Occasionally a problem you face in business will truly stump you. It's an inevitable part of building and growing a business, and potentially an embarrassing one.
Luckily, there are people and resources to turn to when these challenges seem like too much.
To find out where other entrepreneurs sourced their answers, we asked 12 startup founders from Young Entrepreneur Council to share their favorite resources for getting real-time help with complex business problems. Their suggestions are below.
1. Curate a group of trusted experts with different expertise (and podcasts for everything else).
I have plenty of mentors on different levels, targeting different areas. I have my business mentor, my financial mentor, the list goes on. When I can't get a hold of these people, I listen to plenty of podcasts to supplement my learning. My favorite is "Marketplace."--Rob Fulton, Exponential Black
2. Quora is great, but turn to your mentor during rough patches.
Online resources such as Quora are great, but nothing is more effective than a trusted mentor. Being a founder/CEO/leader is a lonely job. Confiding in someone who's been in your shoes and understands your problems can make all the difference. I'm fortunate to have a dear friend and mentor who keeps me honest and focused during rough patches, both big and small.--Jyot Singh, RTS Labs
3. Call on academic connections.
I consult with my academic connections, including professors, when I encounter complex issues. Their real-world experience and in-depth knowledge of business provides an intuitive third-party perspective that can lend incredible insight into my problems.--Kevin Xu, Mebo international
4. Trust a small group of friends.
They say that you are the average of the five people you associate most with. So I like being in an ongoing email thread with five people whom I trust and who have a variety of skill sets. It's nice to get feedback from people who are expecting nothing in return, aside from being able to provide your insight as well. It also serves as a great, trusted curation platform for new content, applications, etc.--Adam Stillman, SparkReel
5. Get industry-specific tips in LinkedIn groups.
Some of the more active groups on LinkedIn have hundreds of thousands of members with many chiming in everyday. Group discussions often turn into powerful threads that help me gain new perspective on my business. Plus, with the opportunity to post discussions to multiple groups at a time, I can easily find myself devouring advice from industry experts in a matter of minutes.--Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep
6. Call your mentors first.
When getting advice on complex business issues, I go to my mentors. These people are intimately familiar with what I do because I've had several conversations with them about the business. Because of this, my mentors can give me real-time advice. It is hard to get valuable advice from someone that doesn't have a solid grasp on the context of your business.--John Berkowitz, Yodle
7. Supplement your business network with Clarity.
Over the years I've built a good network of business friends whom I can rely on for advice. However, I also love Clarity by my friend Dan Martell. I've had some great calls there.--Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster
8. Join a peer group.
Maverick1000 is a mastermind peer group of business owners doing a minimum $1 million per year in revenue who want to improve the world. I can call any of them to talk over various business problems, revenue drivers and new ideas. It's invaluable feedback. It's great support and encouragement. I love the instant advice--I can get my team implementing it immediately. Find a peer group you connect with.--Joshua Lee, StandOut Authority
9. Tap into niche Facebook groups for quick responses.
There are plenty of top-notch Facebook groups full of smart people who can help with business problems. Sometimes I'll just post in a Facebook group with a brief description of the issue and very quickly I'll have answers waiting for me in my inbox.--Ben Lang, Mapped In Israel