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Originally Posted On: https://startwise.co.za/do-you-need-a-business-consultant-or-mentor/

Running a business requires multiple skill sets. As an SMME grows, so do the requirements for extra skill sets and managers to help support you.

Here are a few questions to help assess whether it’s time for you to gain some expert advice. Our business consultants or mentors can guide you on how to expand your SMME in the current climate.

MARKETING & SALES

Increasing digital marketing efforts and knowing how to balance your sales team growth versus expenses is critical. Without promoting your service or product correctly, customers won’t find you online and leads or sales won’t be generated.

Our Startwise consultants have helped growing SMME business owners by answering a few Marketing & Sales related questions, such as:

  • How do I set up social media accounts?
  • What kind of budget should I allocate to marketing?
  • Do I need to have a target audience?
  • Do I need a website or a blog?
  • How do I market my company?
  • Is my pricing model working?
  • Is there sufficient demand for my product to expand?
  • How do I get more customers?
  • How do I get more sales?
  • Where is my sales process going wrong?
  • How many sales people do I need?

Simply download the Startwise App or sign up online, navigate your way to the “Marketing & Sales” category and select any expert or mentor you would like to chat to.

HR & PAYROLL

HR manages your employees’ wellbeing, develops the culture in your business and often is the bridge between payroll and your employees. They are also responsible for managing your employee contracts and often your NDC’s and agreements with suppliers too.

If you have any questions around expanding your workforce, drawing up employment contracts, dealing with the CCMA or even as simple as should you look to hire… Navigate your way to the “HR & Payroll” category on the Startwise platform and chat to one of our experts.

Here is what some business owners are asking:

  • My employee wants to go to the CCMA, what do I do?
  • I need employment contracts, can you help?
  • I have to retrench staff, how?
  • How many employees do I need to start my business?
  • How do I know if I need to hire more people?
  • What is the best payroll system for my business?
  • How do I load my payroll?
  • Can payroll be automated?
  • How do I set up authorisations?

BUSINESS CONSULTING/MENTOR

It may seem like a broad category where you aren’t sure what you are supposed to gain or ask from a business mentor or consultant. They can offer guidance and often be a sounding board for your strategic decisions. They can assist with topics like trends, expansion, strategy, business focuses and plans or perhaps even helping you develop a business skill.

Here’s a few questions our business coaches, mentors and consultants can help you with:

  • Do I need a business plan?
  • How can I approach this expansion strategically?
  • How can I grow my business?
  • Where can I apply for funding?
  • How do I decrease my churn rate?
  • Is my business profitable?

Join the Startwise platform, navigate to the “Business Consulting” category and start chatting to a mentor of your choice.

COMMERCIAL LAW

Commercial law is defined by Wikipedia as “the body of law that applies to the rights, relations, and conduct of persons and business engaged in commerce, merchandising, trade, and sales.” Our advisors can assist your company on business-related issues, drafting of or reviewing legal documents or resolving legal disputes.

It sounds complex, but here are perhaps some questions you may have:

  • What legal documents do I need to register my company?
  • Do I need supplier contracts?
  • Can I get an NDA template?
  • How long should my building lease be for?
  • What are my potential risks and liabilities?
  • Do I have a right to bring a claim?

It doesn’t have to be complex, simply download the Startwise App or sign up online, navigate your way to the “Commercial law” category and let an expert answer your legal question.

SKILLS & MANAGEMENT

We alluded to it earlier, as a start-up, you run the show. You are across all divisions of your business and more often than not, you don’t necessarily have the support of a full management team. As your business becomes more established, your mindset should shift to upskilling yourself and building a bigger team.

Our mentors can help you. Join the Startwise platform, select the “Skills and management” category, and chat to an expert.

Here’s what other business owners have been asking:

  • How many employees do I need to start my business?
  • How do I know if I need to hire more people?
  • What is the best payroll system for my business?
  • How can I be more effective as a leader?
  • How can I better manage my time?
  • Am I focusing on the wrong aspects?
  • Am I too involved in the daily running?
  • Who should train my teams?

 ECOMMERCE

A great way to expand your business is to take your offering online. Build an eCommerce site or use the shop functions that social media channels offer to businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rate of consumers shifting to an online and digital space. Your business could be making more sales by ensuring your products and services are available to purchase online.

If you aren’t sure how to start the conversation with a Startwise eCommerce mentor, here are some FAQ’s:

  • What platforms should I use?
  • How do I set up my website for ecommerce?
  • Can I use social media as an ecommerce platform?
  • What payment gateway should I use?
  • What courier company should I use?
  • How do I integrate and automate my orders?

If you are still unsure how to navigate your way through the Startwise categories or connect with our business consultants, contact our support team on [email protected]