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.