If you have enjoyed many years of business success and are looking for a new venture that allows you to give back to the business community and help others to realise their potential, you might be considering starting a new business as a business coach or mentor. Coaching and mentoring is becoming increasingly more popular, as more and more people take the plunge into starting their own businesses and are looking for somebody with a proven track record of success to help them steer their company in the right direction.
To be successful as a business coach or mentor, you will not only need to have extensive business knowledge and experience that you can share with others; you’ll also need to possess a wide range of important skills to help you best support your clients and help them get the best results. So, do you have what it takes to become a successful business mentor?
While there are no formal qualifications required to start your own business as a mentor or coach, you may find it helpful to get certification like an ILM Level 5 Coaching Certificate.
There are courses in mentoring from the bcfgroup.co.uk that are definitely worth looking into if you want to embark on this new career. The BCF Group offer these courses to help you improve your existing skills and learn new strategies to best help you future mentoring clients to succeed. You can study for your ILM Level 5 Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring in a range of different formats with classroom, online, and video lessons available to choose from, making it easy to customise and fit around your current commitments and schedule.
A good leader is somebody who can help others reach their full potential – and leadership skills are something that you will need an abundance of if you want to work as a successful business mentor. Novice business owners often look up to business mentors and coaches to help them with difficult decisions, provide sound advice and point them in the right direction, so it’s important that you are confident, able to bring out the best in others and understand your own strengths and weaknesses.
Strong communication skills are vital to any good business mentor or coach. Your work will involve a lot of communicating with business owners about their plans, goals, problems, and strategies, and active listening skills are a must in order to ensure that you fully understand the situation that you are dealing with. You will also need to be able to put your point across clearly and make sure that you are understood when providing advice and guidance to your clients. You will need to be adept at communicating clearly via a range of different channels such as email, text message, and webchat, along with face-to-face.
Working as a business mentor means that you will need to collaborate closely with clients who may not be as experienced as yourself. This means that you will regularly see your clients make mistakes, and you might often find yourself wondering why they made a certain decision without consulting you first. It can be frustrating, but the key to being a good business mentor is being able to have a lot of patience with clients who might make mistakes and accepting that it is all part of the learning curve. After all, you have probably made a few mistakes yourself back when you were new to the business, and in the end, you were able to learn from them. Instead of getting frustrated or irritated with a client who’s made a mistake, it’s your job to guide them in the right direction when it comes to learning from that mistake and help them find a better solution.
As a business coach, you’ll need to have the confidence to point out things that your clients might not like to hear; it’s your job to give feedback, and that can often be tough. However, while you don’t want to end up offending or upsetting your client, it’s also important to make sure that you get your point across and avoid filtering your feedback for the sake of their feelings. This situation is one where a lot of tact will come in handy. You will need to be able to deliver constructive criticism in a kind and friendly way. Sharing your personal experience, for example, telling your client about a similar mistake you once made and what you did to fix it, or letting them know what you would do if you found yourself in the same situation, can be excellent ways to get the feedback across without hurting anybody’s feelings or knocking their confidence.
When you’ve been successfully running businesses for a long time, certain things come easier to you now than they would have done when you were new to the whole thing. And it can be easy to forget how that felt. Empathy is an important trait to have when you are working as a business mentor, as you will need to put yourself in the shoes of your clients and try to see things from their perspective rather than just your own. You can work on developing your empathy by listening more, appreciating people’s differences, and educating yourself to move away from stigmas and stereotypical opinions that may not always be true.
As a mentor, you need to think of yourself as a teacher. It can be all too easy to take over when you know better and end up doing things for the client yourself, but in the end, this won’t help them learn anything. All you’re doing is providing them with a service that they didn’t pay for. Instead, consider yourself as similar to a driving instructor. While you are there and ready to help if needed, it’s ultimately down to your client to take the wheel and make the decisions, with your guidance and advice, that will steer the business towards success.
You may be an experienced businessperson, but there are always going to be some things that you don’t know. Accepting this as a fact and having the humility to admit when you were wrong about something is a key leadership skill that is essential to being a good business mentor. Your clients will appreciate you more if you can be honest with them when you’re not sure about something or need to do some more research before you can provide them with advice, rather than going in blind and pretending to know more about a certain subject.
Last but not least, passion for what you do can be infectious, and it’s important to have this key quality as a business mentor. If you are bored and disinterested, your clients are going to end up feeling the same way. On the other hand, if you show up every day excited to get started and genuinely invested in helping the business grow and succeed, you and your clients will be able to do great things together. A positive attitude, even when things don’t go to plan, is essential.
If all of the above sounds like you, you could make a great business mentor.
HR Future Staff Writer, United Kingdom.