Setting up a business, especially your first, can be a daunting, often overwhelming experience. There is so much you need to know and, to be successful, you really need to know what you’re doing. Fortunately, finding highly reliable sources for good advice you can use to grow your company quickly is not all that difficult.
Take a few minutes to search for entrepreneur and networking groups in your area. Members of these groups typically represent different sectors with everybody bringing their own perspective to the group. Experienced business people and company owners are usually involved in running them, dispensing valuable advice to those who seek their help. Of similar interest, your fellow entrepreneurs often make presentations at meetings, outlining their own experiences and success stories. These groups are a great place to network and learn and there is bound to be something you can take away from each gathering.
Chambers of Commerce
Like entrepreneur groups, your local Chamber of Commerce can provide you with great networking opportunities. It’s quite easy to connect and interact with experienced business owners who will give you the advice you seek.
If you are entering one of the many specialist industries with its own representative trade association, it can make good sense to join. Doing so will give you easy access to expert advice specific to the needs of your business.
Trade Associations stay abreast of your industry’s regulatory updates and can explain what these changes mean to your business and – more importantly – how to stay in compliance. Often they will also provide you with access to many of the tools you will need to implement these changes.
Go Back to School
While probably not the fastest route to finding the guidance you seek about launching a successful business, going back to school – if only to take a few courses – can make a huge impact on your business. Many colleges and universities have entrepreneurship programs that specialize in helping budding business owners hone their skills. Some also host competitions that reward students who present the best business plans with prizes and valuable public recognition. Take a few minutes to research what your local schools have to offer. If tuition is an issue, most offer substantial financial aid for anyone that qualifies.
If you cannot spare the time to take part in any of the above, you can still acquire the knowledge and advice you need to succeed. LinkedIn has user groups dedicated to virtually every business type in existence and most groups have experts posting blogs and points of interest on a regular – often daily – basis. Websites like Entrepreneur.com, Noobpreneur.com, and others are also a treasure trove of resources and reliable advice from vetted experts. You can’t go wrong by taking a few moments out of your day to see what these and similar websites have to offer.
Do you have any suggestions for additions to this list? If so, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. Your fellow entrepreneurs will thank you for it!