Start up Business Series: Support
Date: 10/10/19 | Author: Sean Toomer
As we mentioned in our first section, Can you Handle being a business owner, it’s damn tough. That’s why having a support network is vital to help you through it.
What is a support network?
It doesn’t have to be anything. It could just be your wife or husband. It could be a close (wise, old) friend. Or it could be a more formal arrangement like a mastermind group, your accountant (that’s why we give unlimited advice and support) or networking group.
Whatever it is, it will essentially be the same in that it’ll be someone or some group you can turn to for advice or support when things get tricky.
How to find a support network
Much of your support network will be (and should be) free - as it’ll be people you know. Chances are, you may already have them. If you’re reading this, and are giving serious consideration to starting a business, or have done so, you’ve most likely discussed this with someone.
For a more formal arrangement, it can more tricky, but I’d suggest the best place to look is local networking groups. They offer more than just Sales - I’ve met some of my best contacts and support network through networking.
A mastermind is a small, very focused group of business owners who meet regularly to sharpen and strengthen their business strategies. I am a part of a Mastermind Group with my client, supplier and good friend Tom, from Evolve websites.
We meet once a week, every single week, for lunch on a Friday (I usually finish my work week once this is done). We discuss what went well the past week, what challenges we’re facing and get the others guidance on a solution, and then set goals for the week ahead.
In a single sentence, this absolutely transformed by business.It’s helped me face issues, feel accountable, develop as a business owner and be more efficient. It’s also been great to have someone to share the journey with. I know, categorically I wouldn’t be where I am today without Tom, but I also realise how difficult it is to find someone (or some people) who are in a very similar position and similar outlook for a mastermind to work.
If you can, find someone to start a mastermind with - I guarantee it’ll pay off.
What about a Mentor?
A business mentor can very worthwhile. Someone who has been there and don it, and now wants to give back. If you can find this, go for it, as they can guide you to not make the mistakes they made. But be careful, you won’t be paying them (if they want to be paid, forget it), so they may not take kindly to you not taking their advice - but, you also need to listen to your gut, and be prepared to go against what they say if you think it’s right.
What to do now?
Take some steps to establish your support network - you’ll need them.
Don’t forget, look out for our final blog in the series: Top 10 Tips for starting a business. It's here.
If you missed our previous blog in the series, Bookkeeping, take a look here.
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