This is a lonely business. The more networks you develop the more successful you will be. Of course, just as with any consultant you must give the people in your “consultation networks” enough information to make good suggestions. And you should take the ideas of anyone (including your SFS instructors!) with a grain of salt until you test them in the real world.
Look for free business consultation in your local business college. You can also check with your local SCORE chapter. Or ask your commercial loan officer for other business resources. Services offered can include help with your marketing, accounting and/or graphics design. Just remember to submerge your ego and listen, really listen, to what these folks are saying instead of playing the old “it won’t work in my market” card!
Using these free services are a triple win for everyone. You get free (and many times expert) advice, the college gets real life experience to work with and you very likely make new potential customers aware of the services you offer. You say these business consultants don’t know your business? Sometimes that is the very best way to go as your new “business consultants” will enter your company with a completely fresh set of Customer Eyeglasses!
P.S. Where do you network for business skills? Please share your experience below in the comments.