Do you have systems and strategies in place to ensure your business could operate without you?
If you answered "NO" to one or more of these questions, we can help you. The Systems Mentor helps businesses like yours to develop processes and self sustaining systems to meet your goals within the above areas of your business.
The Systems Mentor is about ALIGNMENT!
By building your systems aligned with your values, purpose and strategic anchors you focus your efforts on activities that will give you the greatest return!
We help you build bespoke assets in your businesses to drive functions such as employee performance, customer experience, brand awareness and operational efficiency.
What do you have in your business to operate it while you’re not there?
Succeed during uncertainty with a small business mentor
It doesn’t matter if you started your business yesterday or if you’re a seasoned business owner; pandemics aren’t your usual business disruption. Many successful small business owners have found themselves stuck in a loop of managing an endless stream of problems as they arise, leaving less time for leading innovation and growth.
“Management is ensuring that the trains run on time; leadership is about
ensuring that they are headed to the right destination.” — O’Reilly and Tushman,
Lead and Disrupt (2016)
During times of uncertainty and change, business owners need to take the lead to help managers, employees and other stakeholders overcome their fears of the unknown, avoid transferring stress to the team and plan for the future.
There is no better way to achieve these goals than by having a small business mentoring service and mentor to rely on for support during pressured times.
What are the benefits of having a business mentor?
Like most successful small business owners you probably have an entrepreneurial spirit and a great reputation in the community for being amazing at what you do. I’ve also found that many business owners have great ideas for their businesses, but then never really implement them for one reason or another.
A mentor is a trusted adviser and confidant, not a business coach. A mentor can give you an unbiased look at how to handle tough situations, strategy plan scenarios from another mindset and be the voice of reason you need if you have an issue staying on track and focusing on the bigger picture.
A mentor can also provide opportunities for you to expand your professional network of referral sources, business support professionals and services.
I have grown to be more responsible and aware because of my mentors, making system shifts and avoiding pitfalls that helped me get to where I am today.
Scenario planning from a different perspective
It can be overwhelming when you look around and contemplate that you simply don’t know what you don’t know. Having a mentor can be an invaluable resource to help you identify knowledge gaps and grow as a businessperson.
Scenario planning is an indispensable tool for small business owners to equip themselves well for the future and a key skill in a great mentor’s repertoire.
Does your company know what to do if COVID-19 spreads to staff or if a critical third party suddenly shuts down?
Testing your pandemic response plan is the tip of the iceberg and a great mentor can give you unbiased insight into planning more broadly for the future.
How do I choose a mentor?
Having a plan in place and understanding what kind of relationship you want with your mentor is a good place to start. The relationship between you and your mentor is both professional and personal and you’ll want a mentor who can hold you accountable even when you don’t want to hear it.
It can be tempting to choose a mentor with a similar skill set, but in reality, you should look for someone who can fill the gaps in your knowledge. Choose a mentor with whom you feel comfortable sharing your vision, business plan, your numbers, your problems, and your successes.
While your mentor can offer advice on the steps you need to take to create and maintain your vision, it is your responsibility to respect the mentor’s time, implement recommendations and follow up by tracking the results.
If you want to learn more about how a business mentor can help your business adapt to change and develop systems and processes to drive continuous improvement in the long term, please leave your comments below or contact me.
Small Business Mentoring Service
Find A Specialist In Your Industry To Help You Succeed!
If you’re serious about growing your business, finding an expert mentor is one of the best decisions you can make. Here is a list of questions to ask when you are considering whether or not to engage a mentor.
Find a mentor in your niche who is already doing well. Ask around. Word of mouth is still the best way to locate a mentor. Do you know of someone who has achieved massive success in your niche and would be willing to share some of their wisdom? If so, contact that person and see if they will mentor you. Don’t be afraid to ask. Most people will be flattered and honored to have someone ask them to be a mentor to someone younger and less experienced.
Remember this: There is no such thing as a truly “one size fits all” approach to business. Every entrepreneur is on a unique journey and requires a unique set of skills and guidance. Don’t expect to find all the answers by trying to learn from someone who is just starting out themselves. By the same token, don’t limit yourself to only those individuals who have already achieved great success either. There is always someone who is much more experienced than you who can offer sage advice.
So ask around. Chances are, there is at least one person in your niche
When you think about it, there is no one better to learn from than someone who has already achieved a certain level of expertise – someone who has been there before you. And yet, most people (including me) are reluctant to engage a mentor because of many hurdles… including they simply aren’t sure what questions to ask.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What type of mentor do you want? (An Entrepreneur? A Businessman? A Professional?)
- How much guidance do you need? (A Little? A Lot? All You Can Handle?)
