How do I find someone to mentor me in building my company?
I need assistance building my business. I am at the start-up process with alot of promise and I really need the help. Currently I am at the concept phase with multiple ideas but I need funding to move further ahead.
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All/any businesses need clients to survive. Laser focus on that & all else will fall in place. Observe keenly & you'll notice that your clients are your best mentor/s
Good luck, mate!
I have a philosophy in business that one of my many mentors shared with me years ago. And that philosophy is this...if your idea can be profitable, go start it with no money. If you can start it with no money, and you make money, then you know it was a good idea. If you start it and it doesn't make money, then you know it wasn't a good idea. It's a simple way to build your own credibility in starting business. And I know that philosophical concept works.
Best would be to go to some of the international mentor network sites. You can then match your needs of expertise, location, time zones, etc to contact the appropriate mentor who you feel can help you most.
The other way would be to tap your professional network and by word of mouth, which may a bit more difficult and uncertain.
It seems many people have rallied around your question! I just want to address a few points based off of my experiences (I do consulting, own a web/software development company here in Minneapolis, and had a successful exit from my previous venture).
Gail Gibson hit the nail on the head with her answer: NETWORK!
While places like SCORE are fantastic resources for the aspiring entrepreneur, I'm under the impression that it's not enough anymore to contact a virtual coach and have them explain a few concepts to you. You have to immerse yourself in to the startup culture and meet anyone and everyone you can!
My recommendation is to attend Meetup groups and find individuals with passionate, complementary mindsets to your own. Like Vince pointed out, make sure you shed any connections that are dragging you down.
Lastly--and this may sound strange--but do some cold-calling. Business folk love receiving phone calls from genuine individuals who (for once) aren't trying to sell them office supplies or virtual services! My last investor was a gentleman from Los Angeles with whom I had spoken at a sporting event and had to leave before information was exchanged. I looked up his office number, gave him a shout, and (long story short) raised quite a bit of money from/through him.
If your idea has promise, you shouldn't have to do much else other than get the word out. Qualified people will find it captivating and will want to help you! Don't default to paid mentor services--the most beneficial contacts are out there waiting for you!
It might sound simplistic, but all pitching aside, click on "Experts" in the menu bar, type in the search bar "Business coaching" and if you want someone local, search in just your local area, if not, remove the area search and click search.
Alternatively, there are three mentors advertising in the Marketplace.
You've taken an excellent first step, David. Many entrepreneurs and business owners never stop to ask for help, and that attitude can cost them a bundle.
I would suggest you talk with a few coaches - several of us have replied here, so that's a good place to start. You might prefer to find one who has experience in a number of industries, and with with businesses of varying sizes. Definitely look for one with experience in early business phases.
I am certain several of the coaches replying here fit those requirements (I would be one of them, and surely not the only one on this list). If this is your first time as a business owner (or if you have not been successful in the past) be sure to find a coach who can help you work on your personal "business focus" - that necessary shift from the work (the job at hand) to the business (strategic decisions, etc.). In my experience, many businesses fail because new business owners (and even some long-term owners) fail to make this shift.
Being in your current position and having been there for quite some time the only advice I can honestly give is don't give up. I still have yet yo find funding help for my ideas, innovations and inventions but I know that one day, that person or persons will be uncovered. Keep plugging away, a brighter day is coming.
Network. Network. Network. Consider who you already know, who inspires you and shares your values.
You mention "multiple ideas".
A tip: Concentrate like a laser on the one, single, most commercial idea in your quiver. Any good consultant, mentor or investor will confirm this. Once you are successful it is much easier to replicate that success over and over. This is what all successful serieal entrepreneurs do.
Start with informal mentors who believe in your idea and add relevant expertise---fundraising experience, deep industry knowledge, product development expertise, or whatever your gaps are. Often, the best mentors come from your network---in my own business, they were 2nd-degree connections who were introduced to me (friends who heard about my business and said 'you should really talk to...').
And, once you establish the relationships and see the value they can bring, consider formalizing an Advisory Board, where you give your high-value advisers stock options (typically vesting over 2 years) to recognize their contributions.
