When to use a business mentor

“Business mentoring” is one of those newish fads that has creeped up on the commercial community in the past few years.

In Israel, the Ministry of Industry actively encourages small and medium businesses to use mentors. The cost is subsidised by up to 75% and the paperwork is relatively painless. In the UK, the new government has taken active steps along similar aims. Despite recent initial criticisms, the project is moving forward.

The question is when to turn to a business mentor. Recently, I held a preliminary meeting with a potential client, where I felt the need to be very frank. I asked them to demonstrate their level of future intent to the project discussed. There was a possibility that we would be wasting each other’s time, a precious resource in itself.

The Institute of Independent Business has over 5,000 associates in over 20 countries, many providing direct support for those in need of mentoring. A fellow associate is Bill Cunningham from Shepperton, London. Bill has drawn up a simple check list for mentors to ask before taking on a client.

Many of these issues can be turned on their head and used by the person considering such a service.

  1. Can you provide an agreed statement of requirements?
  2. Do you have a top priority?
  3. What is your timescale and why?
  4. What is your sincere and genuine commitment?

Bill’s longer discussion is worth reading in full.

I would add one other point: “Why are you here”? This seemingly innocuous question tends to prod people towards some very revealing answers.

Explore posts in the same categories: Business, Israel

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