Finding the right business expert helps you grow

“The only mistake you can make is not asking for help” – Sandeep Jauhar

Running a business requires you to take on a number of different roles, not all of which you’re comfortable with, or enjoy. Very few people are great at all aspects of running a business, even if they’re working in an area where they have tons of experience or expertise. One way to deal with this is to find mentors and business coaches to help with areas of your business that you find challenging. Some mentors will be needed for short periods. Others will be needed long-term so you can go back time and again to stay on track towards your goals.

It is important to understand that not all advice is valuable, to ensure you get the right advice, at the right time, and from the right people you’ll need to ask appropriate questions of yourself, your business and the mentor you are considering engaging with. This will help your business grow and ensure a good fit for your industry, business goals and vision of success.

Where are you heading with your business?
Understanding where you are in terms of the life of your business can help guide you to finding the right advisor or coach for your business right now. Define exactly what you need by asking the following:

1. What stage of the business are you in?
2. What needs to be started? What’s already in progress? What have you already accomplished?
3. What strategies have stopped working in these changing times? Where can you pivot to? How do you start making progress in that new direction?
4. What are your critical milestones, both professionally and personally?
5. What do you need for your own personal growth?

Once you have answers to these it will be easier to understand any gaps between where you are and where you’re headed. It will also provide the beginning for building a new strategy to take you through the next five years.

Advisor profiling
Finding the right mentor can be a little like finding the right therapist to work through personal problems. You need to get along and have respect for the person giving you business advice. In order to do this, consider the prospective mentor’s business background (is it in an area of relevance to you?) along with their area of experience.
It’s not going to be much help getting advice from someone with years of experience guiding a large international organisation if you’re struggling with the early challenges of a small start-up. Consider the potential mentor’s main area of experience and expertise. Are they business builders? Do they have experience in emerging markets or finding a niche in a mature industry? Is their expertise operational or from the coal face?

Align culture and values
Just as seeking advice on financial markets from a fishing expert isn’t going to offer you much insight, neither will seeking business advice from someone who holds opposing business values and opinions on culture and what success actually is.
To find the right mentor you’ll need to look for a person not only with experience in the area you are working in, but also with the same ideas for building a positive culture, similar values your company stands for and someone who can back the purpose and vision you are reaching for.

Time for advice to bear fruit
Choose a mentor who will give thought to your questions, encourage you to follow your business strategy and help you spot additional opportunities without detracting from your main goals.

Remember you’ll need to allow time for the advice they give and the choices you make to show results. Just as you wouldn’t expect a seed to turn into a tree and grow apples a week after planting, neither should you expect the steps in your business strategy to show results over night. It takes time to lay the right foundations for growth or forge ahead in a new direction.
However, once in place, you can expect your ‘tree’ to bear more and more fruit as your strategy gains momentum and various areas of your business are optimised for even more growth.

Give thought to the kind of mentor you need. Allow time for their advice to move you from where you are now to where you want to go. Watch the results and build on what you learn. Iterate as needed to steer your business into the future and toward success.

If you are working with a small team or your business lacks an internal sales resource, it can be hugely beneficial to engage an external representative or sales resource to assist you with the process. The team at The Sales Desk have many years of combined experience helping businesses create and implement sales and business strategies. They also work with SME to develop new ideas and avoid the pain of chasing dreams and plans that have not been tested or properly researched. The Sales Desk covers all aspects of the sales process from planning to closing the sales and each step in between.