Doing business in Ireland
While self-reliance is an essential trait of micro-entrepreneurs, mentors have traditionally provided valuable support: especially when the going gets rough.
Mentors with complimentary skills and relevant experience can offer you new perspectives and pathways to success. They can help a fledgling entrepreneur think through strategies, crunch numbers, and create a solid business or marketing plan.
You can try local business and start-up networking groups as well as the leadership of community non-profit organizations to find mentors. Business incubators and accelerators are also great places to frequent if you want to establish connections with entrepreneurs at all levels of experience. Also try Chamber of Commerce meetings, local business roundtables, social media communities, and industry conferences.
Be careful to take your time about entering into mentorship relationships. Many mentors have had excellent careers in corporations BUT corporations are very different to start-ups and people who excelled as leaders in large enterprises may find that those skills do not seamlessly transfer to micro enterprises. They may, but they often do not.
The ideal mentor is one who has successfully scaled a business in a similar industry to the one you are in but they may be impossible to find so be aware that finding the right mentor is not just a matter of contacting a local organisation.
Here are two contacts:
- Enterprise Ireland’s Mentor Network has a panel of more than 400 highly experienced businesspeople. These are entrepreneurs, founders and senior executives with international commercial business development experience. They can offer practical advice and guidance based on their own business experience, on a one-to-one basis.
- The Local Enterprise Office Mentor Programme is designed to match up the knowledge, skills, insights and entrepreneurial capability of experienced business practitioners with small business owner/ managers who need practical and strategic one to one advice and guidance. The mentor contributes independent, informed observation and advice to aid decision making.