Chances are, you started your small business for the craft you love. You’re an expert in lawn care or photography or personal training.

You’re not, however, up on all the latest social media trends or cutting-edge sales tactics. That’s where these six small business experts come in.

Exploring expert advice doesn’t require you to add anyone to the payroll. Hiring a consultant for a few months — or even chatting over lunch — could bring fresh, new ideas and solutions that can quickly transform your business.

Furthermore, seeking a fresh perspective could reveal parts of your business that you don’t even realize could be improved.

Too in the weeds? Feel like you’re in a rut? The daily workflows and doldrums are blockers to evolution and growth. Here are six experts to light the way, and resources to help you find them.

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Leadership Mentor

Even if things are humming along, chances are you could still use a small business expert who’s been in the game for a while. Becoming a great leader is often the result of having great examples to follow.

A leadership mentor can do anything from boosting your confidence when you need it to providing educational resources for a particularly difficult problem. They can also help you build your network and find partners or investors for your business.

You really need this expert if …

You’re having people problems. While a leadership mentor can help with business strategy and growth strategies, their biggest asset may be helping you retain employees or get along better with your partners.

Your mentor will likely have stories and lessons learned from being in the trenches for years.

Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.

John Maxwell

How to find one: Your personal connections will come in handy here. Did you have a former teacher who was a business owner? Do you know someone who’s retired from your field? Reach out!

If you don’t have one of these connections, we recommend SCORE. This is a free service that will connect you to mentors in your industry. You’ll get one-on-one attention and expert advice on various aspects of running a small business.

These mentors are entrepreneurs, executives and others who volunteer their time to help up-and-coming business owners.

Financial Advisor

Let’s see a show of hands for those who combined their personal and business checking accounts for way too long …

Small business owners may be known for their charm and attention to detail, but money management? Not so much. That’s why we’ve put this small business expert close to the top.

Not only can a financial advisor get your accounts in line, but they can also help you keep the cash flowing healthfully while you avoid tax trouble with the Feds.

On a deeper level, a great financial advisor will keep you abreast of market activity and trends to help you make strategic decisions and steer your business growth plan.

For your personal life, they’ll keep you on the road to a successful retirement and/or handing off your business to a team member or someone in the family.

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You really need this expert if …

The money is pouring in. It may seem counter-intuitive to seek advice when things are going great, but that’s when you need someone to pull the reins and help you show some restraint and plan for the future.

If the business is humming along now, what areas should you invest in for future growth … or when you’re facing a slow season? A luxury vacation may sound nice while you’re rolling in cash, but there may be better investment strategies you’re not considering that could benefit your business and your family.

How to find one: Your community likely has many financial advisor listings that you can search for. During your consultation, ask lots of questions, such as:

Are you a fiduciary (legally obligated to act in your best interest)? Do you charge a flat fee? (This is preferred.) Have you worked with small businesses before? Can I speak with a current client as a referral?

Digital Marketing Expert

Do you know your industry’s winning keywords for Google Ads? How about building a look-alike audience for Meta Business? What’s your most effective lead magnet?

If these questions sound like a foreign language to you, it’s likely that you could use the help of a digital marketing expert. This person should be well-versed in everything from winning SEO tactics to web design to sponsored Facebook posts. They also likely have access to tools that make this job easier.

When searching for this expert, dial in on a focus area. Do you need to improve content? Get more visitors to your website? Answer customer questions on social media? Digital marketing is an always-evolving, dynamic field. A comprehensive consultation is a good place to start.

You really need this expert if …

You have big-name competitors or your market is very competitive, overall. A digital marketing guru will save you a lot of costly trial-and-error that your larger competitors have likely already done.

Ultimately, this pro will get your business in front of potential clients faster.

How to find one: You can hire a digital marketing expert through a freelance service, such as MarketerHire or Upwork, which will help you streamline your search and working relationship without a lot of paperwork (and for a fee).

If you’re a Thryv customer, ask us about Marketing Center.

Community Connector

This is that magical person who “knows everyone.” Every community has one … or two. If you’re running a local small business, you know how important word-of-mouth is, so why not utilize one of the best mouths in town?

In addition to hyping up your business, a great community connector will introduce you to others who can help grow your business, such as the head of the Chamber of Commerce, event coordinators and Betty’s nephew who’s back in town and looking for work.

Beyond human connections, you’ll want your digital marketing expert to help connect you to potential clients with up-to-date online business listings as well as local directories.

You really need this expert if …

You’re new to town or a shy, introverted person. Ask your social butterfly to make relevant introductions in environments that make you anxious so you can focus on one-on-one conversations, rather than stressing about the rest of the crowd.

How to find one: Get yourself to community or industry network events and watch for the person making the rounds in the room. Introduce yourself! Inspired by an event speaker? Follow up with them and ask for connections. They’re usually well-connected.

Technology Guru

So, you’re reading this blog on your laptop, phone or tablet, right? That’s also how your employees handle day-to-day tasks and how customers communicate with you. Technology is inescapable these days, and that goes for your business, too.

Building a DIY technology infrastructure within your business is time consuming and potentially frustrating. A tech pro can do anything from suggesting do-it-all business management software to ensuring your internet doesn’t grind to a halt while you’re helping key clients.

Along with your guru, any software programs your team uses daily should come with free, unlimited, 24/7 support so you never miss a business opportunity due to a lack of knowledge or mastery of the systems your team uses.

You really need this expert if …

Your business handles sensitive client information. Your tech pro can help ensure documents are handled appropriately and securely, and that you’re safe from hackers.

If you think your business is too small for cybercrime, think again. In fact, 82% of ransomware attacks in 2021 were against companies with fewer than 1,000 employees.

How to find one: Search for business technology consultants in your area. Ask about their experience with small businesses and technology tools geared toward making small businesses easier to run.

Sales Consultant

Although sometimes pricey, a sales consultant can be one of the best objective experts you connect with.

If you have a sales team — big or small — they likely have their tried-and-true tactics to close the deal. An outside consultant can help measure which of those tactics truly performs the best, without bias.

A sales consultant can also help if you’re having to run the business and pitch the sale. If you’re more comfortable in the field than at the bargaining table, a sales consultant can help you create a pitch that works in any situation, and give you the confidence to seal deals.

You really need this expert if …

Business has slowed. Consider seeking advice on the sales side before business stalls. A few tweaks and a fresh perspective may turn things around quickly, while you can still afford it.

How to find one: You can find online programs that offer tons of usable advice, such as Sandler, which serves large and small or individually owned businesses in a variety of industries.

Or you can consider temporarily hiring a sales executive for a short period of time so they can dig into your business, truly understand your services and help you optimize the stars on your sales team.

Modern Small Business Playbook

Modern Small
Business Playbook

Modernize your business, get paid faster and win more customers.