Every great business leader has a mentor. Whether it is another business bigwig, or just a like merchant in your town, they are an invaluable thing to have when you are a new merchant. Their advice can get you far – but you really need to take what they say to heart. Experienced merchants know what works and what doesn’t, and this is important whether you have a salon or an e-cig store. Below are the best things that you can – and will – learn from a small business mentor.

Alternative business loans: An alternative business loan can help you get the funds you need – without the stress and hassle of a traditional bank loan. While many programs are geared toward experienced merchants, some are good for new merchants, such as the one offered by FAM. This is something that is known to experienced merchants, and they will usually recommend a source for this service.

Risk-Free Advice: While paying for advice and books and help, free advice from your mentor is just that – it’s free. This is great for everyone involved, and it helps you focus your funds on things that are important for your business growth, such as advertising and hiring new staff.

Encouragement: So, nothing is worse than when you are struggling and no one seems to understand what you are going through. This is where your small business mentor can help tremendously. They have been through the struggle of opening a business, and perhaps they endured even more that you are now. Their advice and encouragement can mean the world to a struggling and depressed merchant.

Networking: It’s nice to know your inner circle – but what about their inner circles? A mentor can help you network and gain a lot more business support. It’s free typically, and you may be even able to partner up with other local businesses for giveaways and other promotional events.

Multiple Perspectives: A mentor gives you a totally different perspective to your business and issues. While you see things one way and may be pessimistic, others see things in another light – and when you are asking someone who has struggled with the same issues, it is insightful to see how they came through it.

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