Apart from raising kids, maybe there is nothing more scary than starting a new business. It’s a leap into the unknown. It’s doing away with your security. It’s a multi-step process where there is no perfect blueprint and no guarantee of success. It’s trying to work tirelessly to overcome the odds and go from surviving to thriving in the shortest time possible. And to do all of this - to make your chances more favorable and your decisions that bit better - you need to surround yourself with the right people; the right advisors.
These are the people you’re going to call on throughout your entrepreneurial life. The people that will help you see something from a different point of view, bring up something you might not have seen or pass on some wisdom you would have otherwise not heard. So, while the people you ask to advise you will really depend on exactly what your needs are, we have pulled together a list of different people you should consider when looking for advisors.
1. Big Network Advisors
When you are starting out, no advisor is going to be more helpful than an influencer; a networker; a connector. People with the ability to introduce you to the right people in your industry. Of course, by their very nature, these advisors don’t have the longest shelf life because once they have connected you to the right people, their needs fade. As such, you find you only need this kind of advisor for a short time, after which you can keep the ball rolling.
2. Expert Advisors
No entrepreneur knows how to do everything - not at the level needed to be a success anyway. That’s why you will always need advisors that fill in the gaps in your knowledge. It could be a tech expert that knows exactly which software will help you be super-efficient, it could be a premises liability attorney that will prevent any avoidable lawsuits from popping up, it could be a content marketing expert that knows just how to boost your inbound efforts. Anything. Sure, you could find these answers on your own, but that takes time and, in all honesty, nothing beats significant experience in an area.
3. Emotional Support Advisor
Like we said at the beginning, starting a business is about as scary as any proposition can be. It’s risky, time-consuming, packed-full of pitfalls and loaded with self-doubt, which is exactly why you will want to have someone next to you able to keep your spirits high, keep you on the right path, ask you the right questions and help you see things that your emotion otherwise clouded. And before you ask, no, your partner or spouse won’t be able to fill this role. You need someone with a knowledge of business, how business works and a pragmatist that won’t just tell you what you want to hear.
Ideally, you want to be choosing advisors that fulfill a need, one that helps balance your weaknesses by offering you ongoing advice on those topics that make you sweat. Get these people right and you will find this leap into entrepreneurship is a million times less scary.