Do you have a professional mentor? As a franchisee – or any type of professional – a mentor is a great move to help yourself find success. A mentor is a great tool to advance your skills, grow as a more mature professional, and to gain a sounding board in someone who has been there first. And this is only the beginning of benefits that can come from having a mentor. If you don’t already have one, consider starting the process to setting yourself up for maximum growth as a budding franchisee.
If you are unsure if you have a mentor, chances are you have one, if not several professionals whom you can look up to. Just perhaps not in a formal fashion. Think about anyone who has given you advice. Those who are older or more experienced, even those who just got into the business before you did. These connections can all be considered potential or existing mentors. Whoever this person is, it should be someone with whom you have a good working relationship and feel comfortable reaching out to and asking for advice. It should be someone who is knowledgeable in their field, and who has wisdom that they can share. Even if they aren’t an expert in your industry, they have skills from which you can benefit.
Finding Your Best Franchise Mentor Match
If you don’t have a mentor, now is the time to start looking for one. Look at business owners you are acquainted with. Consider other professionals who are successful in their fields. What can you learn from them? Who do you want to bounce ideas off of in order to grow? Who do you admire and want to be more reflect? There are many criteria on which you can base your mentor choice. And you aren’t limited to a single person, either.
Consider who’s all in your circle and how they might be able to help. While you might not be able to bestow the same wisdom on them, you should be willing to offer something in exchange. Perhaps coffee, pastries, or just a listening ear.
If you don’t know anyone personally who can be your mentor, it might be time to start looking in a broader sense. Look at local business owners, talk to folks at your franchising brand (or potential franchising brand), or even other franchise owners within the same brand or industry. Chances are someone will be more than willing to help. After all, they were there first and understand the value of having someone who can give solid advice.
Then, once you have a sight in mind, it’s time to ask them for a chat. While in today’s standards a Zoom call or GoToMeeting chat might be more appropriate, reach out and see if they’re available in any capacity. You can email or digital message them, mentioning that you respect them and want to bounce off an idea or two. If they are receptive, great! If not, don’t be offended – successful people are busy, and they may simply not have the time.
However, if they do accept, remember to keep your visit short as to not take too much of their day. Offer to pay if meeting in person, or if virtually, then be polite and thank them for their thoughts.
Benefiting by Mentoring Others as a Franchisee
Finally, once you’ve established a mentor/mentee relationship (or several of them), you should also consider becoming a mentor to another budding franchisee. If someone asks you for advice, or if you have someone close to you looking to own their own business, consider assisting them when needed.
After all, you’re benefitting yourself from this growing relationship, so it’s only right to give back and help others. You’ll also find that mentoring another entrepreneur is an extremely rewarding experience. It’s one that can help you grow in your own right; by no means is it one-sided and only helping the person getting advice.
Working with a mentor and checking in with them regularly is a great practice for advancing your skills and abilities as a franchise owner. Consider reaching out to one or more mentors to start receiving benefits through leading others, as well as obtaining advice.