We all know that life as a Business Owner can be tough going. This recognised reality actually works in your favour, as it lessens the competition you face in the market, for your products or services. It also provides you with the opportunity to do well financially, if you are able to surmount the many hurdles that you will inevitably face, as you develop and grow your own business.
The importance of support
One of the critical elements that will determine whether or not you will be successful as a business owner, is the degree of support you can engender from others as you travel along the path to eventual success.
This external support is absolutely necessary to keep you buoyant and focused on your objectives, despite the difficulties you will encounter on a daily basis.
The various types of support you will need from others include;
- Someone to act as a sounding board for you to bounce ideas off and to assist you to evaluate the validity of your ideas before you act on them impetuously, or erroneously
- Someone to help you with brainstorming ideas for problem resolution, promoting and marketing your business, development of new products or services, and effectively managing your available resources
- Someone who will provide you with continual encouragement to continue to persevere with facing the daily challenges that need to be met to make your business a success
- Someone in the same boat as yourself as a business owner, to share information, share leads, share celebrations of the small wins you make each week, share the emotional ups and downs that only a fellow business owner will understand, and share the pain when everything doesn’t go as well as planned
- Someone who can introduce you into appropriate networks that you need to be part of to gain the required level of exposure in your market, in order to be highly visible to your customers or clients
- Someone who is willing to allow you access to their similar business so that you can benchmark your operations against theirs to determine areas for improvement in your own
- Someone who can act as your businesses financial guardian angel to point you in the right direction and to ensure that you don’t make any fatal mistakes in the management of the cash flow of your business
Level of support required
It is likely that you will need support from a number of different people to ensure you have the support that you require. If you are very lucky, you will find two or three people, who between them, can give you the level of support you need to get your business to the stage where it can then afford to engage professional firms or individual professionals, to provide the support systems that every successful business needs, to enable it to continue to thrive and prosper.
So, where do you find the people you need to provide the support to you that can make your difficult role a little easier, and provide a greater chance for you to become a successful business owner?
The following list highlights great places to look for the people you can turn to for the necessary levels of support for yourself, as you grow your business;
Members of clubs, associations and groups that you belong to or have had previous associations with
Members of your immediate and extended family
Programs for business owners established by your Local Council, State Government Instrumentalities and National Government Departments
Networking Groups specifically set up to support SME business owners
Informal networks of non-competing local business owners in your immediate vicinity
Social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter that have a business focus
How to garnish the support you need
To garnish the support you need you will must be passionate about your business and the outcomes you are trying to achieve, and use the right approach when sounding others out, for the level of support you require.
You will usually find that if you approach the right people in the right way, even if you have not had a really strong previous relationship with them, most will, within the bounds of reasonableness, go out of the way to help others, especially if there is any form of reciprocity involved.
Questions to consider
Are you acting a little like a modern day Robinson Crusoe
Do you understand the benefits that the types of support outlined above can deliver to your business
Will you now develop a plan to ensure you get the level of support you deserve and need