Setting up and running a small or medium-sized business is no mean feat. Sure, many entrepreneurs have a strong understanding of their industry or market sector and most will be experts in the products or services they produce.
But have they got a clear understanding of financial management? Do they know how to identify threats to their business and how to provision against them? Have they considered how they are going to manage their time as the business gets busier? Have they even looked at their own personality type and worked out how this can benefit or hinder the business going forward?
The reality is that many people running an SME will not have a clear grasp of all of these elements and may well end up so swamped in work that they feel they have no time, or indeed need, to consider them.
The danger with this is twofold. Firstly, they risk an unforeseen threat damaging or destroying their business. Secondly, there is a significant likelihood of burnout.
That is why seeking out a mentor is so important for owners of SMEs.
Time poor and literally ‘flying blind’ where many risks are concerned, SME owners can benefit massively from the insights of a mentor who has been there, done that and got the proverbial T-shirt.
That is why National Mentoring Day is such a good call to arms; a wakeup call to SME owners to start benefitting from the support of a mentor.
The National Mentoring Day mission
The mission of National Mentoring Day is: “To reach our goal of every person in the UK knowing how to access a mentor by 2020 and to shine a spotlight on excellence in mentoring; positioning the UK as the global leader in mentoring.”
While this is no small objective, it is hugely important. That’s because the benefits to SMEs of mentoring can be so significant, from helping SMEs to stay in business for longer to becoming more productive and even more profitable.
For example, research carried out by the FSB found that 70% of small businesses that receive mentoring last for 5 years or more – that’s double the rate of entrepreneurs who do not have mentors.
What’s more, according to www.mentorsme.co.uk, 67% of businesses said that mentoring had increased their productivity, whilst 55% of businesses felt that it had a positive effect on their profitability.
However, despite these clear benefits, only 25% of SMEs currently use business mentors, according to Sage.com. This leaves huge scope for UK SMEs to strengthen their businesses and explore more opportunities for success.
Find out more about mentoring
If you want to find out more about the benefits of mentoring and how to find a mentor that can help, a good place to start is the National Mentoring Day website.
You might also know of successful business owners in your own industry that would be happy to help you as a mentor. The advantage of this approach is that they not only know how to run a growing business, but they will also understand the specific challenges and opportunities within your industry.
Whatever your approach, if you haven’t got a mentor already make the most of National Mentoring Day to get something in motion. With two great minds on your business you can hardly go wrong!
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