Advice for Developing Businesses

Small business owners need assistance, especially if they are new to beginning and developing a business. For some, that means needing assistance from a more experienced colleague who can lead by example while for others, advice comes in the kind of networking events that connect them with professionals who have had similar experiences. While those approaches are great, often companies need more intensive, ongoing help as they make crucial decisions that affect the management of their companies. A small business adviser can bring the insight company owners need as they begin. Strategic business advice will help connect small business owners with the perfect advisors, but it is important that entrepreneurs find the ideal advisor to fulfill their own needs. Here are some things to look for as you try to get an advisor that will assist you.

A Coaching Mentality
Advisors are often brought in to analyze a company’s current operations and make recommendations before departing. But a thriving small business adviser will approach the job from a training standpoint, with the end goal of making sure that the small business owner receives the skills required to flourish long after the adviser is gone.

As you are reviewing an adviser’s background, search for work descriptions that address leadership training. An adviser should demonstrate a history of training entrepreneurs to success, in addition to a personal history of growing and running a company. Once an advisor knows what an entrepreneur is going through from personal experience, that compassion translates to an amazing advisor-entrepreneur partnership.

Small Business Background
Many small business advisors primarily work with bigger businesses. As valuable as their understanding can be, it is important to find an adviser who understands the special challenges small business owner’s face, especially if they’re working independently. Ensure that you find an advisor who knows the special dynamics of promotion, hiring, and competing with larger companies and can translate that knowledge to the products or services your company sells.

Better than an advisor who has worked with small business owners, is a person who has personally experienced owning a small business. A small business owner will understand how hard it can be to operate with very little funds and non-profit internal service.

Long-Term Thinking
To be truly successful, business owners should have a long-term mindset, having an idea of where they need to be in a couple of years. An excellent small business adviser will understand that and try to assist business owners not only identify those goals, but set smaller goals to help them stay on track.

Look for small business consultants that have successfully helped small business owners create business plans, land investment dollars, and plot out their long-term aims. As you talk with prospective advisors, ask how they will help you establish long-term targets and listen for signs that they put an emphasis on long-term preparation. Because you’ll likely just have an advisor for a brief while, it is important to create a foundation which you can build off of as you try to plan on your own in the upcoming years, to work out specific requirements and solutions for your business.

Similar Values
Perhaps the most important quality of all in a small business adviser is a similar value system. If you prize integrity over “winning at any cost,” an advisor who does not agree with that mentality is going to be a poor fit for you. If you think people come before profits, it is important to find an adviser who agrees with this way of thinking and makes it possible to craft a company that helps individuals, with profits naturally after.

That is not to say that an entrepreneur cannot benefit from a different perspective. An advisor may think of instructions for your company that never happened to you. It is important to separate thoughts from core values and ensure that you find an adviser with a composite of similar values and special ideas.

Ramon Richardson