The Safety Net - Well Meaning Advice

Wednesday May 11, 2016

Hi Nettie @TheSafety Net

I seem to be getting more and more confused with regards to my business. I have many friends and former colleagues I talk to about my business and how I want to expand it, but they all seem to have different and often conflicting advice. I’m beginning to wonder if it would be easier to just pay for advice, but don’t know where to start with this!
Would appreciate some help.


Hi Kirsty,

Thanks very much for getting in touch, and I really do appreciate where you are coming from.

Firstly, it is great that you want to talk and take advice about growing your business, as we all know a problem or dilemma shared or discussed is often a worthwhile thing to do.

The Value of Free Advice

However, if you read my Safety Net blogs regularly (you can follow the series on Twitter using #safetynet) you will hear me say that the key is often to ‘surround yourself with the right people’ and as helpful as family and friends might be, you need to ask yourself – are they best placed to give advice?

  • Have they run businesses themselves?
  • Do they understand your product or service?
  • Do they have an understanding of how you envisage growing the business?
  • Do they understand your business plan and cashflow?

If any of the questions above are ‘no’, then I would suggest that although it is good to chat generally with them and it is important to do so, it clearly isn’t providing you with all the answers you need.

While their advice may be free, and honestly meant to help you, if they don't have the knowledge or experience you need then following that advice may end up costing you more in the long run.

Paying For Help And Advice

When it comes to ‘paying for help’, it is important to firstly ascertain what help you require. I would suggest you start by writing a list, both of your ambitions and also the gaps you identify.

A business coach could be a great way forward, and we have a number of clients who would endorse that it made a real difference both to their own development and that of their business.
What I would suggest is that once you know what you need a coach to help you with, you meet 2 or 3 and conduct an interview with them. It is really important that not only do you find the right coach for the business requirements, but also someone you feel will challenge you and that you are happy to be challenged by and that you feel comfortable to work with.

If you are stuck as to where to look, please feel free to ask, I am happy to send across some introductions to you.

It is often seen as a cost when businesses employ the services of a coach, but I would encourage you to talk with other business owners who have engaged one, most will put some of the credit towards growing the business into engaging with a business coach.

Let me know if I can help further – good luck - Nettie

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