Where small business owners find help and advice

vbridges@newsobserver.comMarch 4, 2013 

A Shop Talk reporter attended a recent Association for Corporate Growth breakfast meeting and asked small-business owners where they turn when they want advice or help with their businesses. This is what they said:

•  “I turn to my clients,” said Patti Gillenwater, CEO of Elinvar, an executive search and leadership development firm in Raleigh. “Some of my best advisers are my clients, which makes sense when you think about it, because that is who you are serving.”

•  Arthur Bergens, CFO for Overture Networks, which develops and manufactures high-speed carrier Ethernet edge and aggregation solutions, said the source of help depends on the problem. Bergens said he turns to someone who has expertise and experience with the issue, he said.

“Issues are generally unique, and you seek out that expert that can help you solve that issue,” Bergens said.

•  Steve Lochbaum, CFO of Professional Builders Supply, said he turns to a group of company investors, who are longtime businessmen and businesswomen in the community.

“We have also done a lot of networking in the community, within the industry, and the across the country,” creating helpful contacts to turn to, Lochbaum said.

•  Kelly Campbell, president and owner of Interface Technologies, a custom software development firm, said he has two sources. Campbell turns to the Association for Corporate Growth’s membership to help with external issues, such as legal and financial, and employees when its relates to internal business concerns.

“Those folks are really important when it pertains to matters (relating to) the core values of the company,” Campbell said.

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