Step outside your business with a mentor

A business mentor can help you step outside the day to day running of your business to take a look at your business as a whole and see the opportunities and issues you face, or potentially will face.

The best thing about having a mentor is it instils discipline to give time and attention to work on your business or to think about it without interruptions.

A mentor is not going to train you, or write your business plan, nor do they necessarily have the magic answer. What they will do however is support your decision making.  They will likely know where you should go for research or to get answers and they will help you identify gaps that may need addressing.

A good mentor is someone who is patient, has good general business experience in either their own business or a senior management role, and someone who can go in quietly and offer support. They need to understand the business quickly, focus on what the business is about and the skill levels of the business owner.

From a mentors perspective, one of the best things is seeing the look of relief and gratitude when a business owner realises that a problem that was seemingly insurmountable has solutions that are achievable and someone is there to help guide them through it.

An additional benefit mentors,  is that mentoring can help us see different perspectives to our own challenges, in our own businesses, creating a win/win situation.

Finding the right mentor:
Every business and owner are unique as are their propositions. The qualities that help a successful mentor and mentee relationship are; good listening skills, good communication and someone who is passionate about their business and eager to put some energy into it. 

Who Can Apply to be mentored?
Anyone who is trading and has a financial history can apply for a mentor. There is no time limit as to how long the business has been operating, although Business Mentors NZ doesn’t help startups.

How are mentors matched? 
Business mentors are not always matched based upon industry.  It is very useful to have mentors look at your business as a business and to take away the emotional aspects of a specific industry.

The process of obtaining a mentor is simple:
If your business employs fewer than 25 full-time employees and provides you with your primary source of income, with evidence of trading, you qualify to register for mentoring assistance.

  1. Register online at www.businessmentors.org.nz
  2. Complete an online application
  3. Pay a one off $150 + GST registration fee (for up to two years of registration)
  4. Your local agent will contact you to arrange your mentor match

And it is even easier to become a mentor:

  1. Complete the Business Mentor application form at www.businessmentors.org.nz selecting the areas of expertise and industry experience with which you are most familiar
  2. Your local agent will contact you to advise if your application has been accepted. There are 17 Business Mentors New Zealand agencies throughout New Zealand.