Being a small business owner is sometimes lonely proposition. You’re the person in charge of everything. From open to close, from income to expenses. Everyone looks to you for answers. Where do you turn for answers or advice?
There are many times you’re going to find yourself in need of advice for a specific situation. The following are people you can turn to for help and counsel when needed:
Spouse: Even though you might want to keep your business separate from your personal life, it mixes. Your spouse is someone you can turn to for advice on your small business. Now, they might not know the ins and outs of your business, but they know you. They know how you’ve dealt with things in the past and they have different recollections than you.
Accountant: You have an accountant, right? In most cases they’ve been exposed to many more small businesses than you have. They’ve experienced more unique situations, so they will have a vantage point you won’t have. In most cases, the accountant is the person you can turn to when you need more nuts and bolts operations type of advice.
Chamber members: Don’t assume your chamber of commerce is for a monthly get together. Put those contacts to use. Offer to meet a fellow member for lunch and develop a relationship. You might find it more fruitful to cultivate a relationship outside of your business type. This allows you source advice that isn’t based on your industry, which opens you to more ideas.
SBA SCORE: The Small Business Administration offers access to retired business executives when you need it. They are available almost anywhere in the country, and yes, over the internet. These are people who have many more years of experience in business than you do.
Employees: This one is a tough one. As the small business owner it’s important to keep a working relationship with your team. Sometimes, though, the team has the answers you’re looking for. This is especially true if your issue revolves around a customer.
Internet: You can always type your problem into a search engine and see what comes up. This will lead to blogs, forums and other information that can help you through your problem.
By using these contacts and sources you can find the sounding board you need. The important thing is to take action.