I’ve been developing a series about becoming your own boss, and this is part 3 in that series. The information is based on an article from MSN, but I’m pulling in information from other locations as well.
Step 3: Fight Inexperience With Advice
Step one was to gain experience. It will still be difficult for the “young aspirant” to gain experience in all aspects of business quickly. It helps to build a supportive team but the smartest people you would choose to work with are often too busy to work for you. Here is what you can do.
A solution to this problem is to seek out resources and learn from the advice they give. The MSN article mentions universities, alumni networks, local organizations, and of course, the internet. Here are some resources to add to what is provided in the MSN article.
One way to seek advice is to work with a mentor. Every entrepreneur should have a business mentor, according to Scott Allen from About.com. “A mentor is someone with more entrepreneurial business experience than you who serves as a trusted confidante over an extended period of time, usually free of charge.”
In order to find a mentor, you can contact established networks or simply get in touch with a business owner you admire and ask if they would be willing to speak once a month. Many successful people will be flattered and happy to tell their story and pass along advice. If you’re too shy to blindly email someone you admire, you can turn to SCORE. This website can put you in touch with those providing advice; you can simply type in a question on the front page of their website and get an answer from a business professional.
If your prospective business is one that is locally based, check the Chamber of Commerce website for the town in which you live or do business. There will be a directory of other businesses who you can contact for advice. The website will also list organization of which you can become a member. Attend meetings and get to know other small business owners in the area. Not only is this great for networking and finding suppliers or clients, but you might find someone who can provide the advice you need.
Updated May 30, 2006 and originally published May 25, 2006.