Entrepreneurs are a scrappy breed. For example, they’re able to live off Ramen noodles for months and months while business ramps up. They discover unique ways to game the system and pay less for shipping. And research shows that the majority of small businesses expect revenue growth every year. This perky optimism is impressive considering that 30% of new businesses fold within the first two years (by year five, half have gone under).
While the overall success rates may sometimes look daunting, there are advantages you can leverage to seriously improve the outlook for your business. First and foremost is getting a mentor.
If you’re not sure if you need a mentor, consider this: having a mentor can double your chances for business success. One study revealed that 35% of small business without a mentor succeeded after five years, while that percentage leaped up to 70% for those with a mentor.
Here are a few crucial ways having a mentor can give your business a boost:
Benefit from another’s experience.
If you were to ask five people the best way to save for your retirement, you could very well get five different answers. But wouldn’t it be great if you identified a person who had similar interests and priorities as you do, who was actually enjoying a successful retirement? Obviously, that’s who you’d most want to chat with.
There are countless answers to any question, but there’s a limited number of answers that will guide you to success. A mentor can guide you with hard-won wisdom, helping you avoid some of the same mistakes.
Grow your business network.
As Simon and Garfunkel once sang, “I am a rock, I am an island.” But, then again, their partnership has been called one of the most dysfunctional of all time. So rather than cutting yourself off from the world, connect with it.
There’s no better way to make impactful connections than to tap into a trusted mentor’s network. They’ve already done the work and made valuable friends, so if you play your cards right, you can get introductions when you need them.
Get a cheerleader.
The small business life is definitely a rollercoaster. There are exhilarating highs and stomach-churning lows. And sometimes the constant whipping around might even make you feel like you’re going to throw up.
Throughout the whole experience, it helps to have someone there who has been on the same rollercoaster many times and can help you anticipate some of the twists and turns. And, just as importantly, someone who can give you a hearty pat on the back when you successfully complete the track.