Running a small business is no easy feat. You need to be on the ball 24/7, making hard decisions, overlooking everything, and generally wearing many hats every day. While running your own company might give you the freedom and be preferable to being an employee, it isn’t always easy or fun, and from time to time, you might find that you need some support and help to support you and keep you on the right track.
So, who do you go to as a business owner to get this help? This post looks at some ways you can get help and support to enable you to do what you do and get some much-needed advice as and when you need it.
A Business Mentor
A business mentor is someone who has walked this path before you. They have run businesses, made mistakes, learned some things, and are uniquely placed to support up-and-coming business owners by giving them tips and tricks they have picked up over the years. Business mentors come in different shapes and sizes and have a wealth of knowledge and experience. However, you will still be able to find someone who can support you and understand what you do and how you need help.
Typically, business mentors work with new business owners or those with fewer than 3 years of experience to help them navigate the early days of running a business and build a solid foundation. However, some mentors work with local businesses regardless of age or industry.
Your government will have a vast collection of resources and different agencies and departments that can assist you with getting up and running and signpost you in the right direction for help and support. Whether they offer this directly themselves or direct you to third parties who can help you via a resource database, it is worth looking at your government’s website both nationally and locally to see what is available in your areas.
It might be that they hold networking events and coffee mornings, they could host workshops and invite speakers, or offer services to help you recover from financial difficulties or to help you expand your business easily without breaking any laws. This can be different depending on where you are based, but it’s worth looking at what is on offer, if anything, to find the resources you need.
Online Communities and Resources
A good idea is to find those who can help you and offer support to head online and find online communities in your sector or resources you can use.
Many organizations have an online presence that you can take advantage of to find the information you need to keep abreast of industry news and changes. You can look for websites featuring the latest news and updates, such as the blog BuildOps for those who use the service or just want to learn more; you can find details of trade organizations, licensing bodies for your industry, blogs written by business owners or experts in different fields or simply converse with other business owners via forums to get the support you need.
Nonprofit organizations such as SCORE or WBC (Women’s Business Centre) provide advice and assistance for business owners. They can provide training classes, counseling, advice on finances, help to find and run workshops, networking, and so on.
Finding the resources available in your local area can help you connect with nonprofits for small businesses to help you get additional support where you need it. They are run by experienced business owners who can help you to succeed and push your business forward in the right direction.
Networking events allow you to meet and connect with like-minded individuals looking to do the same thing. To build and grow their business and increase visibility within the sector.
By being an active participant, not only will you raise your profile and that of your company, but you can unlock access to services or individuals who might be able to help make changes or improvements to your business or simply boost sales.
Make sure to join networking events or associations that relate to your industry to find the right type of help and support and see what is on offer. The more involved you are, the easier it will be for you to get support from others and find the resources you need.
Sometimes, you might not need physical help or advice; you might need financial assistance to help you keep moving forward and innovating. Entrepreneurs can often access a range of grants and special funding to help them get going or to support what they do to help them grow. What is on offer will differ based on your industry and where you are, but heading back to your local government website can be a great place to start to help you find what financial assistance programs are available or organizations that can offer the proper financial support.
As well as this, talking to an accountant or financial advisor can help you understand the implications of taking on funding, what your responsibilities are, and how it manages business debt so you can repay anything you borrow and still meet your financial obligations.
You can also connect with other local business owners in your area or friends you have made over the years to help bounce ideas around and get a different point of view. There can be a lot of support between small business owners as everyone wants the others to succeed. And who better to offload your stresses than someone who knows precisely what you are going through?
Family and Friends
Lastly, don’t keep things bottled up from family and friends. Whether you need help solving a problem, you want advice on whether or not to expand or stay as you are, or you are experiencing issues, talk to them and let them know what is going on. Sometimes, a view from outside your space and not inside the business can be helpful, especially if you are feeling snowed under with issues and can’t see the wood for the trees. Talk to them and get their opinion even if they aren’t involved; you never know, it might be precisely what you need to hear.