Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
1. Tell us a little bit about Minneapolis Business Mentors
MBmentors is a premier source of free small business advice for entrepreneurs and established businesses.
MBmentors was founded, and is staffed, by experienced executives and business owners with the objective of helping entrepreneurs and established business owners move their ideas and companies forward.
We are a non-profit, volunteer company that focuses on 3 core competencies:
Free and confidential mentoring.
Free skill-based workshops on a variety of topics to small business owners and startups.
Peer Advisory Groups facilitated by experienced corporate leaders and business owners.These are forums for business owners and CEO’s of non-competing small to medium sized companies to work through their corporate issues.
The 16 founding members of MBmentors have hundreds of accumulated years of business and mentoring experience working with entrepreneurs and business owners.
2. Were some of your volunteers affiliated with other mentoring organizations?
Some of our volunteers were affiliated with other mentoring organizations in the past as mentors, workshop presenters, and in many cases Chapter and District Leadership.
3. Why did you leave these other organizations to start MBmentors?
We all had different reasons for leaving these organizations, however, what we all shared is a common desire to:
Be solely focused on clients and offer more tailored services to entrepreneurs and small businesses in Hennepin county, and
The ability to enter into Affiliated Partnerships with other local organizations that support our clients.
Take mentoring, workshops and advisory groups to the next level of service by utilizing digital social media to reach and work with clients.
MBmentors offered us the platform to realize these objectives.
4. How are you different from other mentoring organizations?
We formed MBmentors to allow our mentors to more closely tailor our mentoring services to our client’s needs. We do this by:
Provide mentoring when and where the client wants. We do this by allowing the client to self-schedule online appointments (day, time, location, mentor).
Creating Affiliated Partnerships with organizations that support entrepreneurs and local businesses (chambers, co-working space groups, MeetUps, and more).
Maintaining the client-mentor relationship from business startup to the business sale.
Servicing a local, more focused area – Hennepin County.
Providing support to underrepresented groups.
5. How do you see the future of MBmentors?
The post COVID-19 reality has been both helpful and a significant hindrance.
Helpful, in that we have been able to get our all-volunteer, non-profit off the ground without significant external pressures; and
A hinderance in that many of the startups that would ordinarily be using our services such as food and service-related businesses, are necessarily on hold due to social distancing requirements.
Additionally, video sessions will likely be the mode of mentoring and workshop delivery for the foreseeable future given the COVID-19 risks. Our Peer Advisory Group sessions have been operating via video conferencing as well, however, this month they started face-face sessions with appropriate social distancing techniques.
6. Does MB Mentors Prepare Business/Financial Plans?
MB Mentors is a business mentoring organization and as such, provides counseling services on a wide range of business operations, finance, marketing and sales related issues to its clientele. Accordingly, MB Mentors will assist and guide clients in the preparation of business and financial plans as described below, but is precluded from actually producing a final product for the client.
MB Mentors offers assistance in developing the following types of business plans:
Feasibility Business Plan: A feasibility plan looks at the viability of a business idea and is primarily financial in nature. It helps identify potential business risks and provides a rough idea of the potential for success. The goal of this plan is to answer the question: will this business idea work and should you proceed with it?
Startup Business Plan: The startup business plan emphasizes highlights rather than lengthy narrative. It is a roadmap to operating and growing your business. This plan is developed for the business owner and his/her advisors and/or to secure funding from outside resources.
Traditional Business Plan: This plan provides detailed information about your business (sales, marketing, operations, management, and finance) to convince a bank or private investor your business is worth considering as an investment.
7. Does MB Mentors provide Legal and/or Financial Advice?
Although some of our volunteers might come professional backgrounds (i.e., Legal, Accounting, Engineering, Medical, etc), MB Mentors volunteers are strictly forbidden from providing any advice to clients that could be interpreted or construed as acting in a legal or finance/accounting capacity.
8. What does the future hold for Minneapolis Business Mentors?
For a company that started a few months ago, we have come a long way both from the standpoint of client development, services offered, and infrastructure, and we anticipate continuing that growth in the future.