Mentoring in business

Business mentoring is an opportunity for you to get help from knowledgeable advisers who understand the needs of your business.

Business mentors can help with:

  • building your skills
  • providing insight and feedback on your practices
  • setting goals for growth
  • connecting you with networks and opportunities.

Mentors are often connected to government programs and your industry.

Mentoring often occurs in a 1-on-1 or small group setting for a personalised and flexible approach.

When you become experienced in your own business, you may consider becoming a mentor to guide others.

Benefits of mentoring

Starting and running your small business can be challenging without an independent guide to help and challenge you.

Having a business mentor can help your business with continual growth by clarifying the best actions to take and how to avoid decisions that lead to low returns.

Mentors can help set realistic goals that fit with your skills, knowledge and lifestyle, and prevent you from making serious mistakes.

Other benefits of mentoring include:

  • developing ideas and strategies to successfully start your new venture or grow an established business
  • improving your understanding of financial and non-financial success indicators and benchmarking
  • helping you with common problems in your business
  • advising you on innovation and sustainability strategies
  • developing your leadership skills
  • providing training and development in business skills to improve your business
  • helping with mental health support in challenging circumstances (e.g. natural disasters, pandemic, closing your business)
  • connecting you with networks and advisers
  • connecting you with government and other programs, including grants
  • helping to plan for business succession (e.g. selling, passing on to your children, closing).

Mentoring programs

Mentoring programs give you access to experienced business and industry experts who can identify opportunities or refine the skills you need to develop your business.

The following are examples of mentoring programs you can consider.

The M4G program gives eligible businesses free access to volunteer business experts and includes:

  • Mentoring for Growth sessions
  • Mentoring for Investment
  • Mentoring for Pitch
  • Mentoring for Export
  • Mentoring for Recovery.

Learn more about the M4G program.

The Small Business Solutions program provides training, advice and partnerships to help you develop and grow your business.

Mentors provide 1-on-1 mentoring sessions and workshops to improve your business.

Find out more about small business solutions training packages.

Becoming a member of an industry association may give you access to industry-specific mentors.

Read more about how industry associations can help you.

Various tailored mentoring programs are available to women starting a business.

Read more about support for women in business.

Becoming a business mentor

Becoming a mentor can be very satisfying as you help a business, business owner or staff member develop and grow.

As a mentor, you should have extensive business experience and skills in your industry and be well-connected to business networks.

Skills needed to become a business mentor include:

  • business operations
  • communication and leadership
  • problem-solving
  • networking and business development

If you have the right skills and experience to offer your time as a mentor, you can: