When you’re starting a business or have been running one for a while, you can bet that people around you will make sure you know what they think about it. They may be family, friends, mentors, or colleagues, and no matter who they are, you need to make sure that you don’t take the wrong advice to heart. The following are a few questions that you should ask yourself before you take anyone’s advice about your business.
Do They Understand What You Do?
It’s really easy for someone to tell you how you should run your business, but unless they’re your partner, it’s not likely that they have an intimate knowledge of what your business actually does and how it works. The general advice they want to give you may not apply to you specifically at all.
Does This Person Have Any Business Experience?
When someone you know is offering you advice, no matter how much you trust them, it’s really important to consider the source. Are they speaking from a place of experience, or just telling you what they think is right without knowing what they’re talking about? Remember that people love to tell other people what they should do because most people believe they know what’s right.
Does the Advice Line Up with Your Vision?
It can be difficult to ignore advice when it’s coming from someone close to you whom you respect, but sometimes, you will need to do exactly that. You can tell pretty quickly when someone doesn’t understand your vision for the company, and if that is the case, then their advice is not going to be very valuable to you. Extract what you can from what they tell you, respect the fact that their intentions are good, and take the advice with a grain of salt.
Do They Have an Agenda?
Unfortunately, there are some people who make themselves appear as though they want to help you when they actually just want a piece of your business venture. Many times this will be a roaming investor, but it might even be someone you know. You have to be very careful who you listen to because they may be attempting to steer your efforts in a direction that will benefit them. Always be very careful who you allow to be a part of your business.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.