5 Lessons Learned: Planning

Tips for Getting Pro Business Advice

Getting expert business advice can mean all the difference when it comes to business success or failure, both in the startup phase and as the business expands. When searching for this kind of help, three types of resources are usually available.

One would be seminars, books and other self-help tools that can actually be helpful and inexpensive for beginners. There are also business coaches or long-term advisors who can help you perfect your initial business plan and provide crucial problem-solving skills as you go along. And of course, there are consultants who are usually hired for their special expertise in particular areas of a business, such as IT or marketing.

As you might surmise, these three sources of business advice are not exactly exclusive. Since they have one and the same goal, that is, to help business, they all related to one another, even as each one serves a unique purpose.

Just as you need an entire village in raising a child, you need a variety of external specialists to help a business cut through its market. With a combination of these three types of businesses, you won’t only be spared from preventable mistakes at startup, but you can also gain a lot of insights to help propel your business to the top.

There’s no underestimating the power behind a good self-help material, such as a business book or magazine. You’ve got practically unlimited choices out there!

Of course, many of these materials are available online, but make sure your sources are credible. These materials can help convey fundamental business principles and examples, and offer general business tips on a wide range of business topics, from submitting proposals to email marketing. Go to your local library or university, or approach your 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 expected, they will charge a retainer, which usually depends on how many hours a week you’ll be meeting and the type of program they will create for you.

A good coach is one who has a long history behind him giving him what it takes to effectively analyze your business model, suggest improvements, pinpoint problem areas, etc. If you’re having problems with certain areas of operation, like sales, they will try to see what’s wrong and then devise ways to correct the issues.

When selecting a coach, look for someone who will be available personally to observe your operations, as well as provide training and just remain available when they are needed. Of course, you should also pay attention to the chemistry you have. It’s hard to be productive with someone you don’t even like.

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