Mentors tap business potential

ALL businesses reach their plateau before they reach their full potential. What is needed when this happens is a catalyst for further growth – a business mentor. In the strive for efficiency and cost saving, consultants – particularly in the field of marketing and management – are becoming more common.

Students who have completed a Bachelor of Business or similar qualification are starting their own ‘consulting practices’ and are assisting businesses with their wealth of ‘theoretical’ knowledge.

Many ‘business consultants’ have never been frustrated by limited budgets, depressed by an uncooperative and unmotivated team. These consultants can be left floundering when they come into contact with real-life emotionally-laden business issues.

Robert Townsend defined consultants as “the people who borrow your watch to tell you what time it is and then walk off with it.”

In contrast, the business mentor’s aim should be to teach business owners by showing how, rather than just ‘doing it’ and leaving.

Mentors must be able to guide their clients in “who they need to be, what they need to do and what they want to have”.

In essence, a mentor should be:

• Someone to be accountable to:

• Someone to help you refine your new ideas into practice

• Someone that has a wealth of ideas to grow your business

• Someone who has the contacts you need, and

• Someone outside ‘looking in’.

So many business owners try forcing a path through the thick undergrowth of ‘trial and error’, ‘traditional’ thinking and ‘lack of information’, exhausting themselves far short of their finish line.

Many business owners have run the race before you, creating an excellent freeway for knowledge and experience.

• Steve Leach is a business coach for Action International, leaders in franchise mentoring

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