By Carolyn M. Brown – Blackenterprise.com
All new business owners or entrepreneurs should find a mentor to guide them in their business journey. It is a harsh reality that only half of all small businesses survive more than five years after launching, according to the Small Business Administration. However, there is growing evidence that connecting businesses with mentors can change this statistic.
Research shows that businesses receiving three or more hours of mentoring have witnessed a boost in revenues and market share. According to a 2014 survey by THE UPS Store, 70% of small businesses that gained mentorship survive more than five years, double the survival rate of businesses that don’t receive such counseling. Moreover, 88% of business owners with mentors maintain that having one can prove to be invaluable. Learning from their mistakes and rebounds offer insight and guidance on making more informed business decisions.
Necole Parker, founder and CEO of The ELOCEN Group in Washington, DC. She attributes mentoring to her company’s solid growth trend as a small business. “I recognized very early on the importance of seeking out those who were where I desired to one day take my business, she adds. “More importantly, being granted the opportunity to tap into the collective wealth of knowledge mentors possess, is an invaluable experience. I’m afforded the opportunity to gain insight from their cumulative lessons-learned, failures, and setbacks, which provides greater clarity when I encounter similar challenges.” achieve revenues and increased business.
Adhering to a mentor’s advice helped Parker to directly land her company’s largest contract ever, which was a five-year $50 million dollar Food and Drug Administration contract in 2013. “Two of my mentors (who are on the BE 100s Industrial/Services Companies list), avail themselves regularly to share ideas, offer advice, and just to listen. Finally, after diligent persistence, my company gained entry into the Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection program, where Coca-Cola is our mentor company. As a result, we are receiving strategic guidance on how to grow both in scale and capacity,” adds Parker, who shared her experience on finding mentors as a speaker during the 2015 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.
Mentors can make all of the different in your business success, asserts Mahisha Dellinger, CEO and founder of CURLS, the natural hair care products company based in Dallas and author of the autobiographical Against All Odds: From the Projects to the Penthouse. Dellinger was the keynote speaker at the 2015 Steve Harvey Mentoring Camp In Dallas, Texas and 2015 Women of Power Summit.
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