Entrepreneurs thrive when they have direct access to proven small business professionals.
By leveraging the advice of leaders who have been in the trenches, younger business owners learn how to implement real world business strategies and avoid the pitfalls that plague small business ownership.
For inexperienced entrepreneurs, a one-on-one relationship with a recognized small business expert is the stuff of fantasy. Most budding business owners have a hard enough time finding a decent mentor, let alone forging a professional relationship with a business celebrity. Is it even possible for the average small business leader to build relationships with small business experts?
Believe it or not, it is – and it happens a lot more than you may realize. Small business experts are passionate about both small businesses and small business owners. Whenever possible, they're anxious to answer your questions and help you implement their ideas in your company. Relationships with experts aren't out of reach. You just need to know how to create them.
- Conferences. Conference are the place where entrepreneurs are most likely to have direct access to small business experts. Experts frequently serve as conference speakers and panelists, and are accustomed to sticking around for a few minutes after their session to talk with conference attendees. If you know that an expert you respect will be attending the same conference as you, think about what you're going to say in advance and ask if it would be okay if you follow up with an email.
- Direct correspondence. You've read the expert's book and you think it's brilliant. Instead of waiting until you cross paths at a conference, you could correspond with him via email or postal letter. Most business experts can be contacted directly through their company or personal website. But if you encounter difficulties making contact through the website, the book's publisher should be able to give you instructions about how to reach the author.
- Ask for assistance. Experts always want to talk to small business owners who are interested in implementing their ideas in their companies. When you contact an expert, don't just tell them that you admire their work. Explain why you're interested in their work and ask them for advice about how you can apply their concepts to your business model. In many cases, practical interest in a subject can open the door for a long-term relationship.