Advice:10 people who can offer you the best advice

By , published on 4th October 2010

You will find many people only too willing to offer you their opinion. But what you really need is advice from people with relevant knowledge and experience. Opinion is important and can help you shape your view. Good advice is more valuable, steering you away from potential pitfalls. Here are 10 different people who can advise you:

  1. Parents – they probably know you better than they know your business. Parents can help you be realistic and work within your personal and emotional capabilities;
  2. Bank manager – like you, your banker wants to see your enterprise grow and comfortably service its debts. Listen to their advice; they’ve usually seen it all before;
  3. Accountant – your accountant will always see more risks than opportunities. Let them keep your feet on the ground;
  4. Independent Financial Advisers – if your business needs to borrow or invest, a good IFA will usually offer more options than a bank. Make sure though, you talk to someone familiar with people like you, with high aspirations and goals;
  5. Consultants – always judge a consultant by his or her track record. Experience and testimonials are more important than qualifications. Be wary of those who claim to be able to save you money – they will cost you money first!
  6. Friends – rather like parents, friends know you better than your business. Encourage them to use their networks to introduce you to new customers;
  7. Customers – always listen to your customers. Their feedback can be invaluable as you strive to develop your business. Invite constructive criticism and act on it;
  8. Suppliers – invite your most important suppliers to offer their advice. Not only can they help you get more value from their products or services, they also understand your business sector;
  9. Support agencies – there’s a whole world of Government-funded business advice out there. Much of it is good and almost all of it is unbiased and sincere;
  10. Yourself – yes, you are probably your own best-qualified business adviser. Listen to your intuition and take time to reflect on what that inner voice tells you.

Action Learning Groups

Many people find it difficult to act on good advice. Usually it means doing something differently and often work gets in the way. As your own boss, you have no one to tell you do follow advice and so drifting along is all too easy.

Most business communities have one or more action learning groups. These have different names and are often linked with a university or college. Business support agencies sometimes set them up too. ‘Action Learning’ is a proven way of helping busy entrepreneurs develops their businesses.

If you join an ‘action learning set’ you will find:

  • A group of like minded fellow entrepreneurs;
  • Regular meetings at which you openly and confidentially discuss business issues;
  • An experienced facilitator, often from a business school;
  • Pressure from your peer group to put into action the changes you discuss and agree with the group.

In short, ‘action learning’ makes you accountable and makes you hold others accountable too. It’s a very effective way to develop your business. It’s also very good to have a bunch of like minded business owners in whom you can confide. You will also find yourself able to help others, however inexperienced you feel when you join.

Top Tip

The best advice always comes from people who have faced the same issue.

< See all advice

Robert Ashton

About Robert Ashton

Robert Ashton is an entrepreneur, campaigner and business author with three business books in the top 10 recommended for business on Amazon. He knows how enterprise can liberate, empower and strengthen people and communities. Robert is always focused on the end goal but treads lightly as he goes – that’s why he’s called the barefoot entrepreneur.

Post a new comment