January 8, 2023 Andy Driver

The biggest issue to overcome when looking for advice is asking for it.

It’s easy to believe that you should have the right answers to all of your questions, and regard it as a weakness that you might need to ask people for some help.

Part of my skill set, honed over 30 years, is being able to find solutions and give the right advice for most business needs. It’s something I do on a daily basis. The articles on this site are written as a small example of this.

The first challenge is what’s stopping you asking for advice. The people you know will generally be very happy to give you some advice and guidance. And even people you don’t know.

The small business community is generally friendly and cooperative. And if you have a good network around you, then even if the person you’re talking to cannot help you, they will often know someone who might be able to.

So, think about your wider network and tap into this.

It’s also worth saying that everybody in business has faced similar problems to the ones you are contemplating and so nothing that you ask will be new or unusual, although it might seem that way to you.

#thinklocal #supportlocal

Much of the working community is littered with like-minded, kind-spirited and helpful business people. As young or expanding businesses, our role is to build our own brand, but also help others build theirs so that we can be a more powerful and more prosperous community.

Remember there is no such thing as a daft question

Other great sources of advice include family and friends, particularly those with a current or previous business interest, not necessarily the same as yours.

The principles of business are the same across different sectors, so it’s likely that somebody from another type of enterprise has faced your issues and has some valuable insight for you.

Trade associations

If you’re a member of a trade group or a specialist network, be sure to pick the brains of those people. Again, they be familiar with helping their fellow members and will often want to do that, as part of their philosophy of engaging with their sector colleagues.

Ask the question, ‘who do you know who?’ Whilst not everybody can help you directly, they will often know others who can. I will be happy to network you into others who can give you a helping hand. Most professionals don’t charge you for a short conversation. So, the adage ‘it’s free to ask’ is normally true.

The key to receiving good advice is to have the confidence to ask for it. Be as creative in asking for advice you are in your day-to-day business. You will know the people who you can trust best and whose wisdom you value most. So, trust your judgement.

There is of course also lots of information available online, so look out for free sources of guidance. And don’t forget that organisations like your local Chamber of Commerce are there to help businesses like you.

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