Business Mentoring

I’ve been thinking about this idea for months now and some conversation with the family and a colleague just firmed it up for me. It seems to me that most entrepreneurs starting up a business could really use a mentor who is always available to help them through everything from setup to planning to resourcing to operating to administering the back office.

Businesses in general and entrepreneurs in particular often find it difficult to make the transition from startup to going concern. Rooted in that difficulty is the fact that leaders and entrepreneurs may have very polished core competencies in their chosen field, competencies on which their business is based, but are often lacking in the core competencies necessary to attend to the details of running a business.

Most people immediately recognize that they need an accountant to mind the books and taxes, and an attorney to mind the legal issues in structuring the business, documenting transactions, and making enforceable agreements and contracts needed to conduct business. So the accountant and the attorney become team members on day one. But who takes care of marketing and selling, managing resources and people, and running efficient operations which produce the product or service in which the business specializes? These are all activities requiring a fair amount of business acumen not normally falling within the scope of the entrepreneur’s skill set and yet those responsibilities fall squarely on the shoulders of the entrepreneur.

So what is the entrepreneur to do? Well, they can stretch the abilities of their accountant or attorney beyond their own typical skill sets. They can drop by their local SCORE office and get some advice from some seasoned business veterans. They can hire a consultant to deal with specific projects and problems. They can engage a specialist to resolve resource issues. These are all options that can provide short term benefit. But these don’t seem like viable long term support solutions.

It makes sense to me to add a third “A” to the team, an Advisor who serves as a mentor, a combination of teacher, coach, and trouble-shooter, and is on call when the entrepreneur runs into that general business issue that is beyond the expertise of the other two “A”s on the team.

Is this a new idea? No. Is it an idea that is executed very effectively? No. Should it be? Yes.

My role with PCO Associates and TPS Network is that of a mentor. As a former audit manager, systems and procedures manager, accounting and finance officer, technology auditor, business consultant, and business owner, I’m pretty well versed in a wide range of business processes, knowledge, and common business sense. My consulting style is practical and down to earth, that of teacher and coach. I will be at your side, but not in your face. And, God willing and the creek don’t rise; I’ll be around for the long haul like your accountant and your attorney.

Give those ideas some thought; then give me a call.