Mentors are one of the most valuable sources of business advice for any entrepreneur. These are people who have already established themselves in their careers and experienced significant successes. When you work with a mentor, the mentor shares their advice and insights, helps answer your questions, and provides general guidance that you can use in your business.
While it can be tricky to find and connect with the right mentor, entering a mentor relationship can be a highly rewarding experience for any business owner. If you’re interested in connecting with a mentor, consider joining a mentorship program, or simply reach out to people within your field who you admire.
All kinds of businesses use consultants when they need to access specific pieces of business advice. A business consultant can step in as an outsider and help you work on certain areas of your business. This might be to restructure your business operations as a whole or to help you optimize a certain part of your business.
If you need specific business advice on a technical or strategic topic, then working with a consultant can be a great idea. Just make sure that the consultant has relevant experience in the area you need help with.
The Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) is a government program that offers non-financial support to small businesses. SEDA has 53 branches around the country and is specifically focused on helping young entrepreneurs launch their businesses the right way. SEDA works with various incubators and accelerators to help make this happen.
If you're thinking of launching a new business or need some business advice on your current SME, then reaching out to SEDA can be beneficial. It won’t cost you anything, and SEDA should actively work to help your business grow sustainably.
SEDA may not be the best place for well-established entrepreneurs to see advice, but it's an excellent platform for those who are still relatively new to the world of business. One of the most popular services SEDA offers is helping aspiring entrepreneurs create and refine their business plans.
These days, if you need advice for anything then the internet is often the first place to go. If you’re looking for specific business advice, then there are plenty of excellent online spaces and resources that can help you out.
You could focus your efforts on developing a strong network on LinkedIn. This can be a great way to connect with business leaders you admire within your niche or follow influential entrepreneurs to see the business advice they share.
You could also join groups on social media related to your business niche, sign up for business advice newsletters, follow business blogs, or subscribe to relevant podcasts and YouTube channels. While this information may not be specifically aimed at your business, chances are many other businesses have faced the same problems that you have. This means you’re likely to find some helpful and relevant business advice online.
Other Government Small Business Development Programs
The government wants to encourage and help entrepreneurs, which is why they offer a range of small business development programs and incentives. Depending on your business and the type of business advice you’re seeking, these programs could be worthwhile to look into.
Youth business support can be accessed through Umsobomvu or the National Youth Service. Women entrepreneurs can find support and business advice through South African Women in Construction, Technology for Women in Business, and the Gender and Women Empowerment Unit.
It's worth doing some research into the government’s small business development programs to see if there is anything that matches your business advice needs.
Whatever you need help with, these different sources will all offer excellent business advice. It's important to stay aware of these different sources of advice next time you have any questions or concerns. They could offer valuable insights to help you overcome challenges, or to start or grow your business more sustainably.