Here is a link to a seasoned business veteran that offers mentoring. He has been my mentor for several years and I can truly say that Robert Nitschke has been invaluable to me.
First, my advice is: be sure you are in a business that you know well and one in which you have experience. I would strongly stay out of a business in which you have no experience. Rely on associates and friends that are in a similar business for their advice. Read many books and journal articles written by CEO's in the same business and take notes. Consider their advice. There are college classes on starting a business, sit in on them or take them if you can. DO NOT let, or expect, someone else to run your business if you know little about it. There is an excellent chance you'll get robbed. Talk to your accountant and ask what are the major problems and reasons businesses go bankrupt. DON'T put up your house to borrow money. If possible, DON"T BORROW MONEY, PERIOD! You'll have many sleepless nights. Six or seven new businesses go bankrupt the first year. The less debts you accumulate, the greater chance you have in succeeding. Good Luck and if I may be of any other more assistance, feel free to contact me.
Al Tuve, CEO, American Speed Reading Corporation.
Well, David, mentoring means different things to many of us, it truly mean so many things at various business levels to many of us? First, you need to be clear on your business goals you want or need to achieve. What is it, you are Selling? Marketing? Producing? Pricing? Performing? Publishing? Which talent (people) will drive your vehicle and pool services and products you wish to manufacture/produce/serve to the public? Who are your clients/stakeholders/end-users, and how good is the service/product in terms of quality, quantity, measurements??? Starting a business requires, an absolute commitment, loyalty, determination, understanding of your products/services and the end-users buy-ins; You must raise above all odds to see the process through, and enjoying what you do. There is so much risk-taking in the process of establish a new business. You must raise up and man up to all business challenges, risks and scams-on-line; betrayal, mistrusts and never give up. Strive for success and become it, and retain success 24/6 and take a good rest on SABBATH. Wishing you the very best David. Contact me should you need assistance and partnership.
You have to choose some funding option. During funding quest you will refine yours ideas and separate good ones from "not so good" ones.
I think the best and the rigth way is to find Mentor that will asscort you from the "start to the start". Mentor which will be there for you when ever you need him.
Maentor which will lern to know you and will guide you as it like he is doing it for himself.
Hell David , What kind of company you are planning to make , tell me .I may help you in that .
Well David join the ranks of many in building a business. There is no easy answer and usually no easy way to find a mentor/coach/consultant. and there are many factors to consider.
First DO NOT go to your family or friends they are biased and if anything goes wrong you both loose.
If you believe that because you have a great idea people will come running with money and help think again, this will not happen. Like you everyone needs money and has little time. There are only 86,400 seconds in a day so how do we use them.
SCORE can help but do expect much and nothing that is FREE is truly Free. By that I mean you always get what you pay for and that will be with bad info, lack of commitment or ???
Even those of us who are responding are taking time from our busy day to give you this info. I have started many companies some win and some loose. What you need is money, talent, perseverance and a dedicated mentor. You will move quickly if you have the $$$ to pay for help otherwise it will be a very slow and very possibly unrewarding experience.
Watch Shark Tank to get a real idea of what an investor looks for even though there is more to it than that. I'm know this all sounds pessimistic, but it is the real world. If you can stay positive through all the hoops you will have to go through and all the time you will need to dedicate to your project you have a chance.
Again I'll reiterate if you don't have enough funds to support yourself and pay for help you chances of success are slim. Good luck.
David, You mentioned you have multiple ideas. I would suggest select one only that you are passionate and most confident about. Mold it into a business model. Keep the others on the back burner and build them after you finish developing and have the first operating properly. Having multiple ideas keep you from painting a picture to potential investors. People need to see the idea through conversation and the verbiage in your plan. You need to have a clear vision or concept to sell it.
Score would be a great start. Another is to find someone that can mentor you or coach you through the process that you know in a similar business.
Starting a business isn't hard if you put thought into a plan. Look at all your options, have a back up plan if things dont go as planned. and most importantly take action!!
I believe you need to have a good attorney as well as a good accountant. Not the most expensive ones but they certainly need to understand your business. Best of Success! Gil