to match new business owners with Greater Fergus Falls business consultants. The Andersons were paired with Ryan Tungseth, owner of 4t Creative. “We met with Ryan several times and found him to be a powerful asset. He served as our own personal coach and assisted us with strategies, resources, constructive criticism, developing a business plan, and the financial projections spreadsheet,” Chelsa reflects.
Greater Fergus Falls Can Connect You With Local Resources
Are you looking for a business mentor of your own? Greater Fergus Falls can help! Check out our list of local and state resources here. If you’re interested in learning more about Entrepreneur Initiative and how it can benefit your business, feel free to reach out to our team or fill out the program application.