Business advice started out in the middle of last century as ‘consulting’ so and grew as an industry starting with large businesses and corporations.
In the late 1990’s the phrase ‘business coach’ was invested where the coach acted like a football or sports team advisor to guide the business owner.
The business coach role, like a lot of sports coaches where the coach hadn’t played the sport they were coaching, didn’t need to have been a business owner to assist the business owner. The coach was there to hold the business owner accountable to carry out what they needed to in order to achieve their business goals.
A business mentor is somewhat different to a business coach because they have owned a business and typically a few or more businesses and in different industries.
A business mentor brings a depth of experience of know-how to their relationships with business owners. Where a business coach doesn’t have the answers and relies on questions, a business mentor does have answers and solutions to a large number of challenges in running and growing a business.
A business mentor tends to have good experience with financials and understands how to read a Profit and Loss Statement.
Types of Business Mentors
Business mentors exist for various aspects of business such as…
- Financial improvement
- Acquisitions and mergers
A business mentor can be a wise and profitable investment for many businesses. They can dramatically shorten the growth period of a business by months and years in some circumstances.
A mentor for marketing is a worthwhile consideration.
Most business owners will pay for marketing, but not spend money on their own education on marketing. Without understanding marketing its easy to waste a lot of money on it with poor or no results because it is such a complex and broad topic.
Having a marketing mentor to explain the principles of marketing, such as how to measure results with numbers is very worthwhile and insightful.
The best thing about having a marketing mentor or any mentor is that you pay for the education once and then benefit for the rest of your life in business. The savings of using a marketing mentor can be many thousands and even tens of thousands of dollars.
A business mentor can also assist with increasing the profitability or operating profit margin of a business. It’s one thing to have a $5Million revenue business and another to have a very profitable $5Million revenue business.
The difference can be seen in the number of employees to manage. One $5Million revenue business could have 20 employees while another has 40. Which business will be less stressful to manage and which business will have much higher surplus cash in the bank? The one with fewer employees.
Increasing the operating profit margin of a business is a primary goal as the business grows beyond $500,000 in revenue.
Businesses don’t fail from a lack of revenue or sales, they more commonly fail due to lack of cash and that’s primarily due to low operating profit margins.Tim Stokes – Founder – Profit Transformations
The biggest revenue company in the world – Apple Inc. also has high profit margins. Their products are the most expensive in the marketplace.
That shows its possible to see more at higher prices and that’s a very good reason to consider a business mentor. There are a number of skills needed to be able to sell more at higher prices and a good business mentor experienced with sales and marketing will have these skills.
Choosing the Right Business Mentor
Not all business mentors have great skills across all aspects of business. A few do so its best to check what their expertise is to gauge if they are a good match to your business, needs and goals.
When choosing a business mentor have a list of questions to ask them, such as…
- How long have you been a business mentor?
- What types of businesses have you owned?
- What skills and experience do you have that you advise me with my own business?
- Can you tell me about businesses you’ve worked with and what results you saw achieved and in what time frame?
The aim of engaging a business mentor is to enjoy a benefit to your business. The benefit can be in greater confidence with your management and growth decisions or it could be to achieve some measurable, financial goals such as increasing the income by $50,000 per month or adding 5% to the operating profit margin.
The business mentor can assist you with setting realistic and achievable goals so that’s a great conversation to have with them at the start.
The fees of a business mentor vary a lot from $1,000/month to over $4,000/month with equity of your company. The cost is not as relevant or as important as the return on the investment and in what time frame.
If a business mentor cost you $3,000/month but increased the operating profit by $100,000 in 6 months the ROI would be excellent as the cost is $18,000 and your business would have $82,000 in more profit than it had before. This kind of ROI thinking is how entrepreneurs think and its a wise way to think.
All benefits in life have a cost of time and/or money. The cost is not worth dwelling on, until and only until the benefits are identified. A lot of business owners dismiss opportunities due to the cost and ignoring the benefits or don’t identify what the benefits actually would be. That’s where fear is standing in the way of progress.
If you own a business a business mentor is well worth considering. Some of the most successful and profitable businesses were created as a result of one or more business mentors. Why not take a shortcut to success and save yourself years?