As a small business owner, I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of advice. Heck, we dish out quite a bit of it here at BizEngine. But how do you know what advice is good for your business and what advice you should avoid like the plaque?
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help sort out the bad from the good:
Do you trust the source? I heard somewhere once that you should always take advice from people that have what you want or are where you want to be. Think about it, if you want to be a successful small business owner, the best sources for advice are successful small business owners that have been where you are and can help you get to where you want to be. But even the best advice from a successful person is questionable if you don’t trust him.
What are their motivations? Does the source have anything to gain if you take his advice or anything to lose if you don’t? Don’t allow anyone else’s agenda to cloud your small business decisions.
Does it go against your gut or morals? Always consider how following through with a piece of advice makes you feel. If something isn’t sitting right, even if you can’t put your finger on it, then there’s likely a good reason for it. Likewise, if someone is encouraging you to do something that goes against your deep seated moral code, run in the other direction, and run fast. Good advice is only good advice if you can feel okay about taking it.
Is this going to cost you? Consider what it would cost, both financially and emotionally, if you were to take the advice. Is the source encouraging you to make a huge investment into your business that you just can’t afford right now or is this something that could potentially wind up costing you big bucks down the line? If so, you may want to avoid it.
What is the potential outcome? Exercise your imagination and visualize both potential outcomes – both if you took the advice and if you didn’t. If the outcome of taking the advice versus not taking it is a more positive one, and everything else feels right, then go ahead and go for it.
What is your favorite piece of small business advice?