Don’t go it alone. Engage with advisors for business success.

Managing your business

As a small business owner, the road to success often involves facing challenges you’re encountering for the first time and bypassing obstacles you don’t recognize. The journey can be daunting and a little lonely.

But you don’t have to go it alone. You can access the expertise and experience of a host of advisors—from consultants and coaches to mentors and peers--who can help you succeed. In fact, a study showed that 70% of small businesses that received mentoring survived for more than five years, double the survival rate of non-mentored businesses.Disclosure 1

Luckily, there are several sources of valuable help.

Expertise from professional advisors and consultants

Professional advisors and consultants offer specialized expertise or technical capabilities to support your business. They can help on a specific project or deliver services on an ongoing basis and usually charge by the project, by the hour, or as a monthly or annual service.

By working with them, you’ll gain access to expertise you don’t have and often find that they can save you time, money, or stress.

Small business owners generally find the most need for consultants in these areas:

  • IT consultants work to design the best technology systems to support your business today and in the future. They also set up secure networks to protect your information and your customers’ data as well. On an ongoing basis, they keep hardware and software up to date and your system running efficiently.
  • Financial consultants help with financial tasks ranging from cash flow management and taxes to risk management and funding options. They can offer valuable insights into the financial health of your business and support your making informed decisions about investments, expenses, and revenue generation. Oftentimes your CPA—with detailed knowledge of your finances—is a natural place to start when you’re seeking financial advice.
  • Legal counsel advises on contracts, risk management, and liability protection matters. Attorneys also assist in navigating complex regulations and can inform you about your rights and responsibilities as a business owner.
  • Human resources specialists can guide you in strategies for recruiting, hiring and retention, employee benefits, and performance management. They can put together policies and procedures and assist in managing employee relations and complying with labor laws.
  • Marketing, operations, strategy consultants – Most owners have areas of the business that know they’ve got covered and others where they’ve got gaps or know they need more firepower to be successful—that’s when you can engage functional consultants to help you.

Marketing agencies and consultants can help you build a comprehensive marketing plan and bring insights about your customers and the latest techniques to reach them. Operations consultants can work with you to streamline processes and increase staff productivity. Strategy consultants can take a holistic view of your business and advise on major directional changes to help you achieve your long-range goals.

Business coaches and mentors

Small business leaders are increasingly hiring business coaches to help them reach higher levels of personal and business performance. Business mentors serve a similar role as business coaches, but there are crucial differences. Both can be valuable sources of guidance for small businesses—you won’t want to miss the opportunity to use them.

Find the option—business coach, business mentor, or both—that’s right for your situation.

Business coaches and mentors
Business coach Business mentor
Goal Helps business owners improve in a particular performance area or reach a specific goal. Helps owners develop and grow more broadly into better leaders over their business journey. Can serve as a role model.
Approach Structured, task-driven approach using processes, methodologies, and accountability to produce specific results. A more informal approach in which business experience, knowledge, and advice is shared in a conversational manner.
Engagement Relationship is typically shorter term, over a defined period. Long-term relationship that can last years or even decades.
Cost Fee required. Generally, no expectation of payment.
Best use A good fit if you’re clear on a specific goal and need a structured approach and accountability to get there. A good option if you’re feeling uncertain of your direction or want advice and counsel on an as-needed basis.
Sources You can find a certified business coach by looking for those with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) designation. You may be able to identify a mentor within your existing network of personal and professional relationships. Also, provides free business mentoring by location, industry, and business need.

Value-added advice from service providers

Sometimes businesses that provide a product or service will offer free advice about how to get the most from their offering and help you meet your overall business goals. It’s a great way for a service provider to distinguish its approach and offer extra value to earn your continued business. 

Your Truist banking relationship is a perfect example of where you can find value-added advice. Your Truist banker works to understand your business and where you want to take it and then helps you use your Truist products and services to get there. Bringing that extra value is one way Truist shows how we care for our clients.

Personal relationships as valuable sounding boards

While they’re not paid, it’s often peers, friends, and family who provide some of the most valuable advice and everyday support that you’ll need. They can lend an ear and offer sound advice on achieving work/life balance and reducing stress. While you may not think of them as advisors, they understand you, your values, and your dreams. Friends and family often share a fresh outside perspective and can provide frank advice that will keep you true to your goals.

Business groups for networking and new ideas

Industry groups, chambers of commerce, and other business associations are a hub of information on trends and technologies in your industry or area. They can be good referral sources when you need help solving a problem or recruiting workers.

Networking groups provide a forum for business owners to meet, learn about each business’s offerings, and develop relationships that can lead to new opportunities. While networking groups are often focused on lead referrals for new customers, they can be a valuable source of ideas and partnership introductions that can help expand your business.

Finally, small business leader forums can match you with similar small business peers for mutual support and learning. These forums provide a safe if challenging environment to share your business goals, discuss your struggles, and learn from others who have been in your shoes. Plus, you’ll gain another group of business peers who know you and your business and can help keep you on track toward your business and leadership goals.

Find advisors who will make you and your business better.

You have a wealth of options for advice and guidance, but how do you choose? Start by being clear on what you hope to gain from any relationship. Consider how much time and money you can invest and don't be afraid to have several advisors for different objectives, depending on where you are on your business journey. You can review your advisor list annually to reflect on where you are getting help and who you may want to seek.


Engaging with business advisors can help you make informed decisions, improve your operations, and reach your goals—relationships and the advice they bring can give you the edge you need in today's competitive business environment.

Build relationships with advisors to make your business stronger.

Call 877-279-3083 to talk with a small business banker or schedule a virtual or in-person appointment to include Truist in your circle of advisors.

This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial, or investment advice. You’re encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial, or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We don’t make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information. We don’t endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here. And we take no liability for your use of this information.