Becoming a business mentor is a great way to pass on your experience, knowledge and skills. It can also be a good way to boost professional development and personal growth. A business mentoring relationship should be a rewarding and fulfilling experience for both the mentor and the mentee.
Want to know how to become a business mentor in New Zealand and how to make the most of the experience? Read on!
What Does A Business Mentor Do?
Firstly lets establish what it is a business mentor actually does. While day to day tasks may vary there are some key things you can expect to provide.
- Feedback. This is a big one, and probably one of the most important ones. Providing unbiased feedback after observing, listening and generally taking an interest is probably one of the most valuable ways you can help your mentee.
- Evaluation and Guidance. Undertaking an in depth evaluation of the business will give a greater understanding of strengths and weaknesses, helping to identify areas of opportunity and improvement. From this comes the opportunity to offer your guidance on matters that have arisen. This one-on-one guidance is what most people think of when working with a business mentor.
A business mentor has the ability to remain removed from the day to day operations of the business, providing more of a removed perspective which can be useful when prioritising and making the tough decisions and ensuring the business is being managed in the most productive way.
Why Volunteer As A Business Mentor?
Generally speaking business mentors will be involved or have been involved in similar business industries or related business activities. From this past experience a mentor will have faced many of the highs and lows many business managers face over the course of starting up or continuing a profitable business.
Having figured out the tips and tricks of the trade yourself may mean your valuable experience can help other people avoid certain pitfalls and mistakes while encouraging progress and growth.
The benefit of using your these skills and knowledge to help others is the strengthening of existing businesses within the community as well as the facilitating economic stability and contributing to creating employment.
How To Become A Business Mentor
In New Zealand there are a number of ways to go about developing a professional mentoring relationship. It is important to first firmly establish exactly what type of Mentor/Mentee business relationship you are looking for. Think about industry associations, start-ups, community and social impact, location and the possibility of having to provide on-going support.
- Business Networks. If you belong to a network or organisation within your industry this can be a good place to start. These relationships tend to be more on the informal side but are still just as beneficial.
- Inter-Company. There is also inter-company mentoring which can be a really good way to pass along key knowledge within the company, while building stronger professional relationships internally.
- Mentoring Associations. Using a reputable mentoring association can also be a good way to find the right mentee. In New Zealand a good place to start is the Business Mentors Association, or the Community Mentors website.
- Paid Professionals. There are companies in New Zealand that provide professional mentoring services for a fee. These services are useful for all types of businesses and have an established background in mentoring and coaching businesses to reach their full potential, it may be possible to affiliate yourself with one of these.
Your ultimate goal as a business mentor is to empower your mentee with constructive but challenging questions and advice so they can move forward and make their own decisions. As a business mentor the experience can be very rewarding, but it can also provide opportunities for personal and professional growth and development.