(2023) How start-up business mentor can help you succeed

Denis Shatalin
Founder of SaaS Camp

What is a start up business mentor, and why do you need one?

90% of startup businesses fail, with 20% failing in the first year alone. That can be pretty difficult to hear if you’re an entrepreneur trying to start your own business, I know because I was in your shoes, trying to get my new SaaS venture off the ground.

But working with a startup business mentor like myself or attending my SaaS camp startup business excelerator can help to move the odds in your favor. In this article we’ll explore exactly what a startup mentor is, what they do and how they could help your business.

What is a startup mentor

In its simplest terms, a startup mentor is someone who works with business owners to help them achieve and maintain the business success that they are dreaming about. As an entrepreneur myself I have gone through the highs and lows of starting a SaaS business.

When I mentor startup founders, we focus on their current pain points, and work together to create actionable insights and plans for them to rapidly scale their micro-SaaS businesses to reach their full potential.

Because every business is different, so is every journey with a startup mentor. Maybe you just need occasional help with marketing plans or strategies, or maybe you need an ongoing partner and advisor to work with you and push your business to reach its goals.

What kind of business needs a startup mentor

Because startup business mentors like myself don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach, any business can benefit from using startup mentors’ services and guidance, from micro-SaaS companies looking to secure their first sale all the way up to huge FinTech companies.

Maybe your business is brand new and you are struggling to get your first sale, or maybe you have been slowly moving along with a handful of clients, but are wondering how to take your business to the next level and cater to your first enterprise client.
Testimonials from 3 SaaS Founders on how Denis helped them grow their startups as a Startup Coach.

What issues can a startup business mentor help with

This will really come down to your individual business needs because startup business mentors tailor their approach to your specific business needs. That might include:

You aren't sure anyone needs your product

With so many product and service offerings around all the time, it can be difficult to determine whether your business idea is actually answering a gap in the market or not.

SaaS business mentors have a wealth of experience with what different niches are profitable and can help you to determine whether your idea is viable, and even assist in validating your existing SaaS idea.

You shared your product, but nobody signed up

So you did all the hard work, you created a product, you got it up and running and shared it out into the world but…. Nobody signed up. It can be hard to know where to even start investigating why or what went wrong.

Because startup business mentors have already gone through the process of
launching a SaaS business, they learnt these lessons the hard way and can now help you quickly find the root of the problem.

You don't understand how to sell what you've got

You know you have a good product, you know that it’s filling a current gap in the market, and you know that there is an interested audience out there, you just don’t know how to reach that audience.

You could spend months or years trying out different marketing techniques and spending your precious budget to test out what works and what doesn’t, or a startup business mentor could help you identify the most profitable avenues for your marketing right off the bat.

You put in lots of effort, but users aren't coming back

So many SaaS startups end, and the founders aren’t even sure why. You can put in so much effort, but the results just aren’t coming to you. Maybe you have been trying different avenues and techniques, and haven’t found one that has worked for you yet.

Sometimes when you feel like you’ve hit a wall and you’re fresh out of ideas, getting an experienced pair of fresh eyes across your work can make a world of difference, because they can point out the common pitfalls that they have seen time and time again.

You can't find the message to sell your product

You might have an amazing product, and a groundbreaking vision, but not everybody is a marketer! Sometimes finding the right messaging to get your product across to your target market is the most difficult part of the whole process.

A startup mentor can work with you to simplify your messaging and pull out the key features of your product, in a way that makes the most sense to your audience.

How does a startup mentor work with you?

As soon as you partner with a startup mentor, you’ll work on uncovering key learnings and tackling the biggest issues that are holding your business back.

From gaining new networking opportunities to receiving help building your image and brand, startup mentors offer an array of benefits, such as:

Free resources

Maybe you don’t have the budget to commit to mentoring yet, or maybe you’re unsure of whether you could use a startup mentor. A fantastic way to dip your toes in is to utilize the many free resources that are available to you.

From guides, to educational YouTube videos or a free weekly newsletter packed with tips and insights, there are plenty of different avenues for business owners to access key insights and valuable tips.


Once you have tapped into free resources and you’ve decided that it’s time to put the pedal to the metal, bootcamps are the thing for you. They’re designed to create maximum change in minimum time, and focus on actionable insights that you can work on immediately.

My SaaS bootcamp helps you quickly find paying users and grow your MRR. We work to help you niche down, find your ideal customers, and convert them. This is for entrepreneurs looking for maximum growth!
Testimonials from 2 SaaS Founders on how Denis Shatalin helped them grow their startups as a Startup Coach.
Startup Networking

Maybe you don’t feel ready for any of those steps, or you are just getting started with your journey of looking for a startup business mentor. Focus on networking! Reach out to me so that you can begin your journey of expanding your network.

Having a solid network of like-minded entrepreneurs is a key part of your startup journey. We all need someone to bounce ideas off, inspire us or just give us the truth about an idea that may not be as good as it looked to us on paper (I know I need that sometimes)!

What should you look for in a mentor?

Of course, you want to find a mentor who has relevant experience in your field of interest. If you’re a SaaS startup, find someone who has experience running a SaaS business. If you’re in SEO, find someone who has experience running a digital marketing agency. Pretty straightforward.

It’s also important to find a mentor who is enthusiastic about their role as a mentor. The last thing you want is someone who is teaching you for the sake of a paycheck. The best mentors are ones who are eager to share their knowledge and make a difference in someone else’s life!

Finally, you want a mentor who is capable of providing transparency (this is a big one)! A mentor who tells you everything you want to hear is counterproductive. Rather, you want someone who is willing to give criticism. Although some people may struggle with this concept, constructive feedback is key in a successful mentor-mentee relationship.

How long does a startup mentor work with you?

That totally depends on what you want their assistance with! Sometimes entrepreneurs are stuck with one particular issue. For example, they want to niche down. Once they have worked with a startup mentor to find a suitable niche, they may feel confident to continue on their own.

But lots of business owners like to have an ongoing relationship, so that you have someone in your corner who can constantly push you and your business to the next level. Not only will you have someone that can help you brainstorm new ideas, but they can keep you accountable to your plans, and ensure that you are following through.

How to get started with a startup business mentor?

This one is really simple, reach out! Startup mentors like myself are truly passionate about helping others succeed, and I love chatting with fellow entrepreneurs. Whether you want to hire me to work with you, or you just want to widen your network, I’d love to talk.

As someone who has gone through the hard yards of working to get my own SaaS business off the ground, now I love returning the favor to the industry that I’m passionate about. So no matter how big or small your business problem is, I can find a way to help you solve it.
+240K ARR Playbook
How you can add $240K ARR to your B2B SaaS in less than 6 months using a Hybrid Customer Acquisition System (without increasing your marketing budget)
*Currently still available for download; file access may be restricted at any time
✋ Hey, it's Denis! Thanks for reading :) If you want my help with your startup, the quickest way to reach me is at denis@saascamp.com. I upload my best content on YouTube. Let's connect on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.