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An illustration of the best ways to find a business mentor.
Starting a business

How to find a business mentor: 11 best ways

Ever wish you could get expert insights beyond what the internet can provide? Say you have a unique problem or need to develop a certain skill to help your business grow. Business mentors can be a great resource for personalized guidance and support. Nevertheless, figuring out how to find a business mentor can be overwhelming. 

Whether you're just starting out or you’re a seasoned business owner, there are tried-and-true methods to finding qualified small business advisors. Let’s look at the 11 best strategies to help you find the perfect business mentor: 

  1. Networking events
  2. Volunteering
  3. Family and friends
  4. Industry centers
  5. Mastermind groups
  6. Cold emails
  7. SCORE
  8. Meetups
  9. LinkedIn
  10. Indirect competitors
  11. Mentorship programs
An illustration of the 11 best ways to find a business mentor, including online and in person.

1. Networking events

Best for: Individuals who want to expand their professional network and meet experienced professionals who could become mentors.

Attending networking events allows you to connect with mentors face-to-face. Networking helps you leverage the wisdom of entrepreneurs and provides opportunities to connect with people from various industries. 

Networking events come in various forms, including online webinars, conferences, and workshops. When attending networking events, be proactive and approach potential mentors you admire by starting conversations about your shared interests and goals.

2. Volunteering

Best for: Individuals who enjoy volunteering and want to connect with possible mentors who also appreciate giving back.

Volunteering for a cause you care about has the bonus opportunity to meet experienced professionals who share your values. When you volunteer, you also have the opportunity to meet and connect with a diverse group of people.

Volunteering means you can contribute to a good cause and showcase your abilities and dedication. Volunteering also provides unique learning opportunities by interacting with individuals from various industries. You can also consider charity partnerships to further your volunteer efforts. 

3. Family and friends

Best for: Individuals with close family members or friends with relevant business experience.

Sometimes, the best resources are right in front of you: family and friends. Utilizing connections you already have can be a great way to identify successful business mentors. This is a beneficial option if you have a trusted person in your network who can provide guidance and a mentor relationship.

Here’s how to find a mentor in your family and friends network:

  1. Ask your friends and family if they know anyone with experience and knowledge in the business world.
  2. Build a connection and relationship with the potential mentor. Take the time to get to know them personally by inviting them for a cup of coffee. 
  3. When you feel comfortable and confident in the connection, clearly communicate your intentions. Let them know that you are seeking guidance and assistance in your business endeavors. Be sure to respect their time with clear, direct requests.

By tapping into friends and family connections, you can receive guidance and strengthen your relationships.

4. Industry centers

Best for: Those looking for mentors with specialized knowledge within a specific industry.

If you're looking for a business mentor in your specific industry, industry centers can be a great source for finding the right one. They attract professionals with deep expertise in the field.

One effective way to find a mentor through industry centers is by attending industry expos and speaking events. Make sure to actively participate in these webinars by asking thoughtful questions.

An illustration of the myths and facts of mentorship myths.

5. Mastermind groups

Best for: Individuals seeking a peer-based mentorship approach.

Mastermind groups consist of like-minded individuals who come together to share insights or solve problems. Joining a local mastermind group connects you with a community of growth-oriented peers.

These collaborative communities provide a supportive environment for business owners to receive guidance and feedback. To find a mastermind group, search online platforms dedicated to connecting business owners. Note that some groups have application processes to ensure a good fit.

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6. Cold emails

Best for: Those looking for mentors who may not have direct connections.

Cold emails can be effective if crafted well to show genuine interest in the mentor's expertise. It can have a lower success rate than other methods, but it can be a great remote collaboration tool. 

To increase the likelihood of receiving a response, standing out from the crowd is crucial. Here’s how to create a solid cold email:

  • Craft a compelling business profile that highlights your achievements, goals, and unique strengths. This enables potential mentors to understand the value you bring to the table. 
  • When reaching out, be clear and concise about how their advice can benefit you. Brevity is key when contacting someone with limited time.
  • Explain the challenges you are facing and how their experience can provide valuable insights and guidance. You can show genuine interest in a mentor relationship by demonstrating that you have done your research. 

