Top 4 places to get the best of business advice in Nigeria
A business advisory service is a special package offered by experts whose skill is focused on managing business improvements, evaluation of an organization’s status, powerful promotional strategies, formulation of strategic plans, and long-haul business objectives. Business advisory services aim at helping organizations identify strengths, and overcome weaknesses, in order to unlock growth. Advisors tend to be either mentor, business coaches, or accountants, who provide strategic and financial guidance to help business owners develop and implement projects to achieve their forecasts. A successful business advisory relationship has to be built on more than the underlying products and services delivered. It should challenge and inform strategic decision making while providing support to overcome the hurdles of growing business faces.
Dear successful entrepreneur, Yes, I know you have made it. I know you have driven your business to an admirable place of current success – and you did it all alone! That’s great! However, you need to be told that regardless of the fact that you are as of now an accomplished businessperson, listening to a second opinion from someone else who is bringing a perspective your business might have been missing all along will raise your certainty of settling on the right choices at some point on your growth level. At some levels of growth, increase, and expansion, you need to choose admirably and raise the proficiency of your organization through effective mentorship and powerful planning.
For businesses, the risk of not having access to (or not using) professional business advice is huge, and many business owners realize this often too late. The survival rate of businesses in Nigeria are shocking and alarming – only 4 in 10 businesses survive for 4 years – and consultants and professionals who offer advisory services are far more willing to do more to help business owners. The businesses that fail do not fail because of bad products or services, they fail because business owners don’t understand their numbers, don’t manage cash well enough (or don’t have access to cash), and don’t have a clear plan. All things a professional business advisor can help with. So, in this article, I intend to show you the places where business advice can be sourced to give your business the right push it needs to break through and excel.
- Individual professional / Consulting firm
One way to get good business advice and guide is by making use of persons who specialize in helping businesses succeed. If you are a business owner searching for business consultants, you will find no shortage of them! But how do you sift through the various options to find the best consultant for your specific needs? Every organization is different, so it is worth doing some digging to find out what consultant is the best fit for your unique challenges. The following tips can be a good guide for you.
- Look for a broad-based consultant who does not specialize only in one area: Niche consultants can be good for certain things, but an experienced business consultant with a broad range of skills will have the tools to help you put the pieces of the puzzle together.
- Find a real-world consultant who has started organizations, not simply an educator: There are many business consultants in Nigeria who claim to be experienced, but have never really run a business. Check their credentials to see if they have started and successfully run an organization prior to consulting. If not, they have not proven that they can help you navigate the nuances of running your organization at its full potential.
- Look for a consultant who listens and directs rather than telling you what to do: A good consultant understands that there is no one-size-fits-all approach and that it is important to listen thoroughly to the concerns of the leadership or owners in order to fully understand the scope of the challenges faced by that organization. Only then can a plan be developed.
My number one recommendation when it comes to hiring a business consultant is Dayo Adetiloye, www.dayoadetiloye.com. Dayo is an authority when it comes to helping people to build and grow their businesses. Check out Dayo’s profile here: [insert the link to your profile]
- Business blogs
On this one, you have got to be extremely careful, and don’t find yourself taking anonymous online counsels that will get your business sitting on a gun powder or time bomb! While there are authentic business counsels and information online that you can take advantage of free of charge, and the knowledge gained from such online information can greatly help your business, there is also very misleading information out there that you must be wary of. So, the big question is, “Are blogs reliable sources of information?” The answer is, “Yes”, and “No”. There are some blogs on the Internet that are questionable at best. But there are other blogs filled with valuable information that can effectively connect you with the products, services, and solutions you’re looking for. At best, it is very important to note quite significantly that not everything we hear and see is true, and it’s the same for online information. Use your best judgment, do some research, and cross-check the facts. Fortunately, just about everybody is online, so you have a lot of information available to you, and you can check any information that anyone puts out online with countless other online resources addressing the same topic. This cannot be overemphasized!
Having said all that, one award-winning blog that will always be the top on my recommendation list is www.dayoadetiloye.com – a website from which thousands of existing and aspiring entrepreneurs always find answers to various questions and challenges that confront them from time to time.
- A mentor
A business mentor is someone with more entrepreneurial business experience than you who serves as a trusted confidant over an extended period of time, usually free of charge. In a business mentoring relationship, a seasoned business owner meets with a new or potential business owner one-on-one to give advice and boost morale. Many business mentors may advise people in order to develop their skills as a teacher, manager, strategist, or consultant. The role of a mentor is to encourage the personal and professional development of their protégé by sharing their knowledge, expertise, and experience. The mentoring relationship is built on mutual trust, respect, and communication. It involves both parties, meeting regularly to exchange ideas, discuss progress, and set goals for further development.
As a mentee, you can benefit from having a mentor if you are trying to get a new business off the ground or looking to grow a more established one. Your mentor can offer advice, support, and guidance, which can help you improve your problem-solving skills and develop leadership skills. You can share ideas and problems with your mentor and they can act as a sounding board to help you make decisions with more confidence. Would-be successful business owners need assistance from others who have an intimate knowledge of how business works. Many small business owners try to get that information from business books and classes. While these can be helpful on their own, they are more helpful alongside business mentoring.
Business mentors can help you look at problems and situations from perspectives that you would not have thought of on your own. For example, as a new business owner, you may have trouble looking at your business through the eyes of a customer, potential investor, or government official. Your business mentor, who has dealt with these people often, can help you understand how your business will look to these individuals.
- Business books
One way you can advance your way of thinking is to read. The moment you cultivate a reading habit, you will have acquired an asset that cannot be equated to any amount of money. One thing to bear in mind is that people that specialize in reading business books tend to become more business-minded. One of the biggest advantages of reading books that are structured for business individuals is the fact that they help in idea generation. Business books provide you with business acumen. They will teach you the common business concepts you need to be fluent in business conversations. Reading widely will introduce you to concepts with which you are not yet familiar – and a whole lot can get kick-started from there. Sometimes, you can lay hold of a writer’s wisdom on a few pages of a book that has taken the writer 30 years to gather. That’s the power of reading books.
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