Many of the values entrepreneurs espouse seem to promote individualism: independence, self-reliance, confidence. It’s rare for an entrepreneur’s success story to include the words “So I reached out for help”. This is a recipe for burn out at best and outright failure at worst. No one can be everything a business needs, and trying to be is what exhausts nascent CEOs beyond their ability to continue.
Even though it’s not part the official narrative, looking for help, for useful tools to expand your skillset beyond your own capabilities is a key part of what makes successful entrepreneurs, so you need to get past this fictional need for self-reliance and start building the village it will take to raise your business.
The most successful business are founded on data. On the simple end of the scale, going to the bank to request a loan to open a hairdressers is going to require you to show what makes you think there is a market for another salon in your town.
At the more complicated end of what market research can provide, brand tracking measures the strength of a brand against its rivals across months and years, while subtle research delivers insights into what competitors are working to allow big businesses to avoid losing out on profitable product launches.
Finding a market research firm you can work with to deliver those insights, whatever the scope of your ambitions, is vital.
There are many legal pitfalls that a new and inexperienced business founder can fall into, from writing and signing contracts that come back to bite them later with unexpected consequences, to the simple incorrect filing of your articles of incorporation. Registering your business incorrectly, whether it’s as a simple mistake or with malevolent intent looks the same in the eyes of the law and could have disastrous ramifications in months or years to come.
Working with a lawyer, either a traditional business lawyer with offices in town, or an online lawyer with added flexibility can get you the insight you need to avoid those mistakes and succeed in the long term.
Being a business founder is a lonely occupation, and you need to make sure you can reach out to someone who understands to discuss difficult times and celebrate success. Whether it’s your significant other, a long time friend, or even the head of a rival business, you need someone who can simply talk out your problems with non judgmentally and feel supported by