Mentorship: the Best Method to Accelerate Small Business Growth

Over the years, many studies have been conducted to help entrepreneurs find the best methods in which to build their businesses and accelerate growth. One of the most consistently successful methods is mentorship. This method is not only powerful but is an extremely effective strategy to employ within a company to avoid failure, increase workplace happiness, optimize recruitment, boost revenue, and attract investors to name only a few. 

Mentorship is a two-way street. Being fully present and committing to the lessons learned are essential in a mentor-mentee relationship. Studies have shown that 30% of businesses without mentorship fail in one year and 50% will fail in five years. But how exactly can something as simple as mentorship help a business thrive? 70% of mentored businessesnot only succeed but thrive after over five years. Here are a few ways in which incorporating mentoring into a company can help it succeed. 

Identifying Weaknesses

When starting your business from the ground up, it can become easy to have tunnel vision and overlook critical opportunities that could take your business to the next level. A mentor can give an objective opinion based entirely in fact. Mentors should challenge the established norm and seek better ways for you to conduct your business. Remaining stagnant in an ever-changing work environment can be detrimental to your business and strategy. 

Expanding Your Network

To grow a business, investors need to know your company exists and has merits that are deemed safe to invest their money in. A mentor brings in a new network of connections, such as contractors, clients, industry leaders, and investors, with them and can introduce you and other co-workers to highly useful professionals. The more business professionals you have in your circle, the more you can learn about a wide variety of aspects that may affect your business in the present or future. 

Boosts Recruitment and Promotion Prospects

Companies that implement mentorship into their culture become much more desirable for potential employees. By giving employees the opportunity to increase their skills and potentially obtain a promotion to a position that will boost their careers, the company can increase workplace happiness and employee retention. A recent study showed mentoring increase pay raise prospects by 20% and promotions by five times the standard rate. Mentors are also more likely to receive promotions as well. 

Increased Employee Confidence and Skillset

Mentoring can happen with any group or pair regardless of age or position within a company. Mentorship is often a learning experience and an opportunity to grow personally and professionally for all parties involved. Managers/leaderscan learn new skills and how to become a more effective communicator. Employees learn how to communicate their needs and ambitions and ultimately acquire new skills that are essential to their goals. Ongoing education and mentorship increase confidence, skills, and performance levels which can only have a positive impact on a company’s growth, especially in its formative years. 

Increased Revenue

Due to the increased performance levels, workplace happiness, and newly enhanced skillsets of employees, companies often experience increased revenue as a direct result of incorporating mentorship into their culture. Analyses have shown that, on average, businesses increased their annual revenue by 83% when using mentorship hand-in-hand with their business strategy as opposed to 16% for those who did not. 

Almost every startup and small business can massively benefit from mentorship in some shape or form throughout their growth process. Few companies succeed without this key tool, and as a result, more companies are incorporating this method to increase their competitiveness within their markets. Whether your company chooses to utilize this method frequently or on a yearly basis, the results and data clearly show your business will positively benefit from mentorship.

Originally published on AlvinHopeJohnson.net

4 Thoughtful Gifts for Your Mentor

With the holiday season in full swing, the pressure to find the perfect present for everyone your list is on, including your mentor. Exchanging gifts in the professional world is a little different than the traditional exchange with family and friends, so you want to be sure you’re maintaining that important balance of thoughtful and appropriate. Depending on how well you know your mentor, this might be easier said than done.

Here are a few suggestions, however, that you can get your mentor to show you appreciate them, no matter who they are:

Travel Mug

Everyone needs a good travel mug, regardless of whether or not there’s coffee in it. Good Housekeeping put together a list of the top performing mugs they could find, and any one of them would make a good gift for your mentor. This list is especially helpful in that all of the suggested items are reasonably priced, and won’t break the bank. A Hydro Flask is especially a good option, as they’re stainless steel and vacuum-insulated, so your drink will stay as hot or as cold as when you first poured it.

Unique Bookends

If your mentor is the type that likes to keep books on display, consider getting them some new bookends! Bookends are a great way to show personality or add some color into a room. The Joss and Main website has some great, affordable choices to fit anyone’s interests. The Gordon Corbel bookends would be sure to instantly add a little style.

Rocketbook Notebook

A nice notebook is always a great choice, but consider a twist on an old classic: a Rocketbook. These notebooks come with the ability to wipe clean all with a damp cloth. Definitely include a Pilot FiXion pen to make sure your mentor can reuse it. The nice thing about these notebooks is that you can easily send its contents to Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, or wherever you keep your files, all through the app on a smartphone.

