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The Value Of E-Mentors

Taking your business online? Get some guidance.

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.

Aliza Sherman is a web pioneer, e-entrepreneur and author of eight books, including

PowerTools for Women in Business.

Her work can be found at mediaegg.com.

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