Small businesses are notorious for "going it on your own." The founder is normally strong-willed and focused - that is the strength of the small business. However, no one person is strong in all areas where expertise is required to succeed in the business arena. Most small businesses are not in the position to hire all the expertise required to face all challenges.
One answer to this dilemma is the "Advisory Board." This can take a variety of forms - the key, in fact, is that it be tailored to the specific needs of the specific small business and small business owner or management team. The advisory board can be a very loose, informal set of relationships with selected people - all the way to very formal arrangements. The best way to start, frequently, is simply to identify a person or persons with solid experience in the identified area of need - and go talk to them. You will usually be surprised how receptive people will be to discuss your concerns. Let them know, up front, that you recognize and value their expertise - and that you would like to learn from their experience.
From that initial encounter, let the results be your guide. If you feel comfortable talking with the person, you may want to arrange further discussions, and perhaps, ask that person to consider an on-going relationship. Sometimes, advisory boards meet as a group - often, however, the simple one-on-one relationship provides the needed information, assurance or confirmation that is needed. This may be sufficient for your needs. In other situations, for instance where you are considering a major new activity or change in your business, it might become beneficial to have the several advisers you have identified meet together to provide a broader set of viewpoints.
What have been your experiences? I'd like to hear what you, my reader, thinks about this issue. Comment below, and we can continue the discussion.
Dr. Bill I love to share. I hope you do to! ;-)