Over the past few weeks here in the b5media business channel, we’ve been having a little contest — sort of our own version of The Apprentice. We were divided into two teams, "The Aces" (my team) and "The Pros", and given the following initial challenge:
Kay just started a new business marketing aprons and chef’s hats for children. After other expenses, she has $500 to spend on a marketing campaign – she doesn’t know if she should take out an ad, hire a PR person, start a website or what. What do you recommend as the best use of her dollars?
The two teams each collaborated on an answer and posted their replies on one of the team’s blog. A combination of public voting and internal judging determined the winning team, and three blogs were eliminated from the losing team. Then each week, we were given a new challenge, and so on, until one team was entirely eliminated (except for the team leader and a couple of top vote getters). There was some really fantastic advice in here, much of it applicable to any startup.
Here are links to the various entries:
- Week 1: Aces (winner) / Pros
- Week 2: Pros (winner) / Aces
- Week 3: Aces (winner) / Pros
- Week 4: Aces (winner) / Pros
- Week 5: Aces (winner) / Pros
So now that my team has deftly eliminated our competition ;-), it’s every blogger for him/herself — we’re all flying solo. Here’s this week’s challenge:
Tell Kay the best business advice you’ve ever received in 50 words or less.
Wow — that’s a tall order! Not because it’s hard to think of good business advice in 50 words or less, but because I have received so much good business advice that it’s hard to narrow it down to "the best". And moreover, "the best" is highly contextual. That’s an important thing to keep in mind when giving advice — does it really apply to the other person’s current situation? A couple of the things I thought of as some of "the best" business advice I’ve ever received aren’t very applicable to Kay and her business.
But here’s what I came up with:
You don’t have to go it alone. Entrepreneurs tend to try to do everything themselves. Find joint venture partners. Outsource non-core, lower-value tasks to lower-cost resources. Hire great people. Get a mentor. Get free support from SCORE, your local SBDC or online. Just get help!
I could go on and on about that. I’ve written articles on About Entrepreneurs about every single one of those suggestions. It’s been an ongoing learning experience for me on those very topics, as I’m now in the process of creating a much larger business than I had envisioned a few years ago when I started down my current path.
So what do you think? What was the best business advice you ever received?
And as I mentioned, this is now a contest, and your vote counts! If you’d like to support me in becoming b5media’s next "Apprentice", visit TaxGirl and vote for Linked Intelligence in the right sidebar. I appreciate your support!