There are many ways to coach and mentor, and many types of professionals in need of these services.
By Adrie Reinders, Co-Founder & CEO
EFactor is the largest global social network for entrepreneurs providing them with support through online & offline experiences. As a global thought and business leader Adrie has over 40 years of entrepreneurial success within Information Technology industry adept at working in multiple business environments and structures. He launched numerous businesses from the ground-up, growing and selling them through all economic cycles. Published author and founder/author of popular weekly entrepreneurial blog.
Adrie has founded several large IT organizations including Microlife B.V., a company specializing in customer-related services and training for mainframe environments; I.C.T. Rijnhaave, an IT firm specializing in systems integration; and Plus Integration Supply Chain Solutions B.V. As one of the founders of OHM Inc., (2004), Adrie has been fiercely committed to assisting technology companies achieve quicker and more effective sales results by offering his considerable expertise, experience, and access to his global network of high level business contacts. Adrie is a published author, including The N-Factor: How Networking Can Change the Dynamics of Your Business.
For me, the transfer of knowledge between myself and others has always been important. Consider it my way of giving back to the community. I clearly remember the many mistakes I made along the way in my business life, and I often reflect on how they could have been prevented had I been fortunate enough to have had a decent coach or mentor.
There are many ways to coach and mentor, and many types of professionals in need of these services. Here I’ll focus on the coaching and mentoring of other entrepreneurs. The most important point to get across to any entrepreneur is that at the end of the day, it is his or her own business, and ultimately they themselves have to take responsibility for it. Even as a coach, one must keep that responsibility firmly where it belongs. It is not a good idea to give advice that has not been asked for—before you know it, you’re in the driver's seat instead of the entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs experience many things in their careers. There are many things they do for the very first time and their learning will mostly take place on the job. This can range from. Be it raising financing for their company to , figuring out what a business plan should look like and what they should or should not include, or to figuring out how much money they need to ask for and under what the terms. They can also be challenged by the acquisitions they want to make. There will be many questions about how to know what to look for or look out for as the financials won't tell the whole story. They Entrepreneurs must ask themselves what the management of the company is like and find out why they want to sell. They must determine if the desired company’s product is up-to-date or if they stopped investing a long time ago in sales, product development and marketing. Entrepreneurs must also determine whether the acquisition can be integrated into their own company, and if they will gain synergies and cost savings, achieve a higher revenue and profitability.
Or on the flip side, if an entrepreneur is part of the acquired company, the questions are just as manifold. They should ask themselves if they want to be acquired. Is the business ready for it or should they continue solo for a while longer to achieve the optimal purchase price for the business? They must also determine whether they get on with the potential new management team, and assess the benefits of getting paid in cash or shares, and if there is some kind of earn out.
All of the above are questions that can be put to an experienced and grounded mentor. I am sure every entrepreneur wishes they could ask someone who'd been there and done it.