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Startup Playbook: success through failure

5 Reasons Why Your Startup Needs A Mentor

When you launch a startup and have limited resources, which you have to distribute wisely, every head counts. Your target is to keep only those on board who are absolutely necessary to ensure your business idea is successfully put into action. Fair. However, there are roles that you should not cut the costs on – and one of them is a mentor. We want to show you why getting a mentor is a great investment for your startup that pays off in a mid- and long-term perspective.

Here are the 5 reasons why you should get your startup a mentor.

1.      You want to avoid mistakes that people before you made

Being at the beginning of your first startup journey, you can get many insights from more experienced entrepreneurs or experts possessing specific skills relevant to your area. If you are looking to grow your expertise in a particular domain or if you realize that your team lacks some process-related knowledge, then you should pay attention to startup/business experts out there who will be able to support your team based on their experience and know-how. However, please be clear with your expectations: getting a mentor does not give you a fish, but a fishing pole. It is up to you to apply the skills and knowledge you get for the benefit of your business.

2.      You want to be challenged

A mentor will not be able to give you all the answers you are searching for. However, a good mentor will be able to ask you the right questions that will bring you closer to finding the answers.

A valuable mentorship relationship is a two-way exchange benefiting both parties. You will learn from each other, and get inspiration and new ideas within this process. It means that you have to be ready to leave your comfort zone. You have to be open to constructive feedback and critique. It will only help you if you reflect on it, draw conclusions, and put it into action.

3.      You want to see things from a different perspective

While you focus too much on the launch, a mentor will encourage your startup team to see things from an outside perspective. You can definitely get some game-changing insights if you take a step back from your day-to-day operations and imagine yourself in the shoes of a customer or a potential investor.

It is of vital importance in the process of startup building that you increase your awareness of your product’s and your team’s strengths and weaknesses on an ongoing basis. You should always keep up-to-date with the market tendencies and trends and have a clear understanding of your place in the market, as well as your target niche. A mentor with a business strategy background would be the right one to support you with performing a deep SWOT analysis and defining your strategic direction.

4.      You want to have a reliable business partner you can be open with

Mentorship is a holistic relationship, which is not limited to professional consulting. It aims at establishing a trustful relationship with the startup team to unleash their potential.

One of the key targets for a good mentor is to help the mentees get aware of the resources and characteristics they have, as well as acquire and use the new resources that will enable them to achieve their goals. Such a relationship would not work out unless you as a mentee are open to sharing your thoughts, ambitions, and concerns with the mentor. It is vital to be true to yourself in this relationship and not try to create a perfect image. Then, as a mentee, you can expect support on a mental, emotional, and professional level.

5.      As a startup leader, you want to be a good boss for your team

As a startup leader, you do not only bear responsibility for your business, but also for your team. Everyone can lead in the good times. However, when skies are getting darker over your startup, you still have to remain a cheerleader for the people working for you. We know – this can be a huge burden, especially for a first-time entrepreneur.

The good thing is that a mentor can help you with developing your leadership skills and overcoming team crises that you will inevitably have to deal with – eventually. In the end, you do not only want to become successful with your product launch but also to establish a viable long-term company with a healthy organizational culture, right?

Hopefully, you can see now that there are multiple ways in which you and your startup can benefit from a mentorship relationship. Mentorship is so important – it helps you and your business grow in the most efficient and sustainable way. Make use of this instrument – but choose your mentor wisely and be ready to invest time and effort into your relationship.

If you want to find a female startup mentor, or want to improve your mentoring skills, apply for our Fe/male Switch startup game for women! You can play as a startupper, or as a mentor, and skill up in both ways.

Don't wanna wait and want to strudy now? Learn how to be a good mentor or mentee in our Startup School, and many more about startup building.

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