When you own a small business, everyone wants to give you advice. It can come from all kinds of sources: friends, family members, neighbors, social media connections, people you meet walking your dog. A lot of times such advice is not very helpful.
If you’re looking for worthwhile advice, there are many people who have worthwhile insights and experience that can help you grow your business.
How do you know who to listen to? Here’s a few ideas:
- Experienced industry hands. Novice entrepreneurs often believe they know better than those old fogies who’ve been in the business a long time, but you can learn a lot from those who’ve been in an industry, even if you don’t follow their advice exactly.
- Customers. You had better listen to your customers because they’re the ones who will determine whether you stay in business. It’s tempting to dismiss the advice of customers because it often comes in the form of complaints. Instead, look for ways to gather as much insight and suggestions from customers in positive situations. Ask for feedback.
- Employees. Your employees can offer plenty of insight and advice for your company. Seek it out, listen to it carefully, and use it when you can. Obviously, not every suggestion can be implemented and some suggestions are self serving rather than aimed at helping you grow your company. But employees often know the ins and outs of some aspects of a business better than the owner.
- Investors. Your investors are, in essence, your partners, so you’ll need to heed their advice. They might not always understand the ins and outs of your small business, and they might worry more about their investment than they do about you achieving your goals. So, it’s your job to help investors know enough about your business that when they offer suggestions, they can be informed and well-reasoned.
- Professional advisers. Lawyers, accountants, human resource personnel, marketing consultants, other consultants. You’re paying them because you need their help, but you also need their advice, even (or especially) when they disagree with you. A smart lawyer and a competent CPA are two of the most important advisers any small business can have.
- Board and advisory committee members. Most small businesses don’t have an advisory committee, but if you’re smart enough to form one, use it. You asked for help, so respect it. Of course, board members (of corporations) have legal authority, so board members must be listened to.
Advice comes in many forms. Some of it worthy of attention, some of it better off ignored. The advice of a experienced CPA, however, is crucial to any business. Call Williams & Kunkel CPAs today in Flower Mound at 972-446-1040 to have a chat about your small business concerns.
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Source: Asbury Park Press