If you are a successful entrepreneur and a small business owner, you probably know how difficult it is to start and sustain a new business. Since you have managed to crack it; it may be the time to pass on your knowledge by mentoring aspiring businessmen.
However, you should think thoroughly before making the decision, as it will require you to dedicate a huge amount of time, access to your network and effort to your mentee. Here are some things you need to know before you commit yourself to business coaching an upcoming venture.
- Role of the mentor: Most often, a business mentor is confused with a business consultant. The role of a business mentor is mainly to help the aspiring entrepreneurs develop skills, provide advice, show direction and encourage the mentee along with providing occasional counseling.
- Characteristics of a mentor: A good mentor needs to have patience and a strong desire to help others. A business mentor should not only spread their knowledge but should also be willing to learn from the mentee.
- Benefits for the mentee: The mentee will get to learn the tricks of the trade, broaden the perspective of his/her business and acquire knowledge to improve business. Having a go-to person is always a boon for a new entrepreneur as the mentor will be able to guide the mentee through the process of setting up a business as well as pass on the practical knowledge of the business.
- Benefits for the mentor: Even though the majority of the benefits are reaped by the mentee, there are some benefits of mentoring as well. Mentoring other SMBs will help the mentor improve one’s own skills, it will give job satisfaction and build networking among other newer entrepreneurs. It will also allow you to keep abreast of the new trends in the market and learn about new ways of organization and management.
- Requirements: As a business mentor, you will have to dedicate time and honour the commitment of mentoring your mentee. You will have you constantly push the mentee to expand their horizons and improve business. This requires you to be encouraging, highly skilled in communication and networking.
- Business Contract: Even though this relationship might be more like that of a teacher and student, you will have to make it official by making a business contract. Once you have met the mentee and understood the needs, draft a contract that outlines all the ground rules of the relationship and the objective of the contract. This might also help in setting goals, duration, confidentiality, and closure.
- Remuneration: You can include a section in the contract outlining the remuneration for the service. This completely depends on the mentor and the mentee; there is no set fee for the service. Some entrepreneurs believe in offering free services to the mentee, it is a way of sharing knowledge and nothing more while others charge a nominal fee for offering their services.
So, before you enter into a commitment with your mentee consider these points and keep things clear between both the parties from the very beginning.