In business terms the description 'wise' translates into someone who is experienced in running a successful business operation, and who is adept at passing on that knowledge. With over 65% of businesses failing in their first year of trading, the suggestion would be that new business entrepreneurs should seek all the assistance the can get!
Selecting a Mentor.
So how does an aspiring business person find and select a mentor to help them with the operation of their enterprise? A common starting place is within the family. Is there a relative who has proven business skills, and who has the time and desire to help you? If so, all well and good - just be careful to choose a family member who has the integrity necessary to disagree with you and counsel you, when they perceive it to be necessary.
Secondly, look around your friends and their parents. Perhaps there's someone in that group who can offer genuine assistance and advice from time to time.
Is your operation a franchise? If so, there may well be a mentoring program already set up internally to provide the exact type of assistance you are looking for.
Lastly try contacting you local chamber of commerce - a locally based group of business people who come together to discuss common issues or to lobby the government. Within this group there will likely be successful business operators who may be willing to give of their time and knowledge. You won't know till you ask.
What to Expect of a Mentor. A mentor is not a guardian angel sitting at your shoulder each and every day. Usually they will be a person who is active in their own enterprise and therefore simply not available all the time. The best expectation of a business mentor is someone who can be consulted from time to time, when issues arise that are new or unknown to their protegee.
A lot of mentor relationships fail through over dependence on the mentor, and poor communication between the two. Put yourself in your mentors shoes, (it's likely that if you grow to run a successful operation that you'll be a mentor yourself before long), and visualize how you'd appreciate being "used".
I agree with this, What should you look for in a mentor? A good rapport, which is a gut instinct. So you should know immediately, even if you can't explain exactly why. A mentor should stop an entrepreneur from doing something stupid and make sure they see the good opportunities that lie ahead. If a mentor doesn't add value for three months or more, then it's time for a change.
For all those who are venturing into a new business, having someone to guide them through the murky waters of business development can be a great thing. A great mentor cannot only help your business grow but they can also help you avoid pitfalls that most people make when the business is in its formative years.