- How will you know if the mentor is “right” for you? (My suggestions: Look for someone with a lot of successes to point to, someone who has an upbeat and positive attitude, someone who has something important to teach even if you don’t want to learn it, someone who is honest and doesn’t have a hidden agenda, someone who is accessible… and… someone who can provide you with honest, objective feedback.)
- What should you look for in a good mentor? (Someone Who Has Been There And Backed Up Numerous Times, Someone Whose Priorities Are Your Priorities, Someone With Similar Core Values and Purpose.)
Questions to ask potential mentors:
- What would you do if you were starting over today?
- Who has been the most influential person in your business life? Why?
- Who or what has been your greatest business challenge? How did you overcome it?
- What do you wish you knew about growing a business before you started?
- What has been your biggest business mistake? How did you recover from it?
- What is the most valuable thing you have learned from another mentor?
- What is the one best business idea you have ever heard? Why didn’t you act on it?
- What is the most important element of a successful business?
- What is the most important decision you have to make as a business owner?
- What books have influenced you the most?
What Should You Look For In A Good Mentor:
There are many different types of mentors and guides you can choose from, including those who have already achieved your goal, those who have achieved a similar goal but have moved on to other things, those who may have reached a goal similar to yours but have no real understanding of how you might be able to achieve a better result, and those who don’t understand what it is you are trying to achieve in the first place.
A good mentor will help you achieve your goal faster and more efficiently than you could do by yourself. They will be honest with you, and won’t try to convince you that what they are suggesting is a good idea, unless it really is. They will challenge you, but in a constructive way. They will ask questions and have you bring out your best. The best mentors know that they won’t be your mentor forever and their goal will be to grow you so you don’t need them one day… you’ll need a new mentor. They guide your thinking in a structured and manner that aligns with your Vision and Mission and teach you to challenge your assumptions. Good leaders ask GREAT questions.
The most important quality you should look for in a mentor is honesty. Especially with regards to feedback.
Look for someone who has already achieved their goals and has started helping other people to achieve theirs.
Are You Ready To Do The Work And Make The Most Of The Relationship?
Engaging a mentor, whether paid or unpaid is a big commitment and investment on behalf for both parties. And let’s face it, this is where the rubber hits the road. If you don’t do the work you’re wasting both your money and your mentor’s time.
One of the first things to do is seek clarity. Do you both agree what was said that needs to be done? – Not necessarily on what actually needs to be done! They are different, and can be influenced by the honesty of the mentor and your ability to see your weaknesses. Clarity is essential to ensure you both have the same expectations of what will be done between now and your next meeting.
Part of seeking clarity is Discernment.
Your mentor will have ideas about what you should be doing that aren’t the same thing as what you’re actually doing. That’s why it’s so important to ask questions. You need to learn how to discern between what you think you should be doing and what your mentor is actually suggesting you should be doing.
We all have a tendency to procrastinate when it comes to planning and executing the steps that are needed to get our business off the ground. However, without a strong foundation, we’re unlikely to see any real progress in the months and years to come. Therefore map out the steps that need to be taken to remove the requirement to create them yourself. Thinking is the hardest work that you’ll do. If you can get help from your mentor to do the hard stuff (the thinking), it makes it easier for you in the long run.
Make the hard decisions:
Your business mentor can help you get a clear picture of what needs to be done and who will need to do it. However, it’s up to you to be the one making the decisions that bring about the changes needed in order to achieve your goals. While cashflow is the lifeblood of a business, decisions are the brain of a business. The brain is essential for life and it requires both information coming in to it to be assimilated and information going out of it to make a reaction. Don’t choke on the hard decisions… remember that often even a bad decision is better than no decision at all! Make your decisions an iterative process. (Plan, Do, Check, Act… Plan, Do, Check, Act, and continue). Always measure the success of your decisions and look at how you can improve.
You have to create a sense of urgency for yourself and others around you to get started on a project. There is no magic bullet. No one can just tell you how to create a sense of urgency and make the most of the advice provided by your business mentor. However, if you are not creating a sense of urgency, you will never create a culture of accountability to follow through on the advice you have been given.
When you create accountability, you are giving people a reason to act in a certain way—and in the long run, it will help to push you to work harder and do better. As you go through your business mentor’s lessons, ask yourself what you need to do to apply the advice in your own life. You don’t have to know exactly how to do everything your mentor says, but you have to know why the advice is important to you and your business. If you find yourself not acting on the advice, ask yourself why not. Is it because you’re afraid of getting started or trying something new? Or maybe you feel that you don’t have time. The more you can uncover the reasons why, the easier it will be to act on the advice.
If you are ready to start making some real progress in your business, then we want to help you. And we’re here to do that. We’ve been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. If you’d like us to share some of our experiences, then let us know. We can make it happen.