“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” — John Crosby
The opportunity to learn from a mentor can do more for a campground owner than any course, educational program, or degree. Being a mentee means you get the benefit of first-hand experience, without having to make all the mistakes yourself.
A well-matched mentor is an invaluable asset for an entrepreneur. You’ll have someone you can trust and confide in, lean on for advice, bounce new ideas off of, and get help refining your campground business plans.
Finding the right fit
The first step to seeking out a mentor is to know the kind of guidance you and your RV park would most benefit from right now.
For campground owners in the early start-up stage, someone who can provide advice for surviving the first few lean years—and someone you can touch base with more often—may be the perfect fit. In this scenario finding a mentor with experience in the RV park industry is a plus, but not absolutely necessary. If you’re at the point where you’re ready to expand, you’ll likely want to narrow your search to a more selective pool of mentors with pertinent experience.
Where to look for a mentor
Start your search for a mentor in your current network. Think about who you know through your previous jobs, educational history, professional associations, and the local business community.
You can also find mentors by searching other organizations in your area—like SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) —that help match up business owners with trained mentors.
Another great way to find a mentor is an industry association like the ARVC. In addition to being able to network with potential mentors at your local and national conferences, the ARVC operates ARVC 20 Groups. These are groups of non-competing campgrounds that work together to help each other succeed through the confidential exchange of experiences, problems, and ideas at regular meetings.
You should also work closely with an accountant has an in-depth knowledge of your industry. They can offer valuable advice on business planning, tax strategies, and a wide array of ways that you can better run your campground.
Meeting with Your Mentor
Let’s face it: all business owners are busy people. And although it’s most beneficial to meet with a mentor consistently, doing so in person on a regular basis can be a challenge for both parties. For some mentors and mentees what works best are live web chats. Other options to consider are quick lunch hour sessions or connecting with a mentoring group that meets online.
To get the most of out of mentoring—and to demonstrate how valuable your mentor’s help has been—be sure to follow up on your progress. A mentor will appreciate hearing how you’ve put their advice to work, to achieve your milestones and successes. Also, be sure to follow through when you and your mentor come up with a strategy for your campground. A mentor is putting his time into helping you succeed. If you fail to implement agreed upon strategies, your mentor will feel like his/her time was wasted. Acknowledging your progress will also help you stay motivated by seeing how far you’ve come.
At Campground Accounting, we specialize in working with Campground and RV Park owners throughout the USA. Our industry knowledge is focused on taking the headaches out of accounting and helping you grow your campground’s value. Don’t you owe it to yourself to see how we can help you? Schedule a complimentary chat with us today at www.campgroundaccounting.com/meet.