Why A Mentor Is A Must In A Startup?

startup mentors

There are many startup mentors in India. Since the last two decades, our Indian market has unlocked many fresh and prevailing opportunities to begin their own business and attain success.

A mentor is a person whose life or work an entrepreneur values and admires, and who he/she thinks might be a helpful and valuable guide. Nowadays, a mentor can be of any age, in any field or industry. Working with a mentor delivers countless benefits. Not only will an entrepreneur receive suggestion, advice, and help when trying to decipher challenging problems but they’ll also be able to uphold their mentor’s extensive network of contacts for new partnerships, employees and clients.

Tabish Sangrar, a founder and mentor to early-stage startups, offers a three-point guide. “The right mentor is someone a) who has navigated the same problems that the startup is trying to solve b) undertaken the same journey that the startup wants to take, and c) with a deep understanding of the domain the startup is in and can provide a profound perspective shift and effect directional changes.”

Finding the Perfect Startup Mentor is Hard, but not Unthinkable. 

Having the right startup mentor is significant and is the foundation for having a successful startup. Mentorship is a valuable resource for the growth of an entrepreneur.

A great mentor that understands the purpose and objective an entrepreneur has and evaluates to help him/her achieve it is difficult to find. Before an entrepreneur begins finding the right startup mentor who can help him/her scale their startup venture, they need to realise other vital factors.

Having a mentor from the same industry base and in the specific area of your startup will help entrepreneurs understand the difficulties and complications of their business and give them comprehensive guidance to grow their startup.

An extraordinary mentor can give entrepreneurs a manual of sects. It is a tried and tested process that when imitated will potentially produce similar results. Entrepreneurs can avoid most mistakes they would have made and instead get to the end goal, more satisfied and much less pressure. 

To Approach a Mentor, You Need To-

Look for people who you admire. Someone you can learn from and who has the experience. As in the entrepreneurs’ case, someone who has experience in supporting startups. Entrepreneurs can ideally identify people [mentors] around them, who they already know, as friends, other family members, business associates, colleagues, seniors, teachers etc.

Entrepreneurs can get acquainted with people they don’t know personally, but they look up to in their business or space. Maybe someone experienced and retired, who can guide them.

Once the entrepreneur makes his list, then they can start contacting them and see who best fits their prerequisite.

An entrepreneur could look online at job boards Naukri, Indeed etc. and sites as Linked- In, Quora and others. 

Also, search for mentors/coaches on the Internet. There are specific sites -that have coaches/mentors registered online. Mention specifically on ‘what you are looking for’ i.e. areas where you need mentoring’ – in your case guidance for entrepreneurship. 

Remember that there are paid and free mentoring services, but it depends on what the entrepreneur is looking at. Also, mentoring /coaching can also be done online. If you find someone from a different city/country, you can get mentoring through skype or similar apps.

Entrepreneurs should look at feedback or ratings given to them by other entrepreneurs when approaching a mentor. For any entrepreneur, inputs from other entrepreneurs who confronted the same problem are critical. Mentors are busy, and they too have their focus areas. If they have helped an entrepreneur for a specific question, it’s quite likely they will help others also.

Earn the Most Value from a Mentor

If an entrepreneur wants to learn the best out of a mentor, then the stunt is not to mould what they do, but rather how they establish frameworks to reach the outcomes. Every circumstance is different, and the particular entrepreneur scenario will consistently be different. 

Accordingly, when connecting with a business mentor and approaching questions, entrepreneurs should frame the difficulty to learn from their past experiences and apply them to themselves. For example, if an entrepreneur has a mentor and needed some help with fundraising their first round of money, rather than asking what they should personally do to raise money, ask “How did you raise your first round of money?”

Understand what makes a good mentor, pick them thematically, appreciate the key goals and pick mentors accordingly. Entrepreneurs should choose mentors just a few grades above them professionally and make sure they bring something to the table, but don’t shy away from pure digital interactions. The knowledge that changes an entrepreneurs’ business can come from all mediums with focused goals and great mentors.

CONCLUSION

Entrepreneurship is not an easy task, and someone who has stepped into that path can understand the various issues and guide other entrepreneurs appropriately. An ideal mentor is someone who has built a company from idea to exit. A business mentor’s special duties can vary significantly based on each business’s individual needs. Some businesses secure mentors at the initial stage and work with them throughout many years, and others use mentors for short-term or specific issues.

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