07 Dec The Value of a Mentor in Business
The Importance of Having a Mentor
A mentor can play an important role in business. For a business owner, mentors can provide guidance and direction to help navigate the journey of starting a new company. For an employee, mentors often share their knowledge and advice to help them grow professionally. For example, an individual wanting to start their own accountant staffing business or an employee in an accountant staffing firm may seek the advice and guidance of an experienced CFO, Controller, or bookkeeper/payroll specialist on how to succeed in the accounting and finance world.
As a business owner, you need every advantage you can get to help you succeed. Having a mentor can give you an edge over your peers. Most successful individuals in business understand they don’t have all the answers and they can’t do it alone.
Here are some reasons business owners may want to seek out a mentor.
- Mentors can provide network opportunities. A lot of new business owners go out of business because as a start-up, it is very difficult to acquire your first set of clients. A mentor can help new business owners develop their clientele by recommending them to networks already developed over the course of their own career. For example, a new accountant staffing start-up company, trying to acquire bookkeeping and payroll clients, would benefit from the networks of a mentor who is already established in the accounting industry, therefore, giving them the edge that sets them apart from the rest.
- Mentors help fine tune ideas. As a business owner, you are constantly thinking of new ideas to help grow and increase profitability of your business. A mentor is there to help bounce off ideas, filtering the bad ones from the good, helping you avoid similar mistakes they may have made along the way in their own career. For example, a bookkeeping company trying to integrate payroll into their services may benefit from speaking to an established accountant staffing firm to discuss if it would be a profitable addition to their business.
- Mentors provide encouragement. Most business owners experience some form of setback over the course of their careers. Mentors help you stay focused and keep your eye on the prize, helping you adjust along the way. For example, an accountant staffing business owner trying to learn how to navigate social media marketing, may turn to a colleague they have known for years and simply ask for advice.
Employees can also benefit from having a mentor.
- Mentors provide advice on how things are done. Most graduates joining the workforce need guidance on transforming what they learned in the classroom to applying it in a real-world business setting. A mentor can help advise in certain skills such as communication, organization, and time management. They can also provide guidance on the hierarchy of the workplace, showing you the ropes and how to perform specific business tasks. This helps minimize errors and increase productivity. For example, an accounting graduate starting their first role in an accountant staffing business may need direction on how to write a business email, communicate on the phone, or prepare for meetings.
- Mentors can provide suggestions and insight on career opportunities. For example, a mentor can advise a new accounting graduate or an experienced bookkeeper/payroll specialist to acquire their accounting designation, as this can expand career opportunities.
Whether you are a business owner or an employee, there are benefits to having a mentor. It is important to remember, a mentor can take on many forms, from a teacher to a professor, from a colleague to a boss, from a friend to a family member. Whoever it is, stop and listen to what they have to say. It may make all the difference.
Kelly Johnstone, CA, CPA(Illinois)
CEO | KLM Financial
Office: 902-334-2402 | Mobile: 902-401-4428
1496 Bedford Highway Suite 101, Bedford NS, B4A 1E5