Planning, projecting, managing employees, tracking and increasing sales, designing and implementing marketing strategies…are just some of the things on the to-do list never ends for business owners, especially for startups, small companies, or companies who are focused on growing quickly.
Sometimes it feels like you’ll never be able to get everything done without four hands and two heads. While that’s not physically possible, there’s an even better solution: find a business advisor.
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A business advisor is someone who has years of experience creating and growing a successful businesses. They are your consultant who will grow your business to the next level with their guidance and their expert strategy.
With their advisory services, a business advisor will help create a strategic business plan for your existing business that caters towards areas such as analyses, projections, management, marketing, sales, and any other number of tasks and strategies that are essential to the success of your business.
Business advisors are legal advisors who have already gone through the trials and tribulations that entrepreneurs and business owners will certainly face. Their experience and expertise in this field can help you avoid making mistakes, save you time and money, and grow your small business in a sustainable way.
How to Find the Right Small Business Advisor
Finding the right person to advise and mentor you can be a tricky task. There are many different factors to take into account when you are looking for the right business advisor. Some business advisors will be stronger candidates than others so it is important to note these key factors when trying to find the right one for you.
- Experience – You need to find someone who is experienced in the areas that you’re looking to improve as well as a personality that you can understand and connect with. These small business advisors, at the least, should have a certification that shows their practice has been verified. You should also find someone who has experience consulting with other small businesses. The right business advisor should be understanding and supportive as well as motivating and inspiring too.
- Effective communication skills – There are a number of different shapes an advisor/advisee relationship can take, and many different ways to connect. Some people prefer virtual conferences, via phone or video call, while others prefer face to face interactions. Many times a combination of the two is used to work around each other’s schedules. Whether it be online or in person, the right business advisor should be able to communicate with you effectively and honestly whenever you need.
- Close Proximity – Finding a business advisor near you can be super beneficial because they may have valuable insights into local industries, landscapes, and networks. It’s more likely that you’ll have more in common with someone who lives and works in the same area as you. That’s not to say this is the best for everyone – in our years of experience we’ve helped and been helped by connections from all around the country and world – but it’s something to keep in mind as you begin to look for a business advisor.
Places to find mentors and advisors for business owners and entrepreneurs
There are 4 ways that people commonly use to find a business mentor:
- Searching online
- Using your personal network
- Local search
- Start with your favorite book
We’ll take a look at the pros, cons, and best practices for each of these methods here.
1. Searching online
Searching online will obviously yield the most options and you can access a vast number of professionals in just a few minutes. The most obvious con is that you’re going to have to go through a huge number of results and perform some intensive research in order to find out who is legit and who is just a clever marketer.
The best thing to do – before you even open up your computer – is to come up with a list of minimum requirements that you’re going to need from your advisor. You should have at least a couple of questions prepared that will help you determine whether or not you should engage with the potential candidate.
Most advisors will offer a free meeting or session with their potential client in order to learn about their client and see if the client has the potential for a mutually beneficial relationship. Take them up on this. It’s much easier to get a feel for someone’s personality from an actual conversation than from reading their marketing materials.
2. Using your personal network
Speaking with peers, colleagues, friends, and family is one of the best ways to find a reliable advisor. Referrals often lead to successful advisor and advisee relationships, but be sure to ask your referrer a few questions such as:
- Was your advisor’s advice reliable to your overall business plan?
- Were they able to complete all of their commitments?
- What was the strategic planning process your advisor took in order to help your business grow, such as with financial projections?
- Did you see an ROI and cash flow with your expert advisor?
- Do you think they’d be a good fit for my company and my personality?
If the answers to these questions are yes, then you should take the time to speak with the business consultant.
3. Local search
There are plenty of places you can go locally to try to find an advisor or get some advice on where to look:
- Networking events
- Coworking spaces
- Chamber of commerce meetings
You’ll have to do some networking and digging in order to find a potential advisor, but once you do it will be much easier to figure out how to access the industry. If you meet with an advisor and it’s not the right fit, you might even be able to ask them if they have any recommendations on where to look next.
4. Start with your favorite book
Many authors provide advising services – and many advisors write books. If you’ve read a book that has changed your life or improved your mindset it might be worth it to reach out to the author and see if they are interested in helping you out. You may be able to turn them into your advisor, or maybe they’ll give you some tips on what helped them get to a solid point in their career. Either way, it never hurts to reach out.
Here at Maui Mastermind we have assembled one of the best teams of advisors in the nation and are proud to offer our services to entrepreneurs, small, medium, and large business owners.
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Where to Find a Business Advisor
Having trouble finding a business advisor? Let us help get you on the right track.
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