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Research conducted by Simply Business, showed that even before Covid became a thing, business owners were already feeling isolated – a whopping 80% were reported to be suffering from some form of mental health issues and 66% said they were having disrupted sleep yet 44% had never accessed mental health support.

And according to Mental Health, post Covid depression rates increased from 37% to 50%.

Throw in additional challenges from escalating interest rates, inflation, disrupted job market, hybrid working, and the Ukraine conflict and it’s no surprise that many business owners are feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to go for help.

Whilst technical ‘how to’ advice is available from several sources when a business owner is in a state of stress and unable to focus, they may not know what questions to ask, or be able to see the issues clearly, without a different kind of help.

Hands-on professional mentorship doesn’t just address technical issues it can also offer support on an emotional level, helping to unravel any pain points and identify key issues. And unlike traditional consulting, a mentor will work with individuals to find solutions and will be there to help support the implementation.

A problem shared

Discussing the ins and outs of your business can be difficult for many business owners but there are many advantages to doing this with someone that is not directly involved.

“A problem shared, really IS a problem halved: Discussing problems with people in similar situations reduces stress levels” The Daily Mail

Business mentoring can be the way forward. It can help to alleviate pressure and provide emotional, unbiased support resulting in a happier, functioning team and a thriving business.

If you are still unconvinced, we have compiled eight great reasons for considering business mentoring:

 1 Confidence booster

“Great mentors give us a confidence boost in our abilities to set and pursue goals, create a life of meaning, and seek out new opportunities. Great mentors give us feedback on the choices that we are making to ensure that we are learning and growing” Psychology Today

If you are not a confident decision-maker and goal-setter, you will struggle to motivate your team and a de-motivated team is an unproductive one!

To be an effective leader you will need to exude confidence and maintain high motivation levels, even when things are tough. More on leadership skills can be found here What are leadership skills and how can business owners acquire them?

Working with a business mentor can help you to boost your confidence so you can make better decisions, take risks, get your team on board, and accomplish your goals.

2 A sounding board 

“Business mentors can listen and offer an opinion when asked, after all, they have probably been there and done that” Business Growth Hub

Having the ability to talk through issues with someone else outside your business, can help you to avoid acting in haste and making decisions that you may come to regret.

Whether you need to re-align your workforce, develop new products or services, or get to grips with your cash flow, working with a business mentor is someone you can bounce ideas off in complete confidence.

3 It’s good to be challenged

“Your ideal transformational mentor should be someone who resists providing you with quick answers, and prefers engaging you in conversation through which you can both learn and grow. Above all, they should challenge your assumptions and assertions, and help you think critically about the future.” Harvard Business Review

Most business owners have a clear idea of where they want to be but do not always know how to get there.

A good business mentor will know how to support, develop, stimulate, and challenge you.

They will be skilled in listening and know exactly what questions to ask to gain a good understanding of all aspects of your business. When they can see the whole picture, they will be able to challenge you to think about things differently.

4 Improve your business knowledge

“Mentors are not like advisers and consultants, who care only about the business venture. Instead, business mentors help you develop your business skills” Small Business Chron

Most business start-ups are a result of an individual’s passion, an in-depth knowledge of a particular service or sector, or because of the ability to see potential in a market.

There is no requirement to be adept at business and whilst skills may be acquired over time, when new economic challenges present themselves, a good grasp of business knowledge may not be enough to survive.

Business mentors will bring additional skills and experience to the table which will help you to improve your business knowledge.

5 Become a better leader 

“Whether you have 5 employees or 100, improving your leadership skills will almost certainly help to improve your bottom line.” Business Doctors

You may have previously believed that leadership skills are something you need only for a large enterprise, but this isn’t the case, effective leadership is key for any business to thrive, see our article The characteristics of effective leaders in business for more on leadership.

Business mentoring is a highly effective way to improve your leadership skills and go on to develop strong and productive teams.

6 The ability to solve problems

Many business owners often struggle to understand what the real problems are in their business because they are too involved. As a result, they end up spending too much of their time addressing minor issues.  It is easier for a third party, one that is not directly involved in the business, to spot critical issues.

By asking the right questions a business mentor can quickly get a good understanding of how your business operates.  Then drawing on their expertise and personal experiences they will work with you to find an effective way forward, one that will go on to have a positive impact on the business.

7 Better relationships 

“Remote work has been an adjustment (to say the least) for everyone, and its effect on our professional relationships has been just as significant as the impact on daily tasks. We believe an organizational commitment to mentorship can address these issues” Harvard Business Review

A business mentor will help you to be aware of the impact your behavior has on others. They will help you to delegate and build trust with your team.

Mentoring can help you to be more self-aware and confident which will have a positive impact on your relationships with others.

And a happy team is a productive team! As well as being more productive and enjoying improved relationships, happy staff are less likely to leave your business, so you have continuity and avoid the costly process of hiring and retraining.

8 Business growth

“76% of people who responded to a survey by Mentoring Matters said mentoring has been important to their business growth”

A government report launched in conjunction with Enterprise Nation, Newable, and the Association of Business Mentors found that 66% of businesses that had received mentoring said it had helped them survive, and three quarters (76%) said it had been key to their business growth

Business mentoring is not just about survival, mentored businesses will see many benefits, including increases in turnover, productivity, and employee numbers.

It’s OK to seek help

“Some of the most successful businessmen and women owe their success to mentors. Leading figures such as Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jo Malone have all talked publicly about the support they’ve received from mentors and how this has helped them to succeed” SME Web

It’s OK to seek help! If you are spending more time worrying about your business than the day-to-day running of your business, it may be time to get outside help.

A business mentor will provide you with confidential, impartial, non-judgemental support so you can focus on the right issues and get your business firing on all cylinders again.