It’s helpful for any business owner to have someone they can turn to for business advice. In my experience, I’ve found that discussing your business issues with a person, or in a group of like-minded individuals, is particularly helpful when overcoming business challenges. However, many business owners tell me that they share business information with friends, their spouse, or family members. Very often, individuals who are not business owners simply don’t have the same business savvy as a business owner.
When seeking advice, or discussing new business ideas and challenges, it’s best to speak to people who understand your specific struggles. Here’s how you can go about finding the right individuals with whom to discuss your business.
1 - Find someone you can confide in
In my experience, trust is one of the most important things in any relationship - business or otherwise. Finding a business coach, mentor or advisor who understands what you’re going through is the key to openly discussing your business. You need to feel confident in their capabilities as a business professional: their successes and expertise, as well as their ability to communicate and share insights with you. Above all, you must feel 100% confident that you can confide in them, and that what you share will be kept confidential.
2 – Safety in numbers
In terms of group settings, an advisory board can offer all of the guidance you need for any business issue you may face. Small business owners don’t often have the opportunity to speak to a large board of directors in order to receive feedback about business concerns. It’s for this reason that I highly recommend business owners join a peer-advisory board.
In a peer advisory setting, I find that there is an even better atmosphere of trust and support. The term “safety in numbers” is something that definitely applies to business owners I’ve spoken with in regard to receiving guidance for their business-related concerns and questions. A group advisory setting is one of the most helpful and confidence-boosting ways to receive support.
A peer advisory board will also ensure that all information comes from a business-oriented perspective, enriching your own business practices while providing the essential insight to increase your business’ existing resources, growth, and profitability. The shared experiences within these groups can help business owners know that they’re not alone and offer better perspective in terms of business matters that may feel particularly challenging.
It also creates an opportunity to hold yourself accountable, both to the peer advisory board and to your business coach or advisor.
3 - Follow your gut
Relying on your gut instinct, in conjunction with your prior experience, is a big part of tackling important business decisions. When it comes to the big picture, you can ask a million reliable business associates for their advice, but when push comes to shove, your previous behaviors and instincts will guide you towards the decision that’s best for you, and your business.
I know many business owners who have pursued an idea because they had a “feeling” that it would be the right direction for their company. Even when you are receiving guidance from a peer advisory board, you will still find that you are confronted with situations where you need to make the final call. Trust yourself, and with the help of the wisdom you’ve gleaned from your peer advisory board, you’ll make the right decision.
The Alternative Board’s peer advisory program puts you in a room with other business owners who can help you overcome your business’s greatest challenges. Get in touch with a local board to learn more.
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