It is important to determine the starting point when embarking on a business development project. Assessing the key people in the company, examining the products/services the business offers and combining these results with the company management profile gives a concrete picture of the company’s current opportunities on the market as well as its strengths and weaknesses.
A Business mentor is a business development professional who combines a precise, consultancy project approach with a people-centred approach. As such, by developing the customers, a mentor is able to help them achieve their business objectives.
Mentors must not only have a background in business development consultancy but also have the skills required for coaching. In Hungary, the term is not used much in the business world but it is more and more widespread in Western Europe. Nevertheless, there are more and more forums focusing on this topic, such as interactive discussions and conferences, and nowadays it is not unusual to come across mentors like this at successful companies.
A business mentor is in actual fact a direct advisor to the customer (company manager), who, based on business development experience, can help him/her achieve specific business development goals. They also coach the customer so that once the development project is over the company can move forward and the company manager can maintain control of the company. This business relationship is based on 24-hour-a-day cooperation and the focus is on developing the company manager.
The development project will cover areas which managers must be familiar with in order to manage the company effectively, such as:
The goal of a mentor is simple – the customer must make a profit, increase the company’s market share and build up an image in line with his/her objectives. However, at the same time, the customer’s personality must develop to such a level that he/she is able to be fully in control of the business which has increased its profits.
For this reason, the mentor should provide the following services at the very least:
When it comes to mentoring, we only believe in long-term relationships. I have worked as a Mentor since 2002. In my opinion good mentors do not have too many mentoring assignments throughout their career, because people who manage to build strong business relationships hold on to them, and customers hold on to their mentors. I still mentor my very first customer and we have been working together now for 12 years. I have had 5 mentorees over a period of 12 years, but even the newest one started over 1 year ago. Mentoring is a huge responsibility and mentors should only work with a limited and carefully-selected number of clients as mentors and mentorees become an important part of each other’s lives.
A Business mentor is an incredibly close business partner with whom customers talk about their secrets, as everything that happens, and everything the customer does or thinks has an effect on the business. The goal is very clear – the company, or companies depending on the customer – must develop.
The mentor’s identity and his/her goals are never publicised. Most information is confidential and remains between mentor and client.