Why mentoring matters…

In today’s complex entrepreneurial environment, mentoring is more important than ever. However, while an overwhelming majority recognise that mentoring can help them to succeed, very few of the UK’s five million SMEs currently make use of business mentors. Why is this?

Mentoring can help businesses to make the decisions, important decisions such as making the right changes at the right time. It’s also an extremely effective way for people to develop new skills, and importantly understand how to deal with people and problems.

But do entrepreneurs really value mentors? Research from Sage (the software company) found 88% of small businesses in the UK think that mentoring can help them to succeed. However, less than a quarter (22%) are currently making use of business mentors. Why is there such a disparity?

Mentoring can have a significant impact over business success, if you find the right mentor that is. Research from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills claims that nine out of ten businesses who had worked with a mentor said it had a positive impact on their business. It also found that nearly twice as many mentored businesses reported an increase in turnover (44%), than non-mentored counterparts (23%). Similarly twice as many mentored businesses had hired more staff (10%), than non-mentored businesses (5%).

Sage’s Business Index research found that business leaders in the UK would be most likely to turn to personal contacts for business advice, rather than experienced business specialists. Almost two thirds (60%) said they would speak to someone they know and trust, followed by an accountant (48%).

So isn’t about time you got to know your accountant and learnt to trust them?