The people you choose to surround yourself with on your entrepreneurial journey are just as important to the business’s overall success as you are. SME’s that invest time and money into the people that work for them are a force to be reckoned with. This investment of time generates new ideas, stronger brand loyalty, and smarter working.
But it’s not just your workforce that’ll benefit from the investment in your people through mentorship. Taking the time to level up your learning is just as integral to continued growth as it is when you do the same for your teams. An important part of business is to understand that you don’t know everything there is to know. Especially if you’re a small business beginning your journey.
Thankfully, some people do know more than you. People who may be able to pass that knowledge down to you in the form of mentoring.
What is mentorship in business?
Business mentors put simply, are people who have knowledge and experience of a particular sector in business. They can use this information to help others develop their careers both personally and professionally. Fresh-faced entrepreneurs benefit from these relationships hugely because they have access to a holy grail of industry tips and tricks.
Mentoring is best seen as a long-term relationship. It can open many doors for you and gives you an experienced brain to pick when you undoubtedly run into teething issues. Mentors will pretty much be your business role model, so it’s always worth approaching someone who runs their business in a way you admire.
You can also implement mentoring for your employees. Whether it be having more experienced colleagues taking newer ones under their wing. Or providing access to great Mentorship Software to build their own relationships with people outside the staff pool. Even having the fresh crop of workers talking with long-term ones can reignite a passion they may have lost thanks to the vigour and tenacity the younger generation provide.
There are many ways you can provide it, and you’ll find that your workforce works harder and have stronger company loyalty. That’s because you’re providing learning to develop their careers. Which can be hard to come by.
What are the benefits of being mentored for your SME?
Whether you’re just starting out or looking to improve your SME’s quality and turnover, it can be hard to know what direction to go next. This can often be down to just not having the right knowledge or experience yet. It’s completely normal. No business owner knows everything at the start.
That’s part of the reason why being mentored as a business owner is such a brilliant idea. You have access to a lifetime of business knowledge and a shoulder to lean on if times get hard. But the benefits of mentorship for your business don’t stop there.
1. Quality advice
One of the most valuable things a mentor can provide is solid advice for your business. It might be that you currently seek advice from friends and family, and while their advice is sound, it isn’t always the best advice for growing and supporting your enterprise. Mentors understand the unique challenges you face and will help you to take the best route. Plus, you can ask questions whenever something you haven’t met before arises.
2. A fresh perspective
Business mentors generally have years of experience and knowledge behind them. This provides you with a perspective you might not be able to see yourself. Your business mentor will have dealt with many of the problems you face, so you have already gone through the hard bit of finding the best way to deal with them. They also know how to deal with the big wigs you’ll meet along the way.
3. Access to key skills
Mentors don’t just care about your business venture. Business mentors are there to help you develop your skills. They can also work with you to help improve the way you communicate with your staff. After all, your people are the lifeblood of your business.
4. Expand your network
Business mentors have built strong relationships with other people in your industry, thanks to years of hard work. Working with them will give you access to these networks and open doors for you that would normally remain closed.
5. Boosting confidence
We all second guess ourselves in life. And that’s no different in business. Especially if you are new to the game. Not only will they boost your confidence by learning new skills. But know you have a credible source of experience will give you the confidence to make bigger moves to grow your company.
6. Long-lasting relationship
A mentor isn’t just for a short while. If you get on well with them, it can lead to a life-long relationship. This means access to their advice extends beyond the early stages of your company. And it’s a two-way relationship thanks to its collaborative nature.
What are the benefits of providing mentorship for your workforce?
Most teams engaged with their work have managers or team leaders that create a nurturing workplace environment. Part of a nurturing environment is providing opportunities for your teams. That might be in the form of bonuses, incentives, or ladder climbing. But a great way to provide options is to give them access to mentoring either in-house or outsourced.
Providing mentoring for your employees means they can work productively on their career development. All while they work for their favourite boss. Giving staff chances at work means they build strong loyalty for your company. And there are lots of other reasons why providing mentorship for your workforce is a great idea.
1. Less staff turnover
Workers that don’t get anything back for their hard work tend to pick up and leave. And the same happens if there isn’t any career progression. Providing a mentorship scheme means that you tick the boxes of providing personal and career focussed development. If employees can see a way to progress, they’re more likely to stay. And they have higher job satisfaction.
2. Highly talented workforce
Providing mentoring means your workforce gets to work on skills that or new to them or ones they lack completely. This means their skillset increases, and who doesn’t want employees that get better at their job? Providing mentoring throughout the business also means staff gains a greater understanding of the company. This benefits you as they know how to work more efficiently.
3. Succession planning
Strong mentorship means you’re creating a pipeline of talent ready to replace key employees when they retire or move onto bigger ventures. This is smart business because it means you have an in-built safety net for the succession of leadership. Finding new talent is expensive, especially for high-level roles. And there’s no guarantee you’ll find the perfect candidate. Having one ready-to-go who already understands the business saves you time and money.
4. Show leadership
Mentors set an example of how others under them should operate in the business. And this sets the bar for how mentees conduct themselves in the company’s future and their career. Leaders show others how to be creative and push boundaries along with setting the tone of work ethic.
5. Greater Productivity
Programs like mentoring will boost the productivity of your staff while increasing their job satisfaction. If staff have someone they can go to with problems, frustrations, and advice on dealing with them, they feel supported. A strong mentoring network means that you as the business owner will have fewer management problems to solve day-to-day. So productivity increases not just for your workforce but you as a business owner too.
6. Talent scouting
With an effective mentoring scheme, you’ll be able to identify hidden talent amongst your workforce. This hidden talent could become the future of your business. And you get first pick. Not only that, but mentors can also groom this talent for jobs higher up the ladder.
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The benefits of mentorship are numerous. Not only for yourself as a business owner but also for your staff. For yourself, you get access to consistent advice, support, and a network you would otherwise never get close to. And for your team, they get to work for a company that is invested in their careers. This means you get an abundance of highly trained staff who love to work for you, and they do that work to the best of their ability.
Mentoring should be a relationship that lasts. So select mentors who reflect the way you want your business to function well into the future. Think of your dream company, and pick someone who can help you achieve that goal.