27th November, 2015
Starting a business on your own can be a daunting task to say the least, and many people are discouraged by the idea of having to manage every aspect of the venture themselves. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as a multitude of support networks have been put in place up and down the country to help guide and advise you in every aspect of business.
The value of expert mentoring is something that should not be underestimated. According to research by the Federation of Small Business, 70% of entrepreneurs that receive mentoring survive for five years or more, which is double that of non-mentored entrepreneurs.
Even if you know your product and target market inside out, this doesn’t necessarily guarantee success, as there is still a lot to do after the initial stages of product development. Every start-up business has access to a support network and they should take full advantage of it. Support networks and expert help from mentors will not only help your business to grow, but to thrive.
Mentoring is a relatively new concept for businesses, but it is something that has become readily available over the past few years through various business support networks. It is usually provided by established business owners who want to give back to the local business community and help entrepreneurs succeed. Let’s have a look the different ways in which expert mentoring can give you the best chance of success.
You know the goals for your business and you know your product inside-out, but you may need assistance with marketing, financial planning or developing a business plan. Working in these unfamiliar areas will most likely bring about complex problems that you may not have encountered before. This is where your expert mentor steps in. Your mentor will be able to guide you through these problems so that you can learn how to get past them and eventually tackle these tasks yourself.
Your mentor will also be able to identify areas that may need a lot of attention, areas that you may not have even considered, all helping your business to gain a competitive edge. Having a trusted person to talk to when your business is encountering problems is also very important and a reliable mentor is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Your mentor will be able to give you an honest opinion and will be on hand to talk you through any problems that may arise.
One of the common barriers for start-ups is business planning. If you are applying for a start-up loan or grant, you will need to ensure that your business plan is up to scratch. You will need someone to provide a second opinion and there is no one better to do this than a start-up expert. Starting a business isn’t an easy task, but can be made easier by taking advantage of the support available. You’re not alone, and you’re not the only person who wants to see your business succeed!
Written by Tara Gillam, Business West
The Start & Grow programme will support you and your business through the start up stages and for a further 3 years after you commence trading. Contact your local Cavendish partner for more information.
* statistics from CEEDR Report – ‘Research to understand the barriers to take up and use of business support’ undertaken for the Department for Business Innovation and Skills – July 2011.
Start & Grow is funded by the Regional Growth Fund, and delivered in specific areas across England by the Cavendish Consortium partners.