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8 Most Commonly Asked Questions


How do I know whether having a Mentor will benefit me?

That is impossible to answer as each business has specific needs. We have however been around since 1986 and helped over 20,000 businesses. Reading the Testimonials page and Success Stories will give you some idea of the wide range of small businesses who have benefited from our Mentoring assistance.


Does my business qualify for Mentoring?

Your business must be based in Victoria and be “small” which is a broad definition varying from a start-up concept to an established business that needs additional support.


What are the benefits of SBMS Mentoring compared to other forms of business assistance?

SBMS and its experienced business Mentors operate as a voluntary organisation which means they can offer you an experienced affordable service which is tailored precisely to what you want. Your Mentor is their solely to help you resolve issues and build a successful business. However, bear in mind we are not consultants who do paid work for you, we mentor you to help you avoid mistakes and take your business to the next level.


What’s the difference between a Mentor and a Consultant?

Very broadly, a Consultant is somebody who you pay to do the work for you whereas a Mentor is somebody who helps you understand the work that is required so you can do it yourself. SBMS Mentors can be involved in doing some parts of the work where specific assistance is required, but in ALL instances, the input of the business operators is crucial to the success of the mentoring process.


Who are the Mentors and how do I choose the best one for my business?

Our Mentors are generally recently retired business people with wide and deep experience in their particular field. Our search engine is designed to help you select the most suitable Mentor based on skills, location and industry. We find most issues our clients have are of a general nature and Mentors can come to grips with these and provide real help very quickly.


How does the Mentoring work?

You choose a Mentor based on the kind of help you require (select from the topic buttons on the home page). You then select the Mentor who has the knowledge and experience to best suit your business needs. You will then receive a booking confirmation by email and your selected Mentor will contact you to arrange your first meeting to discuss and evaluate whatever business issues you want help with at a mutually convenient place and time. At the end of the session you agree on the action points you will undertake before the next meeting and when that will be. Most people require 3 - 4 sessions before issues are resolved. Additional meetings can be arranged as required.


Is Mentoring Expensive?

No, it’s excellent value for money particularly compared to professional consultancy services. Depending on the number of sessions you have it is between $115 and $145 per session. We recommend 3 - 4 sessions with each session lasting around 1-1½ hours. SBMS Mentors are volunteers and therefore do not get paid for their mentoring which is why we can offer this low-cost service.


Will Mentors come to us? Metropolitan and Regional

SBMS Mentors are usually retired or semi-retired Volunteers who offer their assistance at low subsidised rates to help you make your business better. In most instances the Mentor will come to you. If you live outside of a mentors’ listed area (Mentors work areas are shown under their Profile), Mentors will be happy to meet you at an agreed location. 

If you are a regional client seeking a metropolitan mentor or the reverse, you can still choose any mentor provided you are prepared to travel to meet at an agreed location. In general, if a selected Mentor does not travel to your region we will endeavour to find a suitable more local one.