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Why Every New Business Owner Should Have a Mentor

In the fast-paced world of business ownership, those new to entrepreneurship can often find themselves trying to navigate uncharted territory, whilst balancing numerous responsibilities and pressures. 


Having someone to turn to can sometimes just be all that is required to keep you on track – offering guidance, wisdom, and invaluable support. Very few new business owners have 'find a mentor' anywhere near the top of the to-do list, unfortunately, all too often, this is implemented only later down the line as a 'reactive' task. 

A man in a suit talking


First and foremost, mentors bring experience to the table. They will have walked down the path that you are now treading – having encountered obstacles, made mistakes, and learned invaluable lessons along the way.  


Moreover, mentors provide perspective. Being engrossed in the day to day operations of your businesses means it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. Mentors, with their external vantage point, can offer fresh insights, challenge assumptions, and help you see things from different angles. 


Mentors also serve as sounding boards. It is regularly documented that the life of a business owner can be a solitary one. Having someone to bounce ideas off can be incredibly valuable, especially when their own experience brings a more rationalised response than the one from your best friend who claims to have 'watched every episode of the apprentice'. Mentors can provide constructive feedback, validate your planned strategies, and offer encouragement during moments of doubt. 


When selecting a mentor, you will need to consider several factors.  


Compatibility and chemistry are crucial – the mentor-mentee relationship should be built on trust, mutual respect, and open communication. Ultimately if you do not like someone, you are much less likely to respect and take on board their views. You need to ensure that your personalities 'match' in a way that means you can accept criticism from them, without being personally offended. 


Additionally, you should consider if you would prefer them to have experience in the same sector as you are trading. There are pros and cons to this - those with a similar background will bring industry knowledge, but a greater risk of their own tunnel vision ("do it the way I did it") causing bias, whereas those who have experience in a different area, will not be up to speed with your business sector's norms or etiquette, but potentially have a less clouded 'general business' focus. 


Finally, it's essential to assess the mentor's track record – their past successes, credibility, and reputation within the business community.  


The BIPC Northamptonshire's Build Your Business Programme, offers access to free business mentoring with two of our expert delivery partners. Mentoring is delivered in line with Module 2 (Marketing & Gaining Customers) and Module 5 (Personal Development of the Business Owner). 

Both Susie, from Florence & James Marketing Consultancy (Module 2), and Rob, from Glued Consultancy (Module 5) deliver webinar sessions for the Build Your Business programme, and so you can attend some of the sessions they deliver in advance for your own due diligence purposes.  

This means that before requesting personal support from the Mentors, you can check for yourself that you feel there will be the personal compatibility there, and you will get a taster of their credibility and expertise which they can bring to your business. 


To find out more about the Build Your Business Modules, and how to access mentoring through the programme, please visit:  


In conclusion, mentors play a pivotal role in the journey of small business owners, offering guidance, perspective, support, and invaluable connections. By carefully selecting the right mentor, you can tap into a wealth of experience and expertise, to enhance your chances of success in the future.


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