You can save A LOT of $$$ and do it all yourself.
All it takes is TIME.
There is so much free information on the internet that the bigger problem is not lack of information but information overload. You can easily spend days chasing the rabbit down the rabbit hole and surface weeks later to discover you still haven’t got a clue. You end up disheartened and will most likely give up and decide this is not for you. Discernment and critical thinking is one of your most valuable skill if you go down this pathway. There is an old saying, “You can make another dollar, but you will never replace that minute you lost”. Which is more important to you?
If you are not totally cash strapped, but you cannot afford to waste money, then I would recommend that you invest in yourself and fast track your learning journey by taking an online course or joining a business group. However, do make sure that you invest wisely. There are many products for sale – many promise that it will be THE solution you’ve been looking for. Online business is a good example. I’ve been watching this “game” since 2006. The most interesting return trend I’m seeing is the return of affiliate marketing with adverts that promise you can earn easy money and only work for 3-4 hours a week”. Many that are new to business get sucked into paying for products which often do not even get unpacked. Often, those products would only have cost you $27 or maybe, just $10. Pay for enough of those and you could be out of pocket by several thousands.
- Friends and Family – This is the most widely used BUT I would have to say, this is also the place where you will get the worst advice unless you’re fortunate enough to have a friend or family who is qualified to give advice in this area
- Forum and Public Facebook Groups – Advice on those platforms are generally by other business people who can, at best, offer advice based on their own experience or advice provided to them by their advisers. Forums have their place but always double check everything you are told in forums.
- Google – Mr Google knows all BUT do you know the questions you have to ask. The answer is always only ever as good as the question. AND you have to be aware that Google does not always show you all the answers either. The algorithms work in mysterious ways that do not necessarily benefit the user after “free” information.
- Government – They can be helpful. Most governments have set up small business advisory units that will provide free advice. A word of caution – be aware that most government agencies are staffed by those who have never been in business.
- Books – There are tons of books that can help. However, you will have to read a lot of books to pick out the gems that you can use.
- Online Courses – Today you can take an online course in almost any subject. It’s a question of searching on the internet or getting a recommendation for a course that will meet your needs.
- Online Platforms – If your problem can be resolved by using a checklist or template that some professional has likely already prepared, you can save yourself A LOT of time by simply paying for this. Even lawyers and accountants pay for their templates rather than design their own. Why do so many then insist on doing it themselves, reinventing the wheel and making the same mistakes?
The biggest disadvantage to doing your own business research is that you don’t know what you don’t know! It can be very difficult to know whether you’re on the right track and how much more you need to know. Doing your own research should ideally only be done when you’re at a minimum of Stage 2 or Stage 3 i.e. you know what you need to know and just need to skill up. Before this, have someone point you in the right direction so you can save yourself a lot of wasted time.
If you’re not sure where or how to start, follow my business blog – it’s free and most of my blogs take no more than 10-15 minutes to read.