With the Entrepreneurs Programme recently coming to an end, many business owners who have benefited from the program for funding, guidance, and support, may just be wondering ‘What now?’.

The funding is one part of the equation, but what I’m more worried about is where these business owners can now go to receive guidance and help with decisions, and most importantly have a shoulder to lean on when feeling alone.  

This got me thinking... What are the options for business owners coming out of such a program? Then I realised, it’s no different to any business owner looking for guidance and support. 

So, here are some of my favourite ways to get support as a business owner and entrepreneur, and a few insights on where I go personally. 


one-on-one coaching  

Engaging with a business coach can be an extremely rewarding process for the lonely business owner. You get one-on-one attention on you and your business to help you brainstorm things in your business, develop your ideas and/or problem-solve with different things that come up.   

This can work extremely well if you are short of time and just want the time and focus to be 100% on you and your business and you can choose if you have a regular catch-up or on an ad-hoc basis. 

Benefits of one-on-one coaching include: 

  • Personalised guidance [just for your support] 
  • Direct accountability [even if they don’t have a stick to whack you with] 
  • A source of motivation and encouragement [when you need it] 
  • An objective perspective [to find those blind spots] 
  • Fresh insights [from someone who has taken the time to get to know your business and your situation]
  • Customised skill development [they sometimes have their model and tools they like to take you through] 
  • Network and qualified advisor introductions [benefit from their networks] 
  • Supported problem-solving [rather than going alone] 
  • Emotional support [because it’s about the human too] 
  • Goal clarity [including how to define them better]  
  • Helps you overcome limiting beliefs [because we all have them] 

The decision of which business coach to go with is an extremely personal choice, but that is also the main benefit because you can choose a person that specifically meets your needs. 

There are many great business coaches out there and I would be happy to refer you to one of them if you reach out.

Some things to consider when you choose a business coach, include their professional background, personal experience, any industry specialisations they may have and of course their availability and cost.  


group coaching

There are quite a few benefits of group coaching over one-on-one coaching.

But the downside with group is that you need to put more time into the coaching process because the sessions are not 100% focused on you and your business – attention is spread across all the businesses and individuals in the room. 

Whilst the coach may not know your business as much as a one-on-one coach, the cost is typically significantly less. Plus, you have the added advantage of leaning on the wider group for their intel and insights too. 

Benefits of group coaching include: 

  • Collective wisdom and insights of the group  
  • Accountability [but likely to be more indirect than one-on-one coaching] 
  • Peer support, feedback, and motivation [you no longer feel alone] 
  • Team camaraderie [when you have a bad day or just need a bit of pep talk] 
  • Cost-effectiveness [costs spread across many] 
  • Problem solving more from peer-to-peer experiences [rather than just the coach] 
  • Emotional support from more people [you tend to build a relationship with the group] 
  • Skills development through observation [rather than advice] 
  • A sense of community [in a lonely world of entrepreneurship] 

There are many variations and combinations of group and one-on-one coaching – some offer a combination to get the best of both worlds. You can even find some groups that have an industry focus or theme [e.g. women in business or scaling up]. 

One downside people often push back on with group coaching is that they don’t know who will be in their ‘group’ and if they will be a valuable connection or not.

I would suggest spending time with business owners that you wouldn’t normally spend time with may be the best thing for you, it can take you out of your comfort zone and help you explore new horizons. 



Mentoring and individual coaching are two distinct approaches to getting guidance and support.  Although they have some similarities, I would suggest a mentor is more focused on specifically sharing their own experiences as compared to a coach who may delve into the realm of advice and consulting.

Often they have experience with the industry you work in or have been through something similar to what you need help with.   

Mentors don’t tend to have a specific process or approach to take you through, so the experience can be more organic than a business coach. 

Benefits of one-on-one mentoring include: 

  • Focus on precisely what you need 
  • Practical real-life experience [compared to a coach that guides you on a self-discovery process] 
  • Tend to be a more experienced, tenured individual [often they’re a wise ‘been-there-done-that’ industry professional] 
  • Personalised guidance  
  • Expand your network of connections [that you may not otherwise get access to] 
  • Development of soft skills too 
  • Enhanced decision-making  
  • Accountability and motivation  
  • Often extends into your personal life and mindset too
  • Validation and confidence [to help you push ahead] 
  • Tend to be longer-term relationships  
  • The transfer of their wisdom to you 
  • Often they just want to give back, they don’t have to be a professional mentor  
  • Organic and flexible approach  

Although similar to a one-on-one coach, there are some subtle differences.  

Do not hesitate to reach out to someone that you want to be mentored by – you might be surprised by how willing they are to give back.  

I had a mentor when I started businessDEPOT, the late Wayne Patterson. I cannot overstate how much he helped me in the early days of businessDEPOT both personally and business-wise.

Sadly, Wayne passed away as a result of Motor Neurone Disease but I was privileged to interview him when he was promoting a series of children’s books he wrote as his legacy. You can check out the interviews here on the 7 core principles of business… You might get a laugh out of my babyface in these videos but the content and his wise words are just as valuable today as they were when they were originally recorded. 

Feel free to support Waynes’ chosen charity, MND and Me, to help fund research and fight Motor Neurone Disease.


advisory boards

An advisory board is different again to all the above options.   

An advisory board is a collection of individuals who come together to provide advice and insights to a business [including its owners and managers] to help everyone make better decisions.  

It is different to a ‘Corporate Board’ of directors who establish company policies, set and approve budgets etc.  An advisory board offers advice, but as a business owner, you get to choose whether to take it on board or not.   

Benefits of an advisory board include: 

  • Can fill the knowledge and experience gaps in your business [often they’re a group of individuals with different skillsets, backgrounds and perspectives] 
  • Many people with many years of experience [not just one person providing advice] 
  • A devil’s advocate or voice of reason [to help make better business decisions] 
  • New ideas and new insights from a broader group  
  • Many heads to help solve problems 
  • Accountability anchor  
  • Ability to gain new connections by name-dropping [more of a formal position some choose to promote eg if raising capital] 
  • Risk mitigation [more transparent identification and mitigation of risks associated with your business] 
  • Diversity of thought  
  • Take more ‘on’ than ‘in’ perspective, helping keep you strategically focused 
  • Boost credibility and investor confidence [though one step short of a corporate board, you can still lean on the experience of the members] 

Compared to coaching or mentoring, an advisory board will tend to be more about the business than about you, so you are likely to get less advice and support from a personal perspective]. The cost can also compound compared to some of the options with multiple professionals being leant on regularly. 

It’s important to note that establishing and managing an advisory board requires careful consideration and clear expectations.

Finding the right mix of board members who complement your business’s needs and culture is crucial for its success. Regular communication, defined roles, and effective governance structures are also key factors in maximising the benefits of an advisory board. 

At businessDEPOT, we have experts from all walks of life, with all sorts of industry experience and skillsets.  If you are looking to form an Advisory Board, reach out and we may be able to give you or introduce to you, the experts you want. 



We know that not all these options are suitable for everyone, so if none of these options speak to you + your business then stay tuned for part 2 of this series coming soon!


we’re here to help

If you need help getting support feel free to reach out to our team at oneplace@businessdepot.com.au or give us a buzz at 1300 BDEPOT and we’ll do our best to connect you to someone who can help.


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