Help! It can be a hard thing to give, and an even harder thing to ask for – but when you’re a small business owner, sometimes you have no choice but to reach out your hand and hope someone is there to take it. After all, the world of running a small business can be incredibly overwhelming as you take on the challenges and hurdles of being everywhere at once.
So what kinds of help might a small business owner need? Well, let’s take a look.
Running a business is a risky proposition – many entrepreneurs invest a substantial amount of their life savings into starting up their big venture. And even with the power of a dream behind it, it’s no big leap of the imagination that many small businesses fail. So is it because the dream simply isn’t good enough?
Well, in most cases it’s that the money just isn’t there – and we’re not necessarily talking about profitability. An estimated 80% of businesses fail because of insufficient working capital and cash flow problems. This can happen for a number of reasons – sometimes clients fail to pay on time, stopping up your incoming cash and things get too tight to maintain. In other cases, bad bookkeeping is to blame.
At the end of the day, the biggest service you can do for yourself as a small business owner is to work with someone who knows what they’re doing when it comes to the books. Having a second set of eye looking out for your finances can save you from making big mistakes and backing yourself into a corner, where your only choice is to shut the doors.
Lots of business owners are experts on their product or service. But even if you’re the best mechanic, chiropractor, or chef in the region, your business can still run into trouble if you can’t get people in the door. If you have some marketing know-how, you might be able to bootstrap your advertising and promote your business the old-fashioned way. But if you don’t have the first clue when it comes to Facebook, you might want to hire a pro to help you out.
When an entrepreneur says they started their small business for the “freedom,” lots of business owners just laugh. After all, who hasn’t spent a 12-, 14-, or 16-hour day (or longer) in the shop, sweating away the minutes working on a new project for the business.
But with that in mind, freedom isn’t a complete myth. Staffing your business with motivated, enthusiastic, and competent individuals is an amazing way to free yourself from the daily grind of working in your business and shifting your focus to working on your business.
Let’s face it – nobody knows everything and continuing to learn, grow, and improve is critical to being successful in the business world. So finding a mentor or other growth opportunity is a great way to get help, even if it’s help you didn’t know you needed. Networking with other small business owners, finding a mentor in your industry, or even joining mastermind or other think tank-style groups can really go a long way toward keeping your mind sharp and your business on the cutting edge.