After following up and establishing a connection, ask them for a quick coffee chat.

An illustration of the best ways for cold outreach when looking for a business mentor.


Best for: Entrepreneurs and small business owners who want access to free or low-cost business consulting services. 

SCORE is a group of volunteer mentors for small businesses. There are local SCORE groups and offices all across the country. One of the key services offered is one-on-one professional mentoring sessions. These sessions connect business owners with experienced mentors. 

A SCORE group can offer various workshops and training programs for business development. These programs cover topics such as business planning and creating go-to-market strategies.

8. Meetups

Best for: Individuals looking to connect with local professionals and entrepreneurs.

Meetups provide a casual setting to meet potential mentors and discuss common interests. You can use Meetup, a website and app allowing individuals to set up various events, to find these. Attending meetups related to your interests puts you in touch with like-minded individuals.

These events attract individuals who are passionate about a specific industry or niche. Remember, meetups are not just a one-time encounter. Strive to build ongoing mentor relationships by following up after the event.

9. LinkedIn

Best for: Professionals who want to connect with mentors in their industry or related fields.

LinkedIn allows you to search for and connect with experienced professionals who can offer business mentorship. Leveraging your LinkedIn network can open the door to finding mentors nationwide.

Here are some tips on using LinkedIn to find potential mentors:

  1. Enter relevant job criteria or keywords into the search bar
  2. Once you’ve found potential mentors, show genuine interest in their work
  3. Interact with their content by leaving comments and sharing their posts

Before directly asking for mentorship, seek advice on specific topics in their field. This shows that you value their opinion and want to learn from them.

10. Indirect competitors

Best for: Individuals who seek a broader perspective and insights from professionals in similar industries.

Indirect competitors can provide unique insights and different viewpoints. These businesses operate in the same industry or a related field but offer different products or services.

You may find it difficult to approach direct competitors for business mentorship. However, indirect competitors will likely be more willing and can offer different perspectives. These advisors are one of the five types of advisors you’ll want to have on your side. 

11. Mentorship programs 

Best for: Those who want a more structured mentorship relationship.

Mentorship programs match you with experienced mentors based on specific criteria and goals. The structure of these programs provides you with a clear framework for the mentorship.

There are formal programs that match business owners with experienced mentors. Some incubators offer mentorship and resources. Many cities have incubators that cater to the specific needs of the local entrepreneurial community.

Why you may want a business mentor

The 7 steps to find a business mentor.

Finding the right business or entrepreneur mentor can be a game-changer for small business owners looking to navigate challenges. Here are a few reasons you should consider a mentor:

  • Keeps you accountable: A mentor can help you stay accountable to your goals and objectives. They can also help you avoid distractions and stay focused on your business.
  • Helps you develop skills: A mentor can help you develop your business skills, such as marketing, finance, and accounting. They can also help you develop your leadership and management skills.
  • Builds your network: A mentor can introduce you to other successful people, which can help you build your network. 
  • Offers guidance and support: Running a business can be a lonely and challenging experience. A mentor can offer you guidance and support, and they can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.

Finding the best business mentor takes time and effort. Be proactive and look for mentors who have the following characteristics:

  • Relevant expertise or knowledge
  • Enthusiasm for sharing that expertise
  • A respectful attitude
  • Eagerness to invest in others
  • The ability to give honest and direct feedback
  • Reflective listening and empathy

When searching for a mentor, it is important to find someone who has relevant business experience and expertise in your desired industry. Look for individuals who have faced similar business challenges and successfully overcome them.

Start your business with confidence 

Finding a business or entrepreneur mentor can be a great way to help you achieve your business goals. These 11 methods can help you figure out how to find a business mentor.

Once you have a mentor, cloud-based accounting software like QuickBooks Online can be a valuable tool to help you manage your finances, track your progress, and stay on track with your goals.

A couple of people sitting at a table.

How to find a business mentor FAQ

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