How to Get Business Advice from the Pros
Getting professional business advice can spell the difference between a successful and a doomed venture, both at startup and as your business grows. When looking for that kind of help, you have three main types of resources to depend on.
One would be seminars and self-help tools, such as books and magazines, which are all affordable and quite useful for any passionate beginner. There are business coaches as well, or long-term advisors who can help you with your business plan and offer valuable business skills as you move forward. And of course, you have consultants, who are more of specialists whom businesses hire to help with specific areas of operation, such as sales and marketing or computer networking.
As you probably know, these three business advice sources are not very exclusive. As they share one common goal, which is to help a business, they are quite substantially linked with one another, even if they each have a different purpose.
Just as it takes a whole village to raise a child, it takes a full range of outside specialists to help usher a business into the field. With all three combined, you won’t only be assisted at startup, but also as you move along and aim for the top.
You can’t underestimate how a good self-help material – for example, books, CDs, DVDs, etc. – can inspire you and teach you crucial lessons. There’s practically a whole sea of choices out there!
Of course, a lot of these materials can be found online, but stick to reputable sources. Such materials can help explain basic principles of business, complete with examples, and provide general pointers on various areas of business, from email marketing to writing business proposals. Go visit your local library or university and consult your local chamber of commerce.
While self-help materials come in handy for general advice, a business coach can provide very specific and or highly customized advice, depending on the dynamics of your business. As you may expect, you need to pay a retainer fee, which usually depends on what type of program should be prepared for you and the number hours that you’ll be working with the coach.
A good coach is someone who has a long experience that they can use to study your business model, identify problems, propose improvements and basically do day-to-day troubleshooting. If sales are not very good, they will try to see what’s the problem and come up with a solution.
When you choose a coach, they should be available to personally observe your operations, offer training assistance, and be on call. Of course, you need someone you have personal chemistry with. It’s hard to do business with someone you can’t get along with.