Business owners generally do not look towards external consultants as their first option to utilise when they want to grow their business. However, there comes a time when the business owner exhausts their internal resources of expertise to grow the business and then looks towards external parties provide an alternative viewpoint to work through and resolve challenges faced in the company.
So when do you, as a business owner do that? From my experience, I would always advocate that the best time to look towards getting a Business Coach or Mentor into your business is when your company goes through certain stages of its life. They are as follows:
When your business is growing
Sustaining growth is not as easy as it sounds. Predicting the rate of your growth is already hard enough, but sometimes you will also need to adjust your goals accordingly. Getting help from an experienced business consultant or coach will provide valuable information as to how growth can be anticipated, prepared for and maintained. At the same time, operational and strategic requirements can be identified and put into action. That way, the business manages the growth and not let growth manage the business.
When your business is facing challenges
Approaching and resolving critical issues facing your company using a trial and error approach is a scenario to be avoided at all costs. . Mistakes, when it comes to fixing difficult situations, can easily end up being costly. A good thing to do is to approach a consultant who has the depth of experience across industries and get an idea on the best way to overcome the challenge, whilst minimising costly mistakes. The outlook of “been there and done that” from the consultant’s viewpoint would serve your best interests well at this phase of your business.
When you plan to grow your business
All businesses plan for growth. However, do you know the best way to grow your company? What talents are there on your team which can be harnessed for advancement? Do you even know how the market will respond to your business’s expansion? It is always better to understand how more experienced entrepreneurs have prepared their business for growth, especially if you have never been in this situation before. It’s better to be proactive rather than reactive.
When you could benefit from another viewpoint
The strengths and weaknesses of your business can be hard to spot when you’re looking at it from within. Getting the opinions of a Business Mentor who works with different busiensses may give you a different perspective if your organisation. An experienced external party’s point-of-view can expose some possible oversights and untapped potential in your organisation.
There was an instance where I worked with a company working in power generation and sought to bring in an investor to fund future projects in return for a share in the business. The company was facing a shortage of funds at that time. They had two forms of revenue, projects and power generation. Once I had a better understanding on how their business operated, I made the stakeholders aware that seeking an investor to fund short term project commitments at that time would mean giving up a portion of revenue in future power generation on those projects to provide a return to the new investor. Once we worked out the potential revenue required to be diverted for investor returns, the stakeholders decided that the costs required to provide an investor with a decent return far outweighed the returns of the cash injection into the company. They decided to look at alternative funding sources.
When you’re not sure about the best way to move forward
The road to expanding is often confusing and laden with obstacles and uncertainties. On top of that, there are many roads to choose from and only a few of them will lead you towards the direction you need to go. A Business Coach with the right experience can help steer you towards the best path to take and prepare your for the obstacles along the way.
So, where should you start looking for professional advice?
There are several places you can go to for professional advice. If you need legal advice, you should approach a Lawyer. When it comes to financial systems or transaction recording, you should approach an Accountant. But, when it comes to the overall business direction of your company, it is best to get help from a Business Mentor or Consultant. They can provide you with holistic advice based on information, market situation, and your strengths as a business owner.