What is business advice?
Business advice can be defined as information, structured advice or longer term mentoring for individuals and companies who are looking to develop their business. This can range from a short 30-minute meeting that tackles a specific issue like sales, or a series of meetings with an advisеr that explore the fundamentals of starting a business – finance, product/service development, legal structures, and more.
Why you should seek advice when starting a business?
Seeking advice when you start a business can often be the difference between success and failure. The benefits of good advice are numerous – most importantly, learning from other people’s mistakes can help you avoid them too. Talking to entrepreneurs who have already started a successful business will provide you with inspiration, insight, and practical tips that you can take onboard and learn from. Consider this – a study by the Enterprise Research Centre found that business advice has both an economic and subjective positive impact on enterprises. Entrepreneurs that are advice ready tend to do better in the long term, and the intensity of advice is proportionate to the firm’s success. Business owners that seek advice reported a boost in confidence, especially when multiple advisers agreed to a business solution. The boost of hope, resilience, efficacy and optimism is another benefit of seeking support.
Who to ask for business advice?
When looking for advice you have several options available, like reaching out to seasoned entrepreneurs, applying for a business accelerator programme, or seeking out professional business advisers. You could also engage in a more informal relationship with a mentor who can guide you through your entrepreneurial journey. A good rule is to avoid asking your friends and family for business advice – they are likely to be biased and, in most cases, will not give you their honest opinion in an effort to protect your feelings. Another point to mention is that people close to you might not have the qualifications and experience to offer valuable advice.
Where to get business advice in Scotland?
You can get business advice in Scotland from a range of organisations that support and encourage entrepreneurship and innovation.
Universities also offer advice services, so it is worth reaching out to business incubators based at higher education institutions
At Bright Red Triangle we offer free business support to students, alumni and staff connected to Edinburgh Napier University. Our services are available with no time limit, and over the years we have supported more than 400 businesses to start-up.
Some of the organisations that provide business support in Edinburgh, as well as grant funding are Converge Challenge, Scottish Edge, FirstPort, Social Investment Scotland and Scottish Enterprise. There are different funding options available depending on your business needs and the sector you operate in.
What to ask and share with a business adviser?
When meeting with an adviser you should tell them what stage you are at, who your target customer is and what your ambition is for your business. Remember that the first business advice meeting you have will be an introduction, so the adviser can get to know you and your business. Any subsequent meetings can explore specific topics like customer retention and engagement.
When meeting a Bright Red Triangle business adviser we recommend that you consider your vision and motivations for your venture. Is it a side hustle so you can earn some extra cash, a lifestyle business, or a business with global ambitions? Also remember that there is no such thing as a silly question.
All business advice meetings are strictly confidential and everything you share with our advisers will not leave the confines of the meeting. Do not be scared that someone will steal your idea and don’t let that put you off sharing details about your business. Our advisers are here to help you succeed in a safe space and the relationships you build with them are based on trust.
Our business advisers, Peter McLean and Victoria Bradley are both seasoned entrepreneurs with over 20 years of combined experience running businesses. Pete started a business straight after graduating university, and at one point was employing over 30 people. Vic has been involved in a number of different start-ups, as well as having experience of starting, developing and selling a business. In the video below Pete and Vic talk about their entrepreneurial journeys, where ideas come from, learning, investment and much more.
How our business advisers can help you
Our business advisers can help you grow your business, overcome challenges, help you to be accountable, provide mentoring, and give you access to our network of helpful professional services such as accountants and lawyers. The business advice meetings that Bright Red Triangle offers are currently held online via Microsoft Teams and last for about 45 minutes.
It is important to have regular meetings with the advisers, so that they get to know you better and help you progress on your entrepreneurial journey. The more regularly our advisers are kept up-to-date with your business, the better placed they are to provide the required support and advice to help you reach your goals.
If you would like to meet with an adviser, follow the link below and register with Bright Red Triangle today. You can also contact our team at any stage with any further questions you may have.