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Business Owners and Managers

1. Join a small business network
2. Visit online small business forums
3. Consider getting a management consultant or business coach on your team
4. Invite retired business professionals to sit on your Board
5. Seek a mentor in a larger company to oversee your progress
6. Talk to your small business banking specialist
7. Go it alone but harvest best business practices from article publishing web sites

There are loads of different small business networks out there that are formed to provide a platform for other small business owners, like you, to help each other. The reality is that many businesses will be experiencing the same challenges as you and some of them will have already addressed your particular problems in relation to their own business. Conversely, you will have solved some of the problems that other business owners are experiencing. This sharing of experiences, information and support is hugely beneficial and membership costs are minimal.

Some of us are not joiners by nature and would prefer to avoid breakfast meetings in the early hours of the morning. Therefore, a more suitable option may be to join one or more online small business forums. This can be done on a semi-anonymous basis and you may choose to use the forum as much or as little as you desire. It provides the same type of support as small business networks and can be a bridge to interacting with other business owners with similar challenges to yours.

Hiring a management consultant or business coach does not have to be a hugely expensive endeavour for your business. You can start with a short term contract to have him/her visit with you once per month to act as a sounding board and to help chart your ship through rough waters. If he/she has done work in your industry segment before there is a huge value added component that can be brought to the table.

Many successful retired business people in your area may be chomping at the bit to get involved in something new. After all, there is only so much golf they can play. The value they can bring to your business is enormous and their business connections could transform your business. Talk to some of the retired executives in your locality and invite them to get involved.

Some of the larger businesses in your area may have a strong community spirit and want to give something back to the community. You will know the good ones from local newspapers and magazines. Contact some of them and invite one of their senior executives to work with you as a mentor to your business.

Bankers have a bad name in the current economic climate but there are many specialists dealing with small businesses that have tremendous experience in advising companies like yours on a whole range of business issues. Chances are that they have seen your type of business issues before and can offer advice. This service is usually free.

If your personality type dictates that you still want to go it alone, that is okay. You can simply visit many of the online Ezine websites that offer a diverse range of free articles by business professionals. You can learn many new tricks and perhaps find answers to whatever business issues are facing you.