Getting Free Advice on Running a Business


Whether you’re just starting out with your first business or you’re a seasoned veteran looking for a few pointers, it can be very useful to have access to a community of like-minded business owners. You can network for mutual benefit, ask one another for advice, and simply share words of encouragement. However, it can sometimes be difficult to find this kind of networking opportunity, especially if you don’t live and work in a major metropolitan area.

Addressing this very arena is the Business Advice Forum. This is an online foru7m that is meant to provide free business advice and support from individuals just like you, as well as those who may be a little further along in their endeavors than you.

The forum serves as the subject of today’s review, so let’s have a look at what it has to offer.

Business Advice You Can Use

As an online business forum, Business Advice Forum may seem like it only caters to the Internet entrepreneurs in the audience. While it may be true that people will be in the forums discussing things like domains, affiliate marketing, and online copyright concerns, the forum is meant to be much more wide-reaching than this.

In this way, you can approach the forum with all sorts of questions (and success stories) related to all kinds of businesses. You can be opening a new eatery and you want to know more about how you would go about acquiring a liquor license. That’s fair game.


The power of the forum comes from its users, so the quality of the business advice will vary accordingly.

Beyond the core forum for advice and new business ideas, there are also sub-forums for current affairs, personal success, a gratitude log, and business small talk.

Advertise Your Company for Free

What could be one of the best features of Business Advice Forum may also be one of its weakest points. One of the sub-forums is called Member Ads and it is a place where forum members can openly advertise their products, services, and businesses.


There are rules in place to discourage outright spamming from bots and lurkers, but you are free to use affiliate referral IDs and openly advertise your product, service, or website.

Personally, I still find this to be a little spam-like in nature, but it does provide for a free outlet for members to market what they have to offer. It’s up to you whether this ease of self-promotion is a good or bad thing.

Free to Join the Conversation

Business Advice Forum looks like any other forum powered by vBulletin. The overall design isn’t terribly exciting, but it also means that you can be immediately familiar with its interface, including the registration process to get a free account. Yes, BAF is free.


The registration form is remarkably short. All you really need to provide is a valid username, a password, and an email address. There is no confirmation process for the email address, so you really can put whatever you want.


Your mileage may vary, but when I clicked on the link to submit my registration form, I got the error message shown above. I was mildly perplexed, but I tried logging in and the new account still work. Go figure.

It Pays to Share Support Too

Business Advice Forum looks like it has a relatively active community, sharing all sorts of useful information and advice. People are asking about everything from starting gas stations to recruiting team members, so you’ll get a decent variety of business owners here.

As if the free business advice and support were not enough, Business Advice Forum also wants to give you money. There are a series of 10 competitions with a total of $20,000 in cash prizes. I wouldn’t mind having some extra cash around for my business. How about you?

In terms of advice that I have for Business Advice Forum, I’d say that they should do some more work on branding and making the forum look different from the countless other forums on the Internet. I’m also curious how they have gone about to optimize monetization on the site, since membership is free. Perhaps some clever implementation of “featured products” would be a great fit for this kind of audience.

31 thoughts on “Getting Free Advice on Running a Business”

  1. EarningStep says:

    wow , nice forum to share link , LOL . actually i love forum and joining more than 5 great forum . three for adsense and 2 for affiliate. this will be the six .i wonder you are one of this forum member john

    1. What a ridiculous comment… lol.

  2. Free advice for the epic win…

  3. Bob Hughes says:

    I know that I will certainly take advantage of what the business advice forum has to offer. I can’t wait to get started.

    1. Benjamin Cip says:

      I’m sure you won’t get disapointed. It’s one of my favorite forum, and like I said in my previous comment, Fergal, the owner of the forum always reply to your questions or thread. He is very nice. Welcome to the Business Advice Forum!

  4. Eric Canja says:

    Thanks for providing this information. As a business owner, it is always nice to be able to get advice from business owners…

    …on a different note

    I enjoyed the video that is currently floating around which you broke down your business model for your blog.

  5. Hi John,

    Just watched your video presentation from Vancouver and I’m convinced. I’ve been blogging since 2004 and never actually approached it like it’s a business. Thanks for sharing so much information in such a forthright way. I’ve made the decision to treat my blog like a business and so seeing this business networking site seems very appropriate. I signed up for your subscription even after hearing how you use it for the pitch…and I’m a cynic! Nice work and thanks again.


  6. Brett Favre says:

    Who doesn’t want to see another vBulletin forum?

    1. John Chow says:

      What’s wrong with vBulletin? It’s the best forum software I’ve ever used.

  7. Steve says:

    Wow nice forum! I know I will be using that forum lots of great info very important. We need a new fresh forum.


  8. Sprachreisen says:

    all good resources and lots of expertise in one place – thanks for this interesting review and link

  9. Benjamin Cip says:

    I already signed up to this forum before, it’s a great forum. Fergal the forum owner always reply to your questions or thread. It’s really a great forum to share links and ideas. You can learn a lot from there.

  10. Thanks for the review John, it is very much appreciated. The registration error has now been fixed. Also just to clarify that email verification is required before you can post on the forum.

  11. Benjamin Cip says:

    I’m sure you won’t get disapointed. It’s one of my favorite forum, and like I said in my previous comment, Fergal, the owner of the forum always reply to your questions or thread. He is very nice. Welcome to the Business Advice Forum!
    BTW I love your blog!

  12. If anyone else is experiencing registration or access problems, please let me know your Business Advice Forum username and I’ll fix it. Thanks!

  13. Wow, great forum, thanks for sharing

  14. Joe Revod says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for sharing this.
    Really helps me to get more advices from any other internet marketer.

    Really appreciate it.

    Joe Revod

  15. Thanks a good way to spend less time and earn more , which is called smart as i have seen people doing hard work and earn less and people like john chow spend 2 hours a days earn many dollars 😉

  16. hospitalera says:

    Thanks for this tip, I am always looking for good, relevant forums to join, SY

  17. That sounds like an interesting site to add to my bookmarked list. Other forums however share a portion of their adsense revenues with members who start new threads for example.

    1. We don’t have advertising on the site at present. However, we are running member competitions with a $20,000 prize fund and we are also currently running a daily contest where one winner every day can win up to $30.

  18. Tuesday Hall says:

    Thanks for recommending another great source for business advice! Its hard for newbies like me to find mentors willing to share ‘trade’ secrets, let alone share it for free. Having forums like these breaks down barriers and keep it all ‘open source’. 🙂

  19. Arthur says:

    Thanks for the article. Great find!

  20. Dean Saliba says:

    Wow this forum must be doing alright if they can afford to splash out on a John Chow Dot Com review. 😛

  21. Sergey Rusak says:

    You know what is the best free advice? When you need it, you should knock a door of a company which provides specific service and ask for proposal and possible free audit. I know it is sound mean, but many businesses are doing this.

  22. Cynthia says:

    Great Post, I am going to join that forum now! I

  23. Saleem Rana says:

    This looks like an excellent forum to join. I appreciate your detailed review about it.

  24. Faisal says:

    It is a very helpful tool in finding quick answers to a lot of questions. Thanks a lot for valuable info.

  25. This is certainly a good idea but it will need to be consistent with the latest updates in the business. I am sure once you established a reputation of sharp ideas than no one will stop you to lead.

    So best of luck … I am also coming to join at there.

  26. Thanks for the information. I have a lot of questions on doing business, this forum just to salvation me. 🙂

  27. Forum and discussion groups are great places for business decision making. We can learn and share our experiences there.

Comments are closed.