Once Nita Maru set up her legal consultancy in Dubai a few years ago, work started piling up and she began hiring a team of specialist lawyers to keep up with the demand.
But the founding lawyer and director of The Wills Specialists also needed a broader support network to stay on top of everything else in her life.
"It is challenging to juggle managing a practice and being a lawyer, wife and mother to three children at the same time," says Ms Maru.
"However, I have an extremely supportive husband, a dedicated team of lawyers and great back-office support," she says. "I also have a core network of friends who share common challenges. We meet regularly and inspire each other to flourish in our respective careers."
Few aspects of driving a business always run smoothly, and many owners seek outside counsel to navigate through tough terrain.
According to a study from the United States, more than two thirds of owners of small businesses rely on a single confidante for advice on serious business problems or critical commercial decisions.
This confidante is considered the most influential type of adviser and is an immediate family member in 59 per cent of cases, according to the study, released last month by the National Federation of Independent Business.
In Britain, accountants were listed as the most valuable source of advice for small-business owners among 21 per cent of respondents in a survey released last year by unbiased.co.uk, a professional advice website. Friends were named in 12 per cent of cases, while family members showed up in 10 per cent of responses.
Many owners of small and medium enterprises in the Emirates look beyond their accountants, spouses and family members to garner social support while tackling business issues.
Some select peers who are from their home countries and accessible through local associations such as the British Business Group or the Canadian Business Council.
Ms Maru is part of another kind of group, the Entrepreneurs' Organization, which holds monthly forums for professionals from different industries to discuss work/life challenges. Ms Maru calls the members of her forum "my personal board of advisers."
Members of this group must run businesses that generate at least US$1 million (Dh3.6m) annually, and they must pass an interview to join the organisation.
James Samuel, the founder and managing director of the communications company Waves Group, joined the Entrepreneurs' Organization in 2006.
He has found the support network particularly helpful because he is the first entrepreneur in his family and while building his business he has encountered numerous challenges that are unfamiliar to his loved ones.
"My family is into academics and other interests," Mr Samuel says. "When you need back-up mechanisms, who do you turn to?"
For Rohan Shetty, the chairman and managing director of Kellett & Singleton Group, listening to how other leaders in the forum tackled business problems helped him to look at his own venture more objectively.
In the past, Mr Shetty says, he was involved in the business "more emotionally". Now, however, he is able to step aside and make necessary changes.
"In all probability, I would not have been able to make these changes [before] and talk to my forum buddies," he says.