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, books and other self-help tools that can actually be helpful and inexpensive for beginners. There are business coaches too, or long-term advisors who can help you create or polish your business plan and give valuable tips and pointers as you proceed. And of course, consultants are there to provide their specialized expertise on particular areas of a business, like human resources or sales.
As you might have surmised, these three business advice sources are not completely independent of each other. Because they all have one goal – to help a business – they are heavily connected with one another, even if each of them plays their own unique role.
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 all three combined, you won’t only be assisted at startup, but also as you move along and aim for the top.
You can never underestimate what a good business book or self-help material can do. There’s practically a whole sea of choices out there!
Of course, online is an almost infinite source, but practice good judgment and stick to credible sources. These materials help you understand the most important business principles, and offer general advice on many different topics, from submitting a business proposal to creating a lead masterlist. 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 you’d expect, you have to pay a retainer, which often depends on the number of hours you’ll be working together, and the program that will be designed for you.
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 there are issues, like poor sales, they will look into your operations and find the problem, and then provide 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.