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3 ways your startup could benefit from a mentor

Article provided by Startwise

Here are the statistics in South Africa for the success rate of startups, as far as research has shown me. An article on News24.com reported, “More than 90% of all new companies do not survive the first five years.” And a more recent study indicates, the failure rate of startups is around 50% in South Africa within 24 months due to the inability and inexperience of their owners.”

The good news is that you can improve your chances of success by educating yourself and learning from others’ experience. I believe it’s the amount of determination, empowerment, and knowledge that one has, that can make your startup a success.

Learn from other startups’ common mistakes

Lack of research

We all begin somewhere, with a great idea. If you don’t take the time to do your research, you could miss the mark completely. Ask people what they want in terms of a product or service to determine the demand. If you are stepping into an industry where you don’t have a lot of experience, network with those who do. Look at potential competitors, what they are doing, their suppliers, pricing and how you can approach it differently. Remember with all of your research, you need to ensure you are looking at it from a local perspective. The South African economy and infrastructure could impact your venture. Learn from corporate business structures and processes.

Lack of marketing and awareness

It’s all very well having a great product or service, but if you can’t market it or create an awareness of your offering, you will struggle to generate an income. Don’t make the mistake of not having a go-to-market strategy for your startup. You need to identify your target audience (who your ideal customer is) and the channels you need to use to reach them. A good starting point is to create a digital presence.

Lack of funding

According to SME South Africa, “A total of 58,6% SMMEs that survived the lockdown reported that they cannot get access to funding. Of the total funding requests made during the first 5 months of lockdown, 47.9% of the funding requests were made to the government, 27.4% to banks and 13.6% to family and friends, and the balance made to formal lenders.” When starting your own business, ensure you have calculated all the costs to startup, ranging from inventory, staff count, resources and your marketing.

Besides the common avenues of business funding options like government funding or approaching the banks, you can also look at the smaller financial service providers out there.

Having a mentor will not only help you prep for your funding applications, but they can guide you with your go-to-market strategy, industry insights, trends and more.

Here are 3 benefits from startup mentoring

1.      They will challenge you

A mentor will challenge your viewpoint, approach and concepts to ensure you are choosing the correct path for your startup. A good mentor will help identify your flaws and brainstorm possible solutions.

2.      Give you guidance and inspiration

Having a professional in their field means they can inspire you with creative ideas. They will encourage you to shift from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset for your startup. Together you can map out your approach and they will hold to accountable to achieve every milestone.

3.      Develop your skillset and widen your network

A business mentor will know what skills you need to have in order to successful launch your startup. These include basic payroll, how to manage employees and supplier relationships, building a go-to-market strategy and managing a small business. A mentor will have vast experience in this to ensure you learn and grow as you go along.

Startwise has done all the work for you. They have recruited the top industry leading professionals and you no longer have to risk being turned down.

Benefits of a startup mentor from Startwise

  • You get affordable access to over 300 business mentors who have been carefully vetted
  • You can have multiple mentors to advise you on different aspects of your business.
  • Select a mentor with expertise in a specific area of your business you need help with.

·        To book a session with any of our consultants and mentors, click here

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