Who’ll help you with your small business when you need it most?

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Big Business (1929 film)
Big Business (1929 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you are just starting out from scratch it seems that the only helping hand you will get is the one hanging from your arm. This is the time when you need assistance most – to help you get off the ground, to show you the way, to receive mentorship, practical, hands-on experience in the particular field that you want to enter.

But in this very early stage of development the mentors and champions of entrepreneurs, the big names with the big advice won’t touch your business with a barge pole. Mr Big is only looking for entrepreneurs who have already been in their business full-time for more than a year and are turning over more than R250,000 a year.

Why is that? Is it because they want to see that your business has some traction? Is this magical number the point that you reach when things in your business are going to take off?

No, I don’t think so. It is simply because when you are making that kind of turnover they know that they can slap you with big mentorship fees. Mr Big knows you are making enough money that he can get fees from you. Don’t expect a once-off or three-month advice session. Mr Big will be trying to lock you into a year-long contract so that he has plenty of time to experiment with your business. He’ll work his “magic” but needs a lot of time because he doesn’t really know what is going to work. Your business will become a guinea pig that Mr Celebrity mentor can toy around with using his business platitudes, one-size-fits-or approach.

If you are starstruck and hire Mr Big to mentor you and your business you may get sucked into such rubbish as “unplug and get more sleep”, “use the Internet as a lever into the market” or “take time to plant a tree” or “collect some eggs”. You may want to hang on to the big name’s every word and recites their array advice in your sleep. But you’ll only have yourself to blame when you wake up to real life nightmare when you “screwed up” your small business based on your mentor’s pearls of wisdom.

It’s important to get as far away as possible from this sad sack advice from the big-name business stars. Get real. Go find someone who has their feet on the ground, untainted by the glitter of media and Internet stardom. Find someone who can give you practical, hands-on advice born of their own experience in starting and running – and failing – with small start-ups.

If you want to get help fast at very little cost with your start-up, then why not consider “Breakthrough Ideas”. This resource will be only available in a limited quantity so get your name down on the waiting list. As one real entrepreneur recently said, bringing on people who can do tasks you aren’t particularly good at can free you up to plan for your company’s future. Be sure, he said, to hire to your weaknesses

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