You've decided to put your company online or use the Internet to expand your business. Feeling out of sorts? Need specific advice? It might be time to get an e-mentor.
An e-mentor is simply someone who has the experience you currently lack who agrees to help you navigate this new digital world through regular e-mails. They aren't consultants-they're someone you e-mail a quick question to regarding finding a consultant. They've been there, done that and are willing to share their knowledge.
How do you find an e-mentor? Just e-mail. If you know of someone doing what you want to be doing, stop by his or her Web site and send an e-mail. Networking at Internet and new media industry events is another way to find a savvy e-business owner.
Set parameters to your e-mentoring relationship. One e-mail per week, two e-mails per month-let your potential e-mentor know you respect their time and won't overstep the bounds of an acceptable number of e-mails. Or say that you only need an e-mentor to help you make key decisions before setting up your online catalog and that once the catalog is up and running, the e-mentoring will come to an end.
The convenience, speed and ease of e-mail makes e-mentoring a great way to get advice from those in the know.
Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl: A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books). She is currently working on her next book and new company.