I- Business mentoring

Business mentoring is defined as a relationship through which an experienced entrepreneur/businessperson (the mentor) use his/her knowledge and his/her skills to help others with less experience learn and develop (mentee). Mentors can challenge your thoughts and help you make the right decisions when running and growing your business.

A lot of companies value this resource highly, especially as mentors normally don’t charge for their help. Also, there is limited risk in using a mentor. You are free to make your own decisions and a mentor can’t decide for you. Mentorship has no contract, so if either party is not happy with the relationship they can simply decide to walk away.

If you want to have a business mentor you should bear in mind that the ideal business mentor should have a good working knowledge about how your sort of  organisation works, is good at listening and she/he will make time to see you. Because mentors give their valuable time for free, you should fit in with their time constraints so far as possible.

If you are interested these 4 websites will help you to find a business mentor:

II- Business coaching

Business coaching is a relationship between a business person or a group of business people and a business coach. The aim of the business coach is to improve a business’s efficiency. To achieve this goal the coach has to guide the entrepreneur and/or the employees and provide them with advice to increase their productivity and the business’s efficiency. The business owner determines the business goals and objectives and how to achieve them.

As we said before, the business coach has an obligation to provide results. Because this is a business transaction (the business coach is paid for his work), a contract should be in place for expectations as well as terms and conditions for the relationship between the coach and the entrepreneur or company. Obviously prices will vary, depending on coach’s’ experience and expertise. Prices start around  £150 per hour and you must investigate the different types of coaches and expertise available.

A few websites where you can find good coaches:

III-  Difference between them

Even if there are a lot of similarities between business mentoring and business coaching you have to distinguish between them.  The main differences are the time of engagement (length of time they are involved), the roles they play and the cost of each.

  • the time: generally when you choose to use a business mentor you appoint him/her for a long period time. If you want mentoring to be successful you have to build a strong relationship with your mentor and build trust too. But it is different with a business coach:  here the time period is short – it will depend of the objective that you fix with the coach, but the coach is there to provide  specific advice over  finite period – it is not an ongoing relationship but one with a specific goal to be achieved within a specific timeframe.
  • the task: business coaches are focused on results: they have to improve the skills of the owner/employees and help to improve the performance of the company. Business coaches have to achieve an immediate goal. On the other hand, the business mentor relationship is not dictated by time or results. Mentorship focuses on career and personal development of the individual.
  • Cost: as we said above, price constitutes a significant difference between them. Generally mentors are free and business coaching is chargeable.
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