Of course, a leatherbound notebook is never a bad choice, either, if your mentor is a little more old school!

A Bento Box

For the mentor who likes to pack everyday, a beautiful new bento box is a perfect idea. These monbento MB Original bento boxes are dishwasher safe, microwave safe, and BPA free. They’ll make bringing lunch to work fun, and your mentor will think of you everytime they use them.

4 Thoughtful Gifts for Your Mentee

Find the right present for anyone can be a challenge, but it can be even harder in a professional setting when your relationship isn’t entirely established, yet. Finding the right present for your mentee, for example, can be tricky, if you are still getting to know them and want to strike the right balance of personal without being too forward.

Luckily, there are plenty of options that will offer a meaningful impact and without placing a huge financial burden on you. Here a few suggestions to consider:

Homemade Goodies

You can never go wrong with homemade baked goods. After all, everyone needs to eat! A homemade treat means that you put time and effort into your present. If your mentee doesn’t get to go home very often, a homemade meal or dessert will be especially well-received. Of course, it might be easier to order something and have it delivered, but making something yourself just conveys that extra sense that you care.

A Shared Experience

Sure, you could give your mentee something wrapped up in a bow, but it’s also not a bad idea to give a present in the form of an experience. By spending time with your mentee, you’re showing you’re taking an active interest in their life and the things they enjoy. Something like attending a holiday concert or even just grabbing a cup of coffee is meaningful because you set aside time especially for them.

Volunteering

The holidays are the perfect time to give back to the community and instill those values in your mentee, and there will always be people who need help. Serve at a soup kitchen together, or maybe bake some cookies together and deliver them to someone who deserves to feel appreciated. Visit a nursing home and spend time with the seniors who live there and might not get to see their families very often. The holidays can be a lonely time if you’re on your own, and reminding your mentee to show kindness and compassion is a gift that will stay with them for years to come.

Send Them a Card

Lots of people send cards around the holidays, and if you do, why not send one to your mentee? It’s a kind way to show you were thinking of them, and could keep the door open for further communication even after you go your separate ways. It’s a great way to keep in touch and up-to-date on the happenings in their life.

 

Originally posted at AlvinHopeJohnson.net!

Mutual Mentoring: Everyone Can Teach and Learn

The sharing of business knowledge and skills is shifting away from the master-disciple paradigm toward mutual mentorship that transcends position, gender and age. Mutual mentoring provides each colleague space to share ideas and learn from others. Mutual mentors support and invest in each other, even if they are from different generations or industries.

 

Most business leaders and professionals aspire to grow and better themselves. This is evident by the proliferation of books, videos, and conferences dedicated to personal development. The increasing popularity of these educational resources demonstrates that more individuals are committing to career and personal growth. However, more meaningful learning occurs when people come together and share with each other instead of merely listening to a teacher.

 

What does mutual mentoring look like? It can happen with seemingly unlikely allies, and it can happen quite successfully. These examples show the powerful synergy of sharing.

 

Cross-Generation

With five generations in our current workforce, we have vast stores of wisdom within our networks and spheres of influence. A treasure trove of insights on career experiences waits to be mined. Unfortunately, the more mature professionals have not always had a clear opportunity to impart their knowledge to the younger generations, nor have the newer workers been given an opening to share technologically efficient advancements with their elders. That is changing, though, and proactive leaders are fostering cross-generational mentorships that benefit everyone.

 

Cross-Function

Experienced employees can give historical insight and context while new employees can offer fresh perspectives on an organization. When these two groups forge mutual mentorships, enhanced understanding and unity of purpose result. Mentors may work in completely different levels of responsibility or function yet be able to provide counsel on projects and company politics. These relationships can be safe havens to discuss challenges and failures as well.

 

Cross-Industry

Professionals from different fields can offer different perspectives on situations peculiar to an industry. They can also share insights on universal issues such as human resource challenges, communicating with difficult clients, vendors, or bosses, and negotiating contracts. Gathering counsel and feedback helps empower fellow mentors to stretch themselves into new arenas.

 

Cross-Friendships

Some mutual mentorships are more organic than official, based simply on friendship. Friends who are successful or advancing in their careers can glean much from each other to grow personally and professionally. Close friendships help create an ideal environment in which to learn, love, and enjoy the journey of personal and professional development.

 

Originally posted at AlvinHopeJohnson.net