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 while others will be needed long-term so you can go back time and again to elicit valuable advice.

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 to help your business grow and ensure a good fit for your industry, business goals and vision of success.

What kind of advisor do you need?
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 are your critical milestones, both professionally and personally?
4. 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.

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 you should 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 challenges of a small startup business. Consider their 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.

The wrong mentor
Without giving thought to the kind of mentor you need for where you are now and where you are headed, you can end up with an advisor who detracts from your momentum instead of guiding you deftly toward success. Ill-fitting vision and goals, someone who expects you to do things exactly like them or who tells you what you need to do without explaining the how can cause you more pain than gain.

Look for someone 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 that it’s your business, your goals and your success; don’t give away your authority to make the final decision to anyone – no matter how much you respect the advice given by your chosen mentor.

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 that drive business growth and avoid the pain of chasing ideas 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.