Small medium sized business owners and directors always seek quick and cost effective solutions to their problems; however, from time to time some problems are encountered in achieving this goal.
Some issues may be easy to fix and may be a ‘pleasant’ experience, such as addressing business growth, where to invest excess cash and so on. Others cause much concern, perhaps because of their complexity, urgency or their potential long term adverse impact on the business.
Understandably it is not uncommon to find that small business owners are technically capable in their area of expertise, but when challenged to find solutions to business related problems outside of that area they must turn to experts or professionals in other fields.
Particularly in a start up company the accountant, solicitor or bank manager may be a source of help. However, it may be found that not all answers are available from that source. So to whom does the business owner turn? It may be trade associations, chambers of commerce, network groups, other entrepreneurs, friends and so on.
All may offer some advice but this may be an uncoordinated approach and costly in terms of time. This source of knowledge may be of significant value and should not be totally overlooked. However, start-up companies and small and medium sized business owners usually seek business solutions immediately. After all they do wish to succeed in their business venture and issues that jeopardize that success require resolution at the earliest opportunity.
Consequently any delay in securing help from independent bodies or friends may be perceived as aggravating the problem to be overcome.
Unfortunately not all problems can be resolved quickly.
Some, perhaps many, business problems may be caused through a lack of planning or maybe lack of knowledge and understanding on the part of the small medium business owner. This may require investigation into the root causes of the problem in question, before action can be taken rather than develop a solution only to counter the ‘effect’ of the problem.
Also in the business world, the level of government ‘red tape’ may be burdensome to the business owner or director, and adherence to all aspects of their legal obligations is usually mandatory. However, governmental influence may delay resolution of problems, and ignorance of the law is not be an excuse should serious consequences arise through non-compliance.
In addition should cash constraints exist within the business, it may not be possible to ‘buy in’ the required level of expertise. This may burden the small medium sized business owner with gaining knowledge or learning skills alien to himself.
Today the business owner without adequate or reliable access to, knowledge of leadership, business management, business development, marketing, accounting, financial management, IT, business planning, ecommerce, employee relations and so on is seriously disadvantaged.
What alternative sources of business advice are available?
The internet may provide the help needed to overcome some if not all of these gaps in the business owners’ knowledge. This solution may not be satisfactory to everyone; the fear, uncertainty, reluctance in using the internet may still be an overwhelming barrier to some, but without doubt access to knowledge is much easier using this medium.
Understandably the early content based websites were dedicated to providing knowledge much biased towards sharing internet technology with others. This situation continues to change with many webmasters now committed to providing content for all niche areas, including those applicable to the small business owner.
Whether the business owner is in ‘fire fighting’ mode or being proactive in planning to avoid problems help and advice can now be found on the internet.
Up to date, easy to read newsletters on specific matters of interest, such as general business matters, taxation, are freely available; together with articles and e-books are available to help solve or prevent business problems.
This fount of knowledge continues to expand and many experts and entrepreneurs within the business sector continue to offer visitors to their websites valued help and assistance.
How should the business owner react to this plethora of knowledge?
The owner should continually research for sites that offer the business content that is being sought and is presented in an acceptable style. Actively participate in forums if available; this will raise awareness of your concern and afford the opportunity to other site participants to offer their advice freely in the matter.
Use the content on the internet as a valued tool in resourcing solutions to your business problems. Remember it is available at all times, easy to access and very cost effective.