YourBusinessWithJamesCaan2016 - 150

A helping
hand

Both mentoring and coaching can be great for
business, but which option is best for you?

T

he dictionary definition of
'mentoring' is 'an experienced
and trusted adviser'. In business
terms, a mentor has extensive
experience or is knowledgeable
in a particular business area,
such as finance or marketing.
He or she can provide the right
strategy for your business - especially
if you're an entrepreneur. Research
provided by the Federation of Small
Businesses has shown that 70%
of small businesses that receive
mentoring survive for five years
or more; double the rate compared
with non-mentored entrepreneurs.
Also, 20% of mentored businesses
are more likely to experience growth.

lack of rest, the isolation and the
rejection that comes with starting
your own business, your mentor
will be on hand to guide you and
keep you motivated.
A MENTOR SHOULD:

Provide an outside perspective on
both you and your business.
■ Confidentially listen to what's
worrying you about your business.
■ Help you by sharing their experience
of both success and failure.
■ Give honest, constructive feedback.
■ Act as a sounding board for ideas.
■ Help with decision-making and offer
alternative ideas based on experience.
■ Provide contacts and networks to aid
personal and business development.
■

YOUR MENTOR IS NOT THERE TO:

TALK TO THE EXPERTS

Not to be confused with business
coaching, mentoring is relationshiporientated. It requires time so that
both parties can learn about one
another and build trust. This helps to
create an environment in which the
mentee feels secure in sharing the
issues impacting their achievements.
Successful mentoring relationships
last for nine months to a year. The
purpose is to develop the individual
for the future - not just for the
current job they're doing.
Even businessman extraordinaire
Sir Richard Branson had help at the
beginning of his career. He said: 'It's
good to have a helping hand at the
start. I wouldn't have got anywhere
in the airline industry without the
mentorship of Sir Freddie Laker
(founder of Laker Airways).'
So, finding the right mentor can
make or break your business. When
you're struggling to cope with the

150

■ Provide

you with a counselling or
training service.
■ Give specific technical business
advice, which would normally come
via an expert business adviser.
■ Offer a coaching service.
■ Take responsibility for the success
of your business away from you.

WHEN DO YOU NEED
A MENTOR?

There are specific times when a mentor
is particularly valuable. These are
when your company wants to:
■ Advance its leaders or talent pool,
as part of its succession plan.
■ Develop its diverse employees to
remove barriers that hinder success.
■ Progress its employees in ways that
are additional to the acquisition of
specific skills and competencies.
■ Create a workforce that balances
the professional and the personal.
It is common for most people to
assume that coaching and mentoring



YourBusinessWithJamesCaan2016

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