Starting up your own business is a tough gig, so tough in fact that the failure rate of a start up is much higher than those that go on to be successful businesses and brands. Here are some startling facts for you:
- 30 to 40 per cent of all startups need to liquidate all assets, with investors losing most or even all of the money they put into the company.
- 70 to 80 per cent of startups will never see a return on their investment
- 90 to 95 per cent of startups will always short fall of the projections that they set for themselves
That is a scary thought that half of the people that start something will need to end that venture and come out worse for wear on the other side. Which is where mentoring comes in.
So what exactly is a mentor? In the most basic of terms, a mentor is someone [an individual usually] that is more experienced than you are at something that helps and guides another person’s development.
One of the most valuable assets that you can have within your business is a good mentor, they can help take that start up idea or basic failing business and guide you on how to transform it into a successful venture. Multi -millionaire and BRW Young Rich List member Dorry Kordahi is an advocate mentoring in the startup space, “I think mentoring is an important part of any start up company. If you can leverage off the knowledge of people that have gone through the hard yards it will only add value to what you are doing”.
Kordahi started his business DKM when he was 26, he is a self made success that failed his HSC and now oversees an international operation turning over millions of dollars a year, not to mention in between doing all this he found time to pencil in “Power to Act” a book about his entrepreneurial journey that aims to inspire young business owners everywhere. He also mentors a range of start up and small business owners, a service that is in very high demand.
So how do you find a good startup mentor? What should you be looking for?
Firstly, they must be successful and ideally within a similar industry to you, or at least understand the industry. Now all because someone is a coach or a speaker and has been doing that gig for ten years does not make them the perfect mentor for you. What you should be looking for is someone with a track record, that has the runs on the board that you are after – only then will you be inspired and take on truely take their guidance.
Secondly, you want someone that has a great network – a hermit millionaire might be a really nice person, but they are not going to be able to connect you with people that can offer you business and ideas a strategic partnership to leverage off and move it to the next level. Networking and connecting also allows you to gauge the temperature of your ideas.
The final and perhaps one of the most important things that you should be looking for is their personality – do they have one? because it is important that they do – you can not learn from people with which you have no rapport. You should be looking for someone that is willing to push you and challenge you – and whilst they are doing this, they should also have the skills to support you.
Having a mentor helps keep you on track – Keeping on track makes your business money.
Do you have a mentor in your startup?