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.