When to get business advice
Professional advice can be useful at any stage of business - whether you're starting, growing or ending a business. But it's not always practical or cost-effective to get professional advice for all business decisions.
Knowing when to pay for outside expertise is an important skill. In many cases you will be able to resolve a particular business problem yourself, but sometimes you will need outside help. When making this decision, ask yourself:
- Do I or does someone in my business have the skills to solve this problem in-house?
- Is it worth my time and money to get external advice?
- Is there a legal requirement for getting external advice?
Free sources of advice are good starting points for understanding and getting help with a range of business issues.
Sources of free business advice
Government advice and support
- The Australian Government website for business is a good starting point for many businesses, offering a range of useful fact sheets and guides.
- Business Enterprise Centres (BEC) Australia is a valuable resource for reliable, independent business advice.
- The Australian Taxation Office provides tax assistance and various fact sheets for small business owners.
- The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) provides helpful information on small business issues concerning consumers' rights and obligations.
- If you want to start a small business, the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) can provide accredited small business training, business advice and mentoring for eligible people.
- If your business employs less than 20 people, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland can arrange small business advice about work health and safety issues.
Other advice and support
- Social media websites (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) cover a wide range of business topics and feature well-known business personalities, case studies and noted experts in different fields.
- Banks and other financial institutions usually have a good range of online fact sheets and other resources. Check your bank's website for more information.
- Your own business networks can be useful for business advice.
- Industry associations can be reliable sources of business advice.
If these sources cannot help you, your next step will be to find a business adviser who has expertise dealing with your specific issue(s).