Business mentoring is a relationship between you - as an entrepreneur and someone with business experience who is willing to act as a guide. The business mentor offers advice, guidance and support to help you run and improve your business.
It can involve face-to-face meetings or online discussions - or a combination of both - depending on which arrangement is best for both parties.
It's likely that your mentor will stay in regular contact with you through meetings, telephone calls and emails. The nature of the relationship may vary from being fairly casual - eg a monthly telephone call or informal visit - to being more formal and structured - eg setting meeting agendas and business objectives. Some mentoring services are free and others are paid for or available by subscription to an organisation.
Not all mentors have to be formally established as such. Friends, family and business contacts can all become involved in unofficial mentoring.
There are several organisations that make mentors available to businesses. Many of these are represented on the national business mentoring network, Mentorsme.co.uk, which provides access to around 10,000 mentors - offering both free and paid for mentoring. This government-backed service is funded by the British Bankers' Association and supported by the Better Business Finance Roundtable, which includes the key business groups in the UK.
There are many other sources of business mentors, including some geared specifically towards supporting local businesses, young entrepreneurs or specific business sectors. See the page in this guide on further information for finding or becoming a business mentor.