How to select a small business adviser

cape town kalk bay harbour
Cape Town Kalk Bay harbour (Photo credit: moron noodle)

When I was at high school if any of us were in trouble we would go and see our “sea lawyer”. This was the term that was used for an authoritative person amidst our ranks who would advise us on what to say in defence to our teacher or principal and lay out a strategy of mitigation and even coach us on the finer points of how to take a caning with the least amount of pain.

Some definitions put “sea lawyer” as an eloquently and obstinately argumentative person. Others have a less optimistic view of a sea lawyer and indicate that it is an old Navy term, when at sea a sailor is a law expert but in reality knows nothing.

When you look for an adviser for your small business it’s best that you stay away from “sea lawyers” who may pretend to know a lot about running a business but their advice could be misleading at minimum and at worst fatal for your business. Continue reading “How to select a small business adviser”

How do you avoid bad business decisions?

This is my picture of a closed sign. I am usin...

At least 4,000 businesses went insolvent in South Africa in 2013. It’s an unbelievable number of bad business decisions. These are insolvencies that are reported. Imagine how many businesses went bankrupt without being reported.

The human impact and scale of so many insolvencies is so huge that it’s difficult to even comprehend the full extent of the tragedy.

Small business owners who had to shut their doors and try something new.

Employees who lost their jobs.

Stock that had to be sold at reduced prices. Continue reading “How do you avoid bad business decisions?”

This is the kind of business adviser I would trust

Cover of "The Trusted Advisor"
Cover of The Trusted Advisor

I heard a small business adviser on the radio the other day dishing out advice on starting your own business. He was talking about the many people who have got retrenched from large companies in recent months and now might be considering starting something of their own.

He started out positively enough but soon he was making starting and running a small business seem such a terribly difficult thing to do that I began to wonder what his potential consulting customers must think when they hear all of this.

When he selected an example of a well known US small business adviser I had my doubts. Couldn’t this person who claims to be a small business adviser of standing come up with local examples of business people? Yes, small business owners may hit walls in the growth and management of their operations but to talk about banging their heads on desks in pain and frustration makes it all sound so negative. Continue reading “This is the kind of business adviser I would trust”