Business Mentors:  a secret weapon behind thriving businesses!


Business Mentors:  a secret weapon behind thriving businesses!

We are all aware of the numerous challenges business owners face when running a business.  These challenges can be grouped into three key areas being:

  1. Having the skills and experience needed across every aspect of the business:
    Most businesses are started by people that have an idea, skill or passion for a particular product or service. Whilst they are often very good in their area, very few also understand or are highly proficient at HR, Operations, Finance and Sales & Marketing, which are basic requirements for every business owner to run a successful business.They often learn this knowledge and experience from first-hand situations, but this can be both costly and demanding for a business owner. Larger businesses will employ a large team of specialist managers who have the required skills in each of these specific areas, but for a smaller business who is yet to generate the profits to afford the large management team, this responsibility falls back onto the owner.
  1. Managing the business whilst dealing with personal conflicts, culture, and history;
    The second key challenge for a small business owner is that at some stage they are likely to need to make a choice between a sound business decision or maintaining a personal connection, which often occurs in small businesses who work with, employ, buy from or sell to family or friends.  Many times these personal relationships have been built up over many years and often a business owner continues with them despite knowing it is no longer the best outcome for their business. A perfect example of this is having a staff member in your business who has been there since the business started, however, they are not performing, are difficult to deal with or are causing issues, yet the owner continues to employ them through a sense of loyalty.
  1. Having the time to step out of the business and work on the business:
    The third key challenge for business owners relates to the old adage of “working on the business vs working in the business”. The daily pressures of getting work done, meeting deadlines and managing everything can take a toll on the efficiency of the business. It also means that there is not the time to identify the issues, (Refer the boiling frog syndrome) let alone focus on what can be done to improve performance.

This all means that a business owner needs to work smarter, not harder and that they need to ensure they have the right support.  Having a business mentor and a network of trusted experts can help business owners with the advice and support to address the challenges in these three key areas.

There is sometimes the perception that having a mentor means that a business is struggling and is looking to get back on track.  In reality, many thriving businesses use mentors as their secret weapon.

So what is a mentor?

A mentor is an experienced individual who employs their own knowledge and skills to help coach business owners through the challenges of running and growing a business.  They can provide experienced, challenging and non-biased advice that help make informed decisions for the business.  A mentor can also act in a similar way as an advisory board but at a one to one level that has the ability to be flexible in its approach.

How can a mentor help?

A mentor can make valuable contributions in these areas:

  • Identify issues within the business that may be impacting on overall performance
  • Provide direct assistance in solutions to remedy issues
  • Act as a sounding board for ideas and concerns & give thoughts on major business decisions
  • Coach the owner on how to achieve their own personal goals within the business environment and gain some sort of work-life balance
  • Setting goals, introducing new strategies and tracking process to ensure you understand how the business is tracking.
  • Assist with compiling a business plan
  • Drive performance and delivery of the business plan
  • Improve business sales and help you to find new opportunities
  • Provide linkages to other experts to assist in remedying issues

The benefits of having a mentor will vary from business to business and will range from utilising their business knowledge and experience right through to evolving both professionally and individually. Success for your business cannot be accomplished without both you and the business performing effectively.

Business mentors do come at a cost, but the cost to the business is only a fraction of employing a management team and represents a strong investment when you consider the financial return they can bring.  Business owners that get the most out of engaging with a mentor are ready for change and are committed to achieving strong results.  They also understand the effect that wasted time, money and valuable resources on ideas that may not be effective has on the business.

At dVT Strategy, we act as mentors to all of our clients and coach them through any issues that they may encounter. We ensure that our clients are kept accountable to their goals and are regularly challenged on their progress. As a result, we have seen a number of our clients achieve goals they originally deemed unobtainable and as a result, have received and enjoyed increases in their financial return.

If you or someone you know is worried about their business or would like to receive an objective view of how a business is performing; or are ready to take the business to the next level, contact Brendan Ryan at dVT Strategy on 02 9633 3333 or email