I have a meeting with a very successful business owner. What should I ask him to to get solid financial advice? We are in different professions. He is very successful car dealer and I am an electrical distributor.
In my experience great advice can move across industries in several categories; cash flow management, human resources, process improvement, systems and measurement.
Ask him questions relating to how he measures, rewards and retains his best staff.
Ask about how he ensures proper cash flow management, how he extends payables for instance.
Ask about how he tracks the efforts of employees to know who is contributing to the bottom line and who is not.
Ask him how he knows when it's time to make changes in how things are done.
Ask him how he responded to the last new competitive threat.
Ask him how he plays a role in different aspects of his business; sales, purchasing, marketing, etc.
Good luck. Simply taking the time to put some thought into what you should be asking will help make this meeting into a great opportunity. Don't get too scripted though and ask him what he thinks you should learn about what he's been through.
David C Barnett