Sometimes in business you need a little bit of help and support, and one way that you can do this is by getting a business mentor. This is usually someone who has been in your shoes beforehand. They may have set up their own business in a similar industry, or have a company of their own that they have built from the ground up.

This allows them to give you real world experience that isn’t just theoretical. So whether it's how to deal with a tricky customer, overcoming founder loneliness, how to grow your business, or even how to maintain a good work/life balance. Your business mentor should be able to offer you a friendly bit of advice based on actual experience.

Mentorship is not a new idea and it’s also something that we have mentioned frequently in our blogs. Being able to have a mentor can make a huge difference for any business owner, even if they have been in business for many years. In fact, 97% of people with a mentor feel like it’s highly impactful and valuable to them. Of those asked, 87% said that the relationship with their mentor made them feel empowered and validated when it comes to making business decisions.

Where Can You Find A Business Mentor?

So if you would like to get yourself a mentor, where do you go? There are a number of different ways to find a mentor for you and your business.


There are websites such as where you can search a database of companies and areas for mentors to be matched with.


In-person networking at events in your area or industry is one way of meeting business owners further along in their business journey. You can also look at LinkedIn. A hub for networking online, this removes any physical barriers that may be involved in finding a mentor and is typically a place where people are happy to be contacted as it is a social media platform.

Personal Connections

You may already have someone in your life who is a successful business owner. Look at your family, friends, even friends of friends. You might be surprised at who you are already connected with. Having a mentor who is a personal connection can make the process easier, as you'll naturally feel more relaxed.

Paid For Mentorships

If you don't already have a familiar connection as a mentor, another option is to use a company that provides paid-for mentorship services, which may be provided alongside professional coaching or other related services. While they can be a good option if you aren’t able to access a network like the others mentioned, it is worth exercising caution when engaging with a paid-for mentor. Use due diligence, look for reviews and make sure that they are reputable.

Finding The Right Mentor

Once you have decided to embark on your mentorship journey, it is important to make sure that the fit is right. While it may seem like ANY mentor is a good idea, there are a few things that you should consider before deciding to enter into any kind of mentorship.

Goals & Industry

While they don’t need to necessarily be doing the exact same thing as you, it makes sense for them to be at least aligned with your industry or goals. For example, if you run a beauty-based business and your mentor is in construction, there is likely going to be very little crossover between the two. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not a good fit. If your goals are similar, but your industries are different, this doesn't necessarily mean that this mentor won't work for you. However, it's fair to say that you may find more value and expertise in the mentorship of someone already working within the likes of the fashion or beauty industries.

Experience & Success

Every business owner has experienced their own peaks and troughs, and there is something to be learned along the way. However, if the person who you are considering for mentorship doesn’t have a track record, tread carefully. This person will be giving you advice after all. You want to make sure that advice is based on success, or at least experience.


While nobody should expect a mentor to be on call 24/7 for you, they should have the availability to speak to you on occasion or reply to emails. It’s worth broaching the conversation of how they like to communicate, and how frequently. Do not discount someone who is a good fit if they are busy though. Sometimes a coffee every six months is just as valuable as a Zoom call for an hour once a week.

Get Feedback

If they have mentored before, try and get feedback from their previous mentees. They should be able to provide some really insightful feedback on how the relationship benefitted their business, and how they found the mentor personally.

Mutual Trust & Respect

A mentor should feel like a colleague or a peer. You will be sharing your vulnerabilities and concerns with this person, so it’s key that they are trustworthy and will treat your mentor-mentee relationship with the same level of trust and respect as you give them. Equally, you should also respect the relationship and any sensitive or confidential information that they share with you.

two men talking

How To Approach A Mentor

It may feel intimidating to ask someone to be your mentor. However, it’s more than likely they will be flattered more than anything.

Approaching them requires a little bit of tact, diplomacy and preparation. Here are a few tips on how you can do it:

  • Research – When you reach out you should have spent some time reading up about them, their business(es) and their accomplishments.
  • Clear intentions – Be polite but confident. Explain why you would like them to be your mentor. Be clear about what you would hope to gain from working with them.
  • Respect time and boundaries – Ask them how they'd prefer for you both to work together and communicate, as well as checking their availability schedule, to show that you respect their time. Remember they don’t have to accept and you should be mindful of their time and availability.
  • Offer value – If the person is successful in business, they have probably been asked by people many times if they can “pick your brain”. When approaching a potential mentor, think about how you can add value to their business. Can you offer a testimonial? An introduction to a client or associate? Offer a fresh perspective on a project that they are working on? Think about how a mentor-mentee relationship can develop into a longer-term business alliance and how it can benefit you both.

Becoming A Business Mentor

Perhaps you have already had a mentor, or have achieved a lot in business already. If this is the case, the chances are that you might be keen to 'give back' by becoming a mentor yourself.

This is a great way to help empower others to discover more opportunities to succeed, and unlock the potential for mentees from all backgrounds to learn from the real experiences of mentors who have been there before. This is really key for making business inclusive and presenting opportunities for those who may be from underrepresented backgrounds as well.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, there are a number of ways and schemes in the UK that can help you.

This site allows you to find mentors, as well as offering your services and experience as a mentor.

The Princes Trust

The Princes Trust is well known for its mentorship schemes and opportunities for young people. They offer a great structure to help you mentor rising talent.

Local Chamber of Commerce

Many local Chamber of Commerce are great for networking and marketing your business and services, together with also for finding new entrepreneurs to help and support. You can look at their website to find a local chamber.

Explore Your Network

You will probably find that many people you already know in your personal and professional networks could utilise your insights and experience. Start conversations with friends and those around you in business to explore new mentoring opportunities. Speak to friends and business associates about anybody that they may know.

Mentorship Can Bring Great Rewards

Having a mentor can be life-changing, as well as boosting the trajectory of your business. Having a trusted mentor, to support you with advice, expertise and valuable insights, can help you to focus and stay motivated as you grow your business. From how to market yourself, mistakes made along the way, and being able to have someone who “gets it”, can ease a lot of stress and provide much-needed reassurance in those early stages (and not so early) of small business ownership.

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