our focus lies in the realm of small business, but we stay connected to the "big-market" world of venture capital and their "sexy" startups because 1) there's a lot of talented folks who hang out in that neighborhood, and 2) they're consistently sharing valuable experiences and insights about growing businesses.
though much of the perspective and advice associated with growing a large market venture is irrelevant to growing a small business, every once in a while we encounter a universal truth worthy of sharing. today we were inspired by an article published by the venture development center at umass boston. here's our condensed translation for the small business owner ::
the folks at umass rightly posed the question of "how do you know if a mentor has the right qualifications, motivation and time commitment to help?" in response, they came up with a rating system based on four simple questions to help business owners determine if a prospective mentor is likely to meet their needs. again, we've made some slight adjustments to account for the variations associated with building a company for "main street" vs. wall street ::
(attach a score to each of your answers, with 1 being low and 4 being high)
total your score and divide by four. here’s what it means:
1.0 to 2.99 – the mentor is just a contributor.
3.0 to 3.99 – the mentor is, well, a mentor.
4.0 – the mentor is a super mentor, the kind you want.
like the umass venture center, mentorship lies at the core of ZENCubate and all of our other business-building services. we buy into the concept of scoring a "4.0" on their scale, and you should, too.
thought we'd post some pics from our first-ever lunchtime office hours with the main street mentors (sm). we send good karma (and much thanks) to attorney john koenig of the indigo venture law offices for travelling out to the 'burbs and "holding court" with local business owners.
next month, our zen master (main street ventures) has arranged for bungalow member tom lanen (thomasboston - small business brand + marketing) help business owners learn how to make small brands more profitable.
is there a particular topic or profession with whom you'd like to have a free consultation? let us know, and we'll bring them to the bungalow. are you a budding "main street mentor?" (somebody who understands small business and understands the products and services that count are those focused upon delivering value) contact our zen master and see what it takes to become part of the gang!