For many people starting out in business on their own, the temptation is to see everything as a personal challenge. The downside of this is that it then becomes more difficult to ask for help, because they feel that this might compromise their independence.
Melinda Beckett-Hughes is a highly skilled life and business coach, and founder of Ayuda. She has a keen interest in being a mentor to other women in business. Here, she talks about the business benefits of mentoring for entrepreneurs and startups.
Improving the Figures
According to the Small Business Association (SBA), around 30% of startups fail in their first year. This figure rises to 50% if you increase the measurement period to five years.
“Confidence and assurance can melt away in the face of reality, especially if you’re drawing on your own psychological and emotional resources only,” suggests Melinda. “However, these figures are not fixed: if you get the right help, you can significantly reduce your risk of failure.”
Mentoring has been shown to benefit new businesses, with the SBA reporting that around 70% of mentored businesses survive more than five years.
If the evidence is in the numbers, what is it about mentoring that can make this kind of difference?
Perspective and Knowledge
“When a business model is your own, you feel very close to it, and this strong sense of attachment can mean you fail to spot its weaknesses,” Melinda warns. “It’s also true that people can naturally be selective with the data they gather, so that it serves to bolster their own beliefs.”
“A mentor can offer a broader perspective, and perhaps a more rational view. They will also have the kind of experience that provides the right kind of knowledge to help get you out of a jam”
“A mentor is there to offer practical support and constructive criticism, where required,” Melinda emphasises. “Sometimes, it is a case of simply helping someone get off the starting block.”
A Case Study in Mentoring
One of Melinda’s clients is a skilled sports and remedial therapist. However, she lacked confidence when it came to promoting her own business.
“Luminita was dealing with a range of concerns, from the financial commitment of starting up in business, to a lack of marketing knowledge, particularly around social media,” explains Melinda.
Melinda provided expert mentoring support that helped Luminita build her confidence around things that were new to her, such as networking, while also offering practical business advice.
In her own words, Luminta explains the benefits, “You need someone to believe in you and help you find the courage to take that first step. You also need someone with more business experience, to help you avoid the pitfalls and, when the unexpected happens, help get you back on track.”
To discover how mentoring support can help you and your business, please contact Ayuda, in the strictest confidence:
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