Make the most of your Start Up Loans mentor
Congratulations, your Start Up Loan application has been approved! Now, the real work begins. Often, the hardest part of having a great idea is implementing it. Christopher Isaac ’Biz’ Stone, co-founder of Twitter, once said: “Timing, perseverance and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”
In short, it’s not going to be easy. But don’t despair, there is a whole heap of support and resources out there to help support and guide you and your business to success. One very important resource is your mentor or mentor group.
Once your loan application has been approved, you’ll be invited to join a Mentor Group or matched with a suitable mentor. Catch up with our ‘What is mentoring’ blog to find out more.
So, how can you make the most out of the valuable time with your mentor or mentor group?
- Be prepared, organised and flexible – make sure you are punctual, well organised and come equipped with any documents and information you need. Setting an agenda and having a clear idea of what you want to achieve from each meeting will make sessions more constructive.
Remember – your mentor is giving up their own time to help you, so try to be flexible and accommodating to their work and business schedules.
- Be open-minded – as a mentor, part of their responsibility is to challenge your business plan and any assumptions you’ve made. Don’t be offended or become disheartened; all criticism will be constructive and it’ll give you the chance to discuss new ideas and discover alternative perspectives.
- Follow up with agreements – if you’ve agreed to take certain steps or take action in reaching goals before the next meeting, make sure you follow them through! There is nothing more discouraging to a mentor than when promises aren’t kept.
- Give it a go – seriously consider taking the advice your mentor gives you and don’t underestimate the value of having someone with an objective perspective look at your business. Not everyone has the same view on things, but the discussion itself more often than not leads to fresh and innovative ideas.
- Say thank you – you’d be surprised how far a simple thank you goes. Keep in contact with your mentor even after your mentoring has come to an end. Mentors love to hear how their mentees are getting on and they could be a valuable contact in the future – especially if you need a Top Up loan in your first 12 months trading where their recommendation will be essential.