They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I think the same is true of running a business. When you have a marketing question or you’re dealing with a difficult client, you need people you can turn to for guidance. As solopreneurs, we don’t have a boss or coworkers to collaborate and brainstorm with. But luckily there are places we can go to get help with our business problems. Here are my favorite ways to get some much-needed business advice.
Freelancing groups on Facebook are some of the best places to get business advice. Whether you need help figuring out what to charge, where to find high-paying clients, or how to deal with scope creep, Facebook groups are your friend—especially if you need advice fast. I’ve always gotten several helpful responses within a few hours of posting about my problems. This helps me decide how to move forward quickly, which is crucial when you’re dealing with a time-sensitive crisis.
I also appreciate that I can get multiple perspectives just by typing up a brief social media post. Every entrepreneur handles challenges differently, so hearing from several people helps me come to a decision that feels right for my business.
Below are some of my favorite Facebook groups for getting advice as a freelance writer. If you’re in a different industry, you can find groups that are better suited to your situation by using the Facebook search bar.
- Freelancing Females
- Female Freelance Writers
- Binders Helping Newbie Writers
- The Freelance Content Marketing Writer
- Digital Nomad Girls
- The Content Marketing Lounge
Coaching and Mentorship Programs
I’ve worked with two coaches over the course of my freelance career to get an outside perspective on my business. I made sure to choose experienced personal finance writing coaches who could give me industry-specific advice. Because my coaches were further along in their careers than I was, their guidance was extremely helpful. They had unique marketing and networking tips to share and even recommended me to their clients.
Meeting with a coach on a weekly or monthly basis can help you level up your business and get the support you need. But these coaching programs usually aren’t cheap. It costs at least a couple hundred dollars to speak to a coach regularly. If you can afford to enroll, one-on-one mentorship is usually worth the investment. But if you’re not in a position to spend that kind of money right now, luckily there are cheaper alternatives.
SCORE (the Service Corps of Retired Executives) is a nonprofit organization that offers coaching to small business owners at no cost. All the mentors involved in SCORE are experienced entrepreneurs with lots of firsthand knowledge to share. They’ll meet with you on an ongoing basis to understand your business and provide advice that’s tailored to your situation. Although you can get several different perspectives by posting in Facebook groups, no one will be able to provide the kind of specific, individualized advice a mentor can. So you should definitely take advantage of this program if possible.
The Small Business Administration also operates business centers throughout the country, including:
- Women’s Business Centers
- Veterans Business Outreach Centers
- Small Business Development Centers
- Minority Business Development Agency
These centers provide resources for small business owners such as business training, mentorship, and marketing and accounting advice. They may even be able to help you access capital to grow your business.
Having an experienced mentor in your corner is important if you’re trying to expand your business. But sometimes it’s nice to talk to peers who are currently dealing with the same business challenges as you. Back when I lived in Boston, I enjoyed attending a monthly support group for entrepreneurs that I found on Meetup.com. It was a great place to make friends with other freelancers and chat about the highs and lows of working for yourself.
How do you get business advice when you need it? Let me know in the comments section below!
Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money saving hacks or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.