For Small Business Owners, Independence Shouldn't Mean Doing It All Aloneby Dan Roberts on 07/02/18
With July 4th Festivities gearing up in earnest this week, we couldn’t help but pause and note a few things worth giving thanks.
Despite what might be happening on a grander stage, we are so very fortunate to be living in this country. And when we spoke to our kids about Independence Day, we were struck by the fact that the idea of business ownership really is a perfect embodiment of independence. And it made us think about the challenges small business owners face.
In an honest article regarding the realities of being a small business owner, Paul Downs – author of Boss Life, a book by Paul Downs – reminds us all of the striking reality of being the boss: it ain’t easy. Reality #2: no such thing as feeling secure.
But the most striking revelation from the excerpt published last week in Inc.com was this:
“Where can I get good advice? This has been a problem for me from the start. I opened my doors when I was fresh out of college, back in 1986. I didn’t even know anyone in the business. And there was no Internet back then, no magic universal library that answered every question. My nature is to try to figure things out on my own, which, in retrospect, has been bad for me. I stumbled on the most basic business problems: Where do I buy materials? How do I keep records? How do I pay taxes for my employees? How do I advertise? It was very hard to find answers. There were books about running a business, but none about my business. I never imagined that anyone would be interested in helping me, so I never asked for help. And I was always so strapped for time that I would implement the first idea I found, even if it was bad practice. I just muddled along for years and years.”
Where can I get help? Where can I get good advice? These are questions we hear time and again. The struggle to balance every aspect of small business is real – but finding good help should not be as difficult.
First – start with your local resources: the city or county Chamber of Commerce, SBA office and SCORE chapters are all loaded with information. Many cities also have a Small Business Development Center. These organizations are eager to help – it’s why they exist!
Second – your local colleges and universities are a resource as well. Some even have programs dedicated to small business owners!
Third – it isn’t 1776, or even 1986 anymore; the internet is here and a perfect place to find business professionals who have dedicated themselves to helping small business owners. If you are at a loss – a basic google search and LinkedIn are your best friends.
Finally – there is a sentence in the quote above that really jumps out at us:
“I never imagined that anyone would be interested in helping me, so I never asked for help.”
Like our fledgling country back in 1776, small business owners need to understand that surrounding yourself with people who want to see you succeed is key. Independence does not equate being alone. You can’t do it alone, not should you. If you need help – seek it out. (Our forefathers did.)
Happy Independence, from us here at BBS.