For business owners and executives - who are wise enough to seek to build a team of advisors around them, you will see them working with and learning from a reliable business mentor. Those who are much wiser take hints from how mentors work and what business mentor skills make them highly valuable to a company which adopts such skills.
Often, your mentor does not need to have a similar background to you to be valuable or worthy of emulation. Often their very different background enhances that.
Small businesses can benefit from mentors, often with 'big' business backgrounds. Running a business is rarely about just one skill. There's recruitment, branding, marketing, sales, business development, positioning, pricing, building successful funnels, PR, networking, legal, and finances among many others. Skills
Lots of unique business problems come up for growing companies. Some hit a plateau at some point and need external advice to approach these problems creatively and keep scaling.
These problems, unique as they are, need to be viewed from a creative perspective because most of them lack existing data or studies that will guide you in making decisions.
Your creative thinking skills will help you:
· analyze your situations and problems at hand.
· structure a plan with clear goals
· explore out-of-the-box ideas
· come up with relevant solutions to a specific problem
· communicate solutions effectively.
What mentors do is lean on their experience and toolbox of past engagements for out of the box ideas and innovations. They also gather up a think-tank from the different departments of a company so you can get a fresh perspective and an inclusive approach.
1. Problem Solving Skills
The ability to handle difficult situations that are usually unexpected and complex is what problem solvers have.
What makes most business mentors effective is their inherent penchant for solving problems that others would keep away from as much as possible.
To be great at problem-solving, you will need an analytical mind that is good at critical thinking, organizing ideas, identifying patterns, as well as noting details. This is one trait consultants and business people share in common because most of the time, those who have decided to run or start a company are those that thought of a problem they wanted to solve.
According to Lifehack, you can take the following steps to enhance your problem-solving skills:
1. Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem
2. Adapt 5 Whys to Clearly Define the Problem
3. Simplify Things
4. List out as Many Solutions as Possible
5. Think Laterally
6. Use Language That Creates Possibility
2. Communication Skills
An article at Proofhub states that
· 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures
· About 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as very important
· Less than half of survey respondents said that their organizations discuss issues truthfully and effectively
Mentors must be excellent communicators to successfully land a client. The job requires that they manage teams, deliver presentations, and coordinate. Failure to do so may cause a project to stagnate or the client to leave.
3. Negotiation Skills
While you can learn how to negotiate over time, the most successful deals often happen when you involve a great negotiator. What separates a great negotiator from the rest is experience.
You may have found yourself more than once on the receiving end of the negotiation table, being subjected to hard-bargaining tactics such as the following:
· extreme demands from aggressive opponents
· my hands are tied
· take it or leave it
· good cop, bad cop
· bluffs and lies
Having effective negotiation skills has a lot to do with a person's communication skills. Those who are experienced at negotiating know how to say the right words at the right time. One must know how to package an offer in a way that is appealing to all parties, but more favourable to you.
4. Sales and Marketing Skills
In another article, I have enumerated the nine core elements which are the foundation of marketing. They are also covered in detail in this quick video
Incorporating these elements into all marketing will increase leads and improve conversion into customers when the lead is identified.
Although selling is a different activity from marketing, your sales skills and marketing skills often get intertwined because they both revolve around convincing prospects to get so interested in the products and services that you offer to the point wherein they would make a purchase.
· Product Knowledge
· Communication skills
· Prospecting Skills
· Relationship-Building Skills
5. Financial Management Skills
Allocating resources for operational expenses without neglecting overhead costs and potential risks requires serious financial management skills. Not all businesses have the luxury of hiring a team of financial experts who can handle this aspect of the business.
Financial consultants review past data and study future projections as well as create investment plans. According to Investopedia, successful financial advisors can act as a behavioural coach
Navigating around financial challenges usually has the same qualities and some detective work on the part of the business owner or executive.
6. Strategic Planning Skills
Solopreneurs must think like a 10-person team from the start. Strategically planning this way positions the business for success.
Studies show that 95% of a typical workforce doesn't understand their organizational strategy. Several organizations fail to employ a strategic approach in their future direction resulting in problematic transitions and misalignment among team members.
You can use a strategy map as a graphic representation of the strategies you have discussed with your planning teams in consideration of the following four perspectives:
· Internal Processes
· Organizational Capacity
7. Management Skills
According to research conducted by Gallup, too many people leave because Managers don't manage them properly
According to American psychologist Robert Katz, there are three basic types of management skills and these are:
· Technical skills
· Conceptual skills
· Human or interpersonal skills
Technical skills or technical leadership refer to the manager's ability to use machines and software, production tools, and other equipment but also the skills necessary to help the other aspects of managing a business.
Managers who can see the bigger picture and design solutions accordingly have what we call conceptual skills.
Last but not least, interpersonal skills are very important in relating with and motivating your employees. This particular type of management skill maximizes the value of a company's human resources when honed properly.
Interpersonal skills are what enable managers to relate with their employees effectively. If managers have a healthy relationship with their employees, then the employees become highly motivated to work.
8. Time Management Skills
You do not manage time - you can only manage your attention
Your attention management skills will help you select among several strategies and productivity frameworks that you can use to manage your attention effectively.
These attention management strategies normally include the following steps:
Developing your time management skills may take time for some but great managers often grow within a business promotion after promotion. This will set you even further apart from the other business owners or managers because you will become more productive, achieve goals faster, and do your job more efficiently.
As a top executive or manager of a company, big or small, you could be the face of your organization. Every time your customers, the media, and the other company stakeholders look at you, they see what you represent.
Running or managing a business also has a lot to do with working on activities such as risk management, sales, marketing, negotiations, project management, legal, and accounting, among many others.
With several activities and a heavy workload (most of the time), you have to be able to plan, delegate, and communicate with your clients and partners, while juggling multiple tasks at the same time. Being skilful in so many aspects can help you handle these tasks efficiently and deliver high-quality work without burning out.
However, it doesn't mean that you should be on your own. You can always employ the consulting services of a reliable business mentor or consultant who can help provide insights and assistance, especially in areas where you need extra focus. After all, it is wise to make sure that you still have time for research and development that can help innovate and scale your business and constantly explore opportunities and ideas.
Are you ready to move forward and become a more confident business owner?