Trying to grow your business or find innovative solutions to business challenges while you’re knee-deep in running the company can feel like an impossible task.
And this can be particularly true if you run a creative or technical business, especially where the company is heavily reliant on your skills and knowledge.
‘I need another one of me,’ you might say. But while a clone might give you a bit more capacity, would it really give you the added oomph of new initiatives and a different perspective? Working with a business adviser is a great way to inject that extra oomph into your business.
What to look for in a business mentor or adviser
A business adviser is someone with whom you will build a close working relationship, therefore the chemistry has to be right. An effective business adviser has to have good interpersonal skills such as listening, empathy and judgement, but there are also other specific qualities you might look for.
Based on a Lolly Daskal article about business mentors in Inc magazine, here are seven qualities that matter:
- Experience. Whatever issues you encounter, chances are your business adviser has already been through it and come out the other side. Learn from their experience and you can avoid many of the common pitfalls of creative and technical businesses.
- Fresh, unbiased opinions. A good business adviser gets to know your company inside out and integrates smoothly with your team – while still bringing that independent, external perspective. Because sometimes even the most creative thinkers need help to see the situation in a new way.
- Ability to motivate. Starting a business is exciting, and you probably uncovered levels of energy and enthusiasm you never knew you had. But when it comes to maintaining momentum, many owners struggle. A business adviser will teach you strategies to be more productive and stay motivated.
- Business connections. As the saying goes, it’s lonely at the top. Working with a business mentor is a fantastic way to broaden your network, meet like-minded business owners and maybe even discover new commercial partnerships.
- A champion. A business adviser builds a deep understanding of your career and life goals, and is behind you every step of the way as you work towards those goals – from making sure you fulfil your potential to celebrating your achievements.
- Provider of focus. In our experience, this is an area where owners of creative and technical businesses really welcome support. A good business adviser will work with you to clarify your vision and ensure the business doesn’t lose focus.
- Action- and outcome-orientated. In other words, a business mentor makes sure you turn your words into action!
Putting these qualities to work in your business
So the good news is, you don’t need a clone – you need a business adviser with these qualities. Someone who can function as an additional member of your team, while maintaining an independent perspective. Someone who can work side-by-side with you to achieve your goals. Someone with the right level of experience.
At Henchards, we’ve been supporting owners of creative and technical businesses for 16 years. Discover how we employ these qualities to propel your business forward.