Does Business Mentoring Really Work?

Sage Business Navigators surveyed 11,000 small and medium companies around the globe to learn their attitudes about business mentoring. “While an overwhelming majority [93%] recognise that mentoring can help them succeed, very few [26%] currently make use of business mentors.” This is spite of the fact that, according to Sage, “70 percent of small businesses that receive mentoring survive for five years or more, which is double the rate compared with non-mentored entrepreneurs.” 

What Is Business Mentoring 

A business mentor is someone who is successful in their own right. He or she provides the mentee with advice and guidance needed to operate a successful business. Having experienced the challenges themselves that the mentee faces enables them to guide the mentee to develop and improve business strategies.  

How Does Business Mentoring Differ from Business Coaching? 

Business mentoring is a relationship that generally takes a long view. Business coaching has a shorter-term focus by comparison. This isn’t to say that business coaching takes place over a short period of time.  A coach focuses on specific skill sets and goal achievement. There is no need to continue the relationship. A mentor shares his or her own experiences to help their mentee avoid pitfalls or recognize opportunities on an ongoing basis. 

The best explanation is given by Kerrie Dorman, founder of the Association of Business Mentors, in a recent LinkedIn video.   

A mentor is someone with first-hand experience, has ‘been there that done it and got the T-shirt’. I use the phrase ‘industry weathered’ which hopefully sums up the vision of someone who’s been out, fought the commercial elements and come out the other side. Mentors use this experience to support, guide and advise a mentee who wants to learn from their successes, and their failures. 

In contrast, a Coach is someone who has been taught specific set of skills, uses questioning techniques and honing their listening levels which ultimately empowers the coachee. Anyone can embark on that particular training; they don’t have to have had specific industry experience.” 

Business Mentoring for Results 

To answer the original question – does business mentoring work? – the survey by Sage Business Navigators certainly would indicate business mentoring for success is a worthwhile investment of resources. As they stated, 70 percent of small businesses that received mentoring were still viable after five years, double the non-mentored entrepreneurs. Having a trusted advisor, a confidante who has been in the same trenches you are in, someone to share their experiences – what worked and what did not, to be a sounding board is highly valuable.  

The fact that they are outside your environment gives them a perspective not found in conversations within the organization. For example, there is an issue you are working to resolve, You have a business meeting where this is discussed and there are several suggestions for the solution. Sharing these suggestions with your business mentor gives a fresh take based on his or her actual experience.  

Business mentoring for results in Wisconsin is the forte of Chisel ActionCOACH. More than 25 years of experience and a passion for and deep commitment to helping others succeed provides the platform for successful business mentoring. Results guaranteed!  


Sage Business Navigators Guide to Mentoring 

The Benefits of Finding and Using a Business Mentor 

What is the Difference Between a Business Coach and a Business Mentor?