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Business Mentoring Programs
 
A Business Mentoring Program is one where mentors or advisors connect with entrepreneurs and provide guidance in improving and advancing the entrepreneurs' business. The program consists of one-on-one coaching by a business mentor, who is willing to share his or her experience, knowledge, and skills with the mentee, along with providing personal support.
 
The business mentor may be trained as a coach but their most important attribute is that they have extensive experience and success in business. For small or mid-size businesses, collaborating with a business mentor may be advantageous in driving the growth of the business.
 
For a successful mentoring program, both the business owner and mentor have to be completely committed and devote time to developing a partnership. Other key factors for an effective mentoring program include:
  • Identification of objectives and goals: The scope of the mentoring program has to be clearly defined. Clarifying expectations, goals, issues and course of action will enable the mentor and mentee to both be accountable. An important task for the mentor and mentee is to set realistic goals.
  • Open and clear communication: Both the mentor and mentee have to be prepared to share information, provide data and be accessible to communicate through problems. The mentee should be willing to learn and the mentor should be willing to impart knowledge and experience. Frequency and duration of meetings also need to be addressed at the time of starting the program.
  • Confidentiality: Both the mentor and mentee must respect confidentiality of information shared.
  • Monitoring performance: The mentor must monitor the mentee's performance against an agreed upon action plan.
  • Evaluation: The mentor must evaluate the mentee's performance and provide feedback.
What to Look for in a Business Mentor?
 
An effective mentoring program will always have a strong and accomplished business mentor. Here are some of the important things to look for in a business mentor:
  • Experience:  A competent mentor will have expertise in solving problems faced in business and up-to-date knowledge, specifically in the areas that the mentee may be seeking guidance. He or she will share knowledge, skills and experience and will not only share his or her successes, but also failures.
  • Commitment: The mentor will commit his or her time, energy and resources willingly.
  • Communication: The mentor will be a good listener and will be able to communicate clearly and professionally.
  • Reputation: The mentor will have a good reputation in assisting others to develop and enhance performance. There must be a desire to help others to grow.
  • Demonstrate mentoring skills: A good mentor will effectively guide and teach the mentee to enhance his or her business skills, motivate the mentee in achieving the defined goals of the program, evaluate and provide honest feedback.
A positive Business Mentoring Program is one in which the business mentor and business owner have a stable, strategic alliance, leading to the advancement of the owner's business. A collaborative partnership, the mentoring program must have an open flow of communication between partners, commitment, respect and accountability in order to be successful.
Our Mentor Engine™ matches you with the qualified and experienced mentors who give you confidential, personalized business advice and feedback that you can measure.
 
"...you provided me with more feedback in a few sentences than my previous employer provided me in 6 years! — Laureen O'Neill
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