How To Find a Business Mentor 

4 minute read

ACCESS mentors chat about ways to support Winston-Salem's startup ecosystem and minority-owned startups

Are you tired of feeling like you’re constantly running in circles with your business? Do you know what you want but need help figuring out how to get there? Fear not, fellow startup entrepreneurs! The Innovation Quarter (iQ) is here to help guide you on your journey to entrepreneurial success. And one of the best ways to do that—find a business mentor. 

Let’s be honest—we can’t always do everything alone. You may be excellent at developing innovative ideas but struggle with the financial side of business planning. Or maybe, you’re a people person but could use some help with the technical aspects of your business. That’s where business mentors come in—to offer free business consulting and support. 

The Road to Mentorship: Signs that You’re Ready 

The first step in finding a startup mentor is recognizing and accepting that your business is ready to take that step. You might be able to figure it all out independently, but successful entrepreneurs know there’s no shame in seeking help! 

Once you’ve acknowledged this and have the early stages of your business plan and strategic goals set, it’s time to identify your strengths and weaknesses with your business. What are you great at? What areas do you struggle with in your business development? Knowing this information will help you find a business mentor who can complement your skillset and offer guidance in areas you may need help with. 

So, Where Do You Find a Business Mentor? 

One excellent option is to talk to other entrepreneurs in your personal network who have consulted with an experienced mentor. Experienced entrepreneurs can offer valuable information and recommendations on where to look, including online resources, online communities and local networking events. Another option is to evaluate local possibilities. The iQ has several resources to help connect you with potential mentors, such as the Center for Creative Economy, Forsyth Tech Small Business Center and Winston Starts. 

Center for Creative Economy 

The Center for Creative Economy is a nonprofit that provides programs and services that emulate interaction, networking, mentoring and professional development in the creative industries. 

Forsyth Tech Small Business Center 

Forsyth Tech Small Business Center offers free resources, educational programs, business and mentoring services, office space and computer labs and many opportunities to build your professional network. 

Winston Starts 

Winston Starts helps entrepreneurs successfully scale their small businesses to new heights. They provide a development framework and excellent resources like mentoring to grow your business and realize your dreams. 

Finding a business mentor is more than seeing someone willing to lend an ear. As they will be a trusted advisor, it’s essential to ask specific questions of your potential business mentor to ensure their expertise aligns with your goals. For example, small business owners looking to expand their online presence would want to find business mentors with experience in digital marketing. Don’t be afraid to ask potential mentors about their own experience and proven business tools and how they can specifically assist with your business goals during a mentoring session. 

Secrets of Success: Access Resources at iQ 

At the Innovation Quarter, there are many ways to find a business mentor for entrepreneurs. For instance, the Small Business Center offers business counseling to entrepreneurs. You can also attend networking and community-building events at HUSTLE Winston-Salem to connect with potential mentors. 

We’ve all heard the anecdotes about how many startups fail. Using a business mentor can be crucial to your startup’s success. Startup mentors offer insight, experience and guidance to help you navigate the tricky waters of business development. So, take that first step in acknowledging your need for help, identify your strengths and weaknesses, talk to others and ensure the mentor’s expertise aligns with your goals. With the resources available at iQ, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to find the perfect business mentor to help grow your business to its fullest potential.  

What are you waiting for? Join iQ’s community today to access all the tools and beneficial resources, including experienced professionals, business mentors and networking events to help your business grow! 

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