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  • Best Questions to Ask a Business Mentor

    Entrepreneurs can learn so much from a reliable business mentor. Aspiring businesspersons will realize that a good mentoring relationship is similar to having a big brother in the industry. Experienced entrepreneurs know the ropes, have an excellent network of friends, and are able to overcome great challenges. There are numerous benefits of having a fully-engaged mentor, particularly when you are just starting in your business.

    If you are able to find a trustworthy and reputable mentor in your field, you will gain access to his or her large network of contacts. Creating a remarkable professional network is one of the most challenging parts of managing a new enterprise, even when you utilize social networking websites. Your mentor knows the right person to contact when you look for an investor or supplier for your business. With extensive business connections, you can expect immediate feedback from your mentor.

    What to ask your business mentor

    A business mentor is the best resource for young entrepreneurs, particularly when you know how to ask the right questions. You should be specific when asking your questions, so that you can get expert advice from business mentors. These professionals are extremely busy people who deal with their own business concerns and decisions. When they agree to become your mentor, it means they are willing to help you. However, you should realize that they cannot make every single decision for you. All they can offer is an experienced perspective on your business plans and current issues.

    The following questions are some of the best ones that you might want to ask your business mentor

    1. What advice can you give me in developing my business plan?

    2. Can you suggest some of your contacts who can invest in my business?

    3. What are the ways that will help me determine the risks and benefits of an important business decision?

    4. If you knew then what you know now, what would you do differently?

    5. How can I help you?

    Let us briefly analyze each of these valuable questions:

    1. What advice can you give me in developing my business plan?

    If you are just starting out and still in the process of drafting your plan, you might want to ask your mentor how you can develop a brilliant business plan. You may even request if you could see a copy of your mentor’s plan that you could use as a guide. After you have completed the draft, consult your mentor about it. Encourage him or her to point out some areas that need improvement, or seek some alternative and better ideas.

    2. Can you suggest some of your contacts who can invest in my business or even invest in my learning more (from their experiences)?

    When you need potential investors for your business, you can ask your mentor to recommend some contacts in his or her professional network. Your business mentor may even call reliable investors personally, so they can make the initial contact. Then, you only need to follow up and make the pitch.

    Their connections may also have the experience or background that you need more practical and in-depth knowledge on.

    3. What are the ways that will help me determine the risks and benefits of an important business decision?

    There are instances in the development of your business where you will arrive at a crossroads. If you decide to tread a wrong path, it can cause negative effects on your business. Before you choose a substantial purchase (such as purchasing a business location) or make long-term decisions, try to consult your business mentor first. Ask about possible risks and benefits that you have not considered, and inquire what your mentor would do in such situations. You can also ask for some tips that will help you determine the drawbacks and advantages of a particular decision that you plan to make.

    4. If you knew then what you know now, what would you do differently?

    Other people’s experience is valuable – even more valuable than other people’s money. Ask this question and listen and learn.

    5. How can I help you?

    A good mentoring relationship is not a one-way street. Although you are new to the industry, you may have something that you can offer your mentor. Perhaps you have an excellent skill that would be valuable to your mentor such as web design or social networking. Consider making a specific offer, and see that small gestures can help balance the professional relationship.

    Author:

    Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.com – a word of mouth marketing firm.   She helps create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand.   Maria Duron is co-founder  and moderator of #brandchat - a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.

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    Maria Elena Duron is a connector, trainer and coach. Small Business Owners that work with Maria Elena develop a profitable relationship building system, appeal to their brand advocates, and increase sales. Take the uncertainty out of how your personal and business brand delivers business -Get Your Checklist.

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    One comment on “Best Questions to Ask a Business Mentor
    1. avatar
      EXPERT

      Great guide for all teenagers!! These question will not lead to future problems if got answers for them properly.

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