Mentoring entrepreneurs for the 4th industrial revolution
By DERRICK NDZAVI
The 4th Industrial Revolution dictates how entrepreneurs must be mentored. Technology has changed how business is conducted; a lot is reliant on IT-based systems and processes. Meetings are no longer held face to face but via apps that enable people to connect even while miles apart, without traveling. Question is, how ready are business advisors to exploit these systems in order to enhance their service delivery? Are mentors compliant with 4th Industrial requirements to meet the demands and needs of this new generation of businesses?
Whereas Whatsapp calls are regarded by some as childish or playful, they can no longer be ignored as core tools to facilitate or conduct business. Even Facebook inbox is no longer the realm of just friends to drop the odd “Hi”, but can convey some order or other from a client. Not only are CEO’s all over LinkedIn, but they use other social media platforms like Twitter to engage with clients, position themselves as thought-leaders and to solicit new business. As an advisor and a mentor, the following should be taken into consideration in a way of enhancing service delivery to the clients:
Use of Social Media platforms:
Media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter were traditionally regarded as for youth. True as that may be, it is also youth who need advice and assistance in setting up new businesses. Facebook, for instance, has many groups that are meant for entrepreneurs; so as a mentor, one can become a resident advisor, which can lead to good business deals. One can also create their own page through which to drive content that in turn can drive traffic to the business. Own platforms via the Twitter handle, LinkedIn and others mean you can connect with clients where they are. Radio and TV do not provide much when looking for experts in any subject, but followings and social media trends can make contacts of influential contributors available on those platforms.
Use of IT platforms for meetings
Due to heavy traffic and an increase in travel expenses, face to face meetings are not as popular or viable as they used to. Access to online resources can make offline meetings to be held while miles apart as if face to face. This kind of innovation creates opportunities for Advisors and Mentors to not only render services to local residents, but also beyond their country’s borders, opening up a whole global market for them. It is up to Business Mentors to position themselves and upgrade their systems in order to accommodate those clients who may need meetings using electronic means. These meetings can be audio or video communication. This calls for them to also upgrade their IT knowledge in order to use these platforms effectively.
Use of Webinars to reach out to your clients
Through Webinars, one can conduct a group mentorship or address conference delegates without being physically there. However, without prior knowledge, one cannot just master it on the day that they’re expected to make use of it. It is imperative to keep abreast with technological developments if one wants to deliver quality service that will be well received by clients going forward. “I don’t know how this or that works” is no longer an acceptable excuse when it comes to IT. The more one uses these platforms, the more available they become through search engines, making global access that much easier. 4th Industrial Entrepreneurs are looking for their peers in terms of understanding and familiarity with IT systems and platforms. Business advisors will ignore these platforms at their peril.
- Derrick Ndzavi is a Certified Business Advisor at Discovery BS and serves on the Marketing & Communication Committee of Institute of Business Advisors Southern Africa; along with hosting a Forum on the topic “Overcoming Current Challenges in Ensuring Quality Business Advising”.