What to expect from a business mentor

Running a franchise can be lonely. But you don't have to go it alone. Rebecca Newenham explains how a mentor could be by your side to help you realise your business ambition.

What to expect from a business mentor

Ever felt like you have no one to turn to? Nobody to share your ideas with or help you work through your challenges? A business mentor could change all that. But what can you expect from a business mentor? How does the relationship work, and how do you choose one? Like coaching, different options are available, from free to paid-for services. As always, it pays to do your homework and find someone you think can be a real benefit to you and your business. 

Whoever you choose to work with, here are some of the things you should expect to gain from this potentially fruitful working relationship:

A listening ear

A good business mentor will first and foremost be a listener. They will listen to you talk about your business, your dreams and aspirations, as well as your current challenges. As they operate outside your day-to-day business and are completely impartial, you can be open and honest about what’s going well and discuss any difficult areas you want to address. For many business owners, talking to someone helps them to feel more supported and find clarity through tricky situations. You may find it particularly useful during your franchise’s launch or growth phase or as an ongoing partnership.

Support you can rely on

Whether you are a solopreneur or running a team, working in a small or large organisation, anyone can feel alone in business. A mentor is there to provide ongoing, dependable and relatable support and advice for you and your business – to help you address challenges but also to help you celebrate your achievements. It is often too easy to lose sight of these when you are busy running your franchise. But it is hugely empowering and motivating to take the time to look at what has gone well and how far you have come. I love working alongside my mentees, cheering them on, celebrating their wins and helping bring their business ambitions to life.

Actionable insight

In contrast to a business coach, a business mentor will usually share their business experience to help you benefit from best practices. They will share pragmatic advice and proven strategies to suggest new ways of doing things and confirm where they believe you are taking the right steps. When choosing a business mentor, it’s helpful to find someone within your industry, someone who has had experience of franchising, or whom you share a personal connection with, like a shared belief in the value of flexible working. This will enable you to quickly build a positive working relationship and allow you to benefit from their expertise. For example, I draw upon my experiences, learnings, and successes to advise, consult and mentor women, enabling them to launch and scale their own business and make it a success on their own terms, built around their lifestyle. Think about the contacts your business mentor might have in addition to their experience and how their introductions might be helpful to your franchise.


Mentoring isn’t just about listening. It’s a safe space to explore ideas and turn thoughts into action. You should expect to leave every session with clear actions that you can implement immediately and a time frame by which to deliver them. Your mentor will check in with you to see your progress. It might be having a difficult conversation with a client or staff member, finding three options for expanded premises, or committing to elevating your social media presence by posting at least weekly on LinkedIn. Whatever the action, your business mentor should hold you accountable for achieving it, so that you feel the benefit of mentoring and make progress in your business. Most importantly, you’ll get to celebrate your success and the steps you have taken to improve your business.

Whilst your business mentor may become one of your most passionate ambassadors, they won’t be afraid to challenge you and be direct if they feel it is right for you and your business. Like any relationship, the more time and effort you put into your mentor relationship and the more open and honest you are, the greater benefit you and your franchise will receive.

Rebecca Newenham
Rebecca Newenham