By Li-Jay Chu
They say it takes a village to raise a child; I say it takes a village to build a business because starting your business is very much like raising a child. As entrepreneurs we are entrusted with decisions that will determine if our business grows and succeeds.
Oftentimes, entrepreneurs don’t reach out for help when starting their business because many think they need to be successful before others will help, or why spend the money when they can do it themselves, or I can’t afford help from professionals, I can go on…
It’s not impossible to be successful on your own, but most of us aren’t experts in every area and the time needed to learn new skills to mastery takes us away from doing the core task, which is running the business. This is why it’s important to step back and evaluate ways on how you can use your village to help take your business to the next level.
Find Accountability Partners to Help You Get Things Done
I don’t believe many entrepreneurs necessarily enjoy doing bookkeeping, proofreading, writing their business or marketing plan, and some of the more tedious tasks in building a business. We put them off because they’re chores that we know we have to do but there are definitely more fun and sometimes easier tasks. This is where having accountability partners can help launch you and set aside time for those tasks.
If you need an accountability partner, it’s best to start looking for someone local or someone you know that has a vested interest in also wanting accountability. Whether you connect in person or virtually, you’re both looking for a partner to motivate you. When you meet, you want to share a little of what you’re doing with them, this way, you will find yourself facing positive peer pressure in completing your tasks.
Reach Out to Your Network and Ask for Help or Referrals
No one knows how to do everything and even if you think you do, there are benefits to having people help you so you can focus on other tasks. When you’re starting a business, it’s important to assess your network and see who you know that may be willing to provide their expertise or advice.
For example, if you’re negotiating a lease, it may be helpful to reach out to someone that’s gone through it and can help you navigate the landscape. If you can’t find anyone in your immediate network, ask for referrals. People want to be helpful and you’ll be surprised at the response of both friends and strangers when you ask.
Hire Professionals to Do the Work
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake and think they can do everything themselves. They want to save money so they learn accounting or they can’t afford someone so they hire “interns.” There’s something to be said about having professionals that are experienced to help you build your business.
There are things you can definitely do yourself, but as an entrepreneur, you have to ask yourself, are you getting the same results that a professional would get and if this is taking you away from parts of your business that needs you? Understanding that you need people who can help you is important, more importantly, what is it that you want them to help you do and do they have the skills to do it?
When you are ready to hire, look around and interview different people, ask them for sample projects, and if you’re short on money, you can discuss alternatively ways of payment such as trade or deferred compensation.
Having a village doesn’t mean you can’t take on tasks yourself or that every task has to be done by someone else. It means that as an entrepreneur, you should focus your time on decision-making aspects of your business and utilizing your community to help overcome your obstacles to success. Your real job as an entrepreneur is similar to being the captain of a ship. You need to evaluate the best course of action to take to ensure success in your business while leveraging the skill and talents of others that can help you get there.