Start Your Startup | Finding a Mentor
Find a Mentor, Improve Your Success
The early days of a startup are critical. No matter how much time you have spent in your industry, there are many aspects of starting and running a business that you don’t know. That’s as true for you as it was for Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and all the other startup founders who came before you. As an entrepreneur himself, Stephen Semprevivo strongly believes that mentorship is crucial for startups. A recent study from the financial company Kabbage found that 92 percent of entrepreneurs credit having a mentor with their success. Yet only 22 percent of startup founders have a mentor from the beginning of their journey. Another study from the business mentoring leader SCORE found that founders who had a mentor when they started their business were 12 percent more likely to still be in business one year later compared with the national average.
So, why are mentors so valuable, and where can you find one before you launch your startup? Here’s what you need to know.
Mentors = Value
Having an idea for a business is just the beginning. Before launching your startup, you need a business plan, access to cash or capital, a hiring plan, and so much more. Anyone new to founding a business will feel lost on one or more of these points, which is why having access to a mentor is so valuable.
More people are likely to start a business with the help of a mentor. The SCORE study mentioned above found that people with access to a mentor were five times more likely to start a business than those without one. Mentors can help fill in a founder’s gaps in knowledge, offering guidance in critical business areas like human resources, finances, writing a business plan, and figuring out a growth strategy.
Mentorship goes beyond founding and launching a business. It involves developing a professional relationship that can help business owners at all phases of their business. A TechCrunch study of companies in New York City’s tech sector found that 33 percent of founders who were mentored by other successful entrepreneurs became top performers in their industry.
How to Find a Mentor for Your Startup
Not all mentors are created equal. Find a mentor who has a track record of success. A well-meaning friend or colleague might be able to offer some help as you start your business, but a mentor who knows how to build and grow a startup will be able to help you become a top performer.
Find mentors through your network. LinkedIn is a great source to find people who your network may know and be able to connect you with (Feel free to send Stephen Semprevivo a connection request). Additionally, organizations like SCORE, or by attending local entrepreneurial-focused events. Don’t limit yourself to only having one mentor. Having multiple business leaders to turn to for different challenges can help you get a broader perspective.
As a successful entrepreneur, Stephen Semprevivo is always looking for new businesses to mentor. If you have an idea for a startup and are ready to take the next steps, apply for the Stephen Semprevivo Startup Scholarship. Two student entrepreneurs will receive a $2,500 scholarship along with mentorship and guidance. Learn more about the scholarship program and apply today. Remember, the best time to start a business is NOW!