If you’re a business supporter of Silicon South, you can find a mentor from an array of Founders and Senior Directors with a broad range of experience across all areas of Creative, Digital and Tech.
Step 1. Make sure you’re signed into your account
Step 2. Click on the “Find a Mentor” button
Step 3. Use the filters to search for a mentor who closely matches what you need
Step 4. Email them directly to make an approach – and go from there!
Mentoring is free and offered by founders who generously give their time to help others
Running a business can be daunting, especially when you’re starting out.
When you have to take decisions about how your business should operate, develop and thrive, it’s amazingly helpful to talk to someone else who has been through all the steps you face, before. It allows a founder to be much more confident about the decisions they have to make.
Most founders have great skills in a specific area – like design, development, planning etc. – and can invariably deliver fantastic projects and products – but that isn’t the same as running a fantastic company – which needs different knowledge.
That’s where a mentor fits in. A good mentor should have more experience in running a business than you, which they’re willing to share. They’re not there to tell you what to do, but they can help you understand the implications of your plans and aims and make sure you feel much more comfortable with them.
They will give you an hour or two every month to act as a sounding board for your next steps and help you see the bigger picture, appreciate the potential hurdles, and explore avenues you might not have considered.
It’s up to you to sort out the best arrangement with your mentor but we suggest something along these lines…
Before meeting your mentor for the first time – build a clear idea of what you are trying to achieve for your business and the areas you want to discuss.
You’ll meet your mentor either in person or virtually for an informal chat, to allow you to find out about each other and ensures the pairing is right, as having a good relationship is vital for effective mentoring. If you don’t think you’re a good fit, either of you can walk away then, no hard feelings. You can search again, this time with a bit more of an idea of what you need.
When you have a pairing you’re both happy with, you should arrange six one-to-one meetings over the next 6-9 months at regular intervals which suit you both.
Being a mentor is a highly fulfilling experience. It’s a chance for you to give back to others and provide some of the feedback which you might have yearned for when you started out or else gladly received and helped you grow your business.
You are asked to provide a minimum of 6 sessions with your mentee over a 6-9 month period. Each session should last for between 1 to 2 hours, as seems appropriate.
All you have to do is enter your details in your company profile (via the dashboard). Once entered, your details will be presented to any prospective mentee searching for a mentor. A prospective mentee will be able to contact you directly – via a contact page.
This will notify you via email of their interest in an initial conversation. (We ask that you check and confirm they are, in fact, supporters of the Silicon South Network on the directory, first). The rules of engagement are fairly light-touch – and covered in the section above and the FAQs below.
If any issues or questions arise during the mentoring process, please do get in touch with the team and we can help to resolve them.