Launching and growing a business is difficult. Statistics indicate that more than half will fail within the first 5 years. I know this to be true. I’ve been involved with businesses and organizations that have fallen flat after only a few years. One company I helped start lasted a mere 6 months before it sputtered and, eventually, stopped altogether. It wasn't a proud moment, but one I certainly learned from!
A key component when starting a new business, or even if you own an established one, is finding a mentor or advisor. Surround yourself with people smarter and more experienced than you and listen to them. If Richard Branson and Bill Gates had a business mentor then you probably need one too.
I’ve had the good fortune of having some amazing entrepreneurs and sharp-minded businesspeople in my life. These are people I've been able to sit down with from time to time and drink from their vast reservoir of experience. You can’t know everything, even when you think you do.
A mentor can help you many different ways. They can provide you with a fresh perspective, share wisdom and business insight from their hard-won battles in the business world. They can also ask you the hard questions as to why your doing what your doing, and make you dig deep into your true motivations behind your venture.
I recently consulted with a new land development start-up. About a year ago I had an introduction meeting with the original start up team. I knew the principle owners of the company but it was the first time I’d met the marketing consultant. He was around 25 years old and had already built a successful million-dollar company. When I explained my mentoring role in this new start-up, he chuckled and commented, “that’s what I was missing in my start-up...an old guy”. Everyone around the table chuckled. I wasn’t offended because I knew he was right. Every business, even if they’re strong right of the gates, needs to have experienced people around them to keep them accountable, aligned to their vision and positioned to point out potential pitfalls.
Research suggests over 60% of businesses owners do not have any type of guidance or mentorship in the start up phases of their companies and yet most owners agree that mentors can have a positive impact on their survival and ability to grow. There seems to be a major disconnect between actually understanding a mentor’s importance and a business owner doing something about it.
One of most insightful steps a new business owner can take is to find an experienced mentor to walk with them in their first few years of operation. This can make the difference between success and failure.
Please contact Reimer Collective at firstname.lastname@example.org to talk about your start-up business concerns, or if you need a mentor to help position your business for success.