- Created on Friday, 26 July 2013 13:02
- Published Date
- Written by Veronica Jorden
Day twelve of OPERATION: Create Your Own Path has arrived! Today our featured military spouse small business owner offers business advice on a skill that most military spouses are already familiar with...building a support network.
My Active Child
"Find yourself a mentor or group of people who are doing something similar and build a support system as you build your business. Having someone, or a group, to bounce ideas off of is better than trying to figure everything out on your own, especially when it comes to troubleshooting the problems and decisions that will inevitably come up!"
Serial Entrepreneur & Business Consultant
Many entrepreneurs start out being the only person in their business. One is the loneliest number…..
If you compare your business to a big corporation, imagine how successful that corporation would be if the President was the only employee. It wouldn’t work would it? Not only is it lonely being the only person it is not very challenging.
I don’t feel like doing that today….who is going to push you? I think my idea is great…..who is going to challenge you? I am feeling like a failure…..who is going to motivate you?
I would advise every entrepreneur to have a formal or informal support group. There are six key roles that need to be filled by people you either hire or find in your city who can help you. You will be surprised at how many people are willing to offer you advice free of charge if you are just starting out and can’t afford to hire someone.
1. Bookkeeper/Accountant to make sure that all of your bills and records are in order. This person should also advise you on things like cash flow, forecasting, taxes etc so that financially you are off to the right start.
2. Banker who can help you assess the financial viability of your business, advise you when you should use your money, when to use the banks money etc. This person is critical to the expansion of your business, if you involve them and talk to them regularly the free advice they give you and support they will provide when you need it is invaluable.
3. Graphic Designer with web and marketing experience who can help you look sharp and plan for your online presence. Brand is key when you are starting up your business and it is so affordable today to register a domain, start a blog and print business cards that even those people with limited funds can and should invest some money in this department. No more with perforated business cards printed at home. Please hire someone to help you with this!
4. Leadership guru who can help you build a team, help you create systems that will make your business successful. You really want to seek out someone who has done it before you and learn from their experiences. I once asked a multimillionaire what the best book was I could read to learn how to be a successful entrepreneur and he told me none, invest the time in talking to people who have done it, you will get way more out of it. Find a mentor who can help you in this department, check your local Entrepreneurship Center for assistance.
5. Troublemaker who can pick holes in all of your ideas. Okay, I know you really don’t want to hear it but you have to. The only way a good idea becomes a great idea and then a brilliant idea is if you flush all the bugs out of the good idea. This is where a good troublemaker comes into play, someone who can see all the potential problems you cannot see because you are too close to it. A colleague of mine used to say, “Lisa don’t ask the question unless you want to hear the answer”. This was his way of telling me he wasn’t always going to tell me what I wanted to hear. This is how you become successful, listening to other peoples perspective. You may not agree, but if you fail to listen because you are so determined to be right, you will never ever make it in the long run.
6. A good friend who will take you out for dinner, listen to you complain, listen to you dream and buy you a glass of wine when you are at the end of your rope ready to give up. This is the person who will remind you how great you really are and give you the motivation to get back up and keep on going.
Do you have a support group? Do you know where to find one? With social media and online networking gaining in popularity, now is the time to find people online who can help you look at your business with a critical eye. Try it, you might learn something.
Lisa Larter is a serial entrepreneur and business consultant with many years of expertise in building successful companies. She provides entrepreneurs with a customized blueprint for building solid 6 & 7 figure businesses. Lisa's no-nonsense approach helps business owners and executives leverage the power of social media marketing to develop solid business foundations and create strong customer relationships. Download her free guide "5 Ways to Make Money Using Social Media" http://www.lisalarter.com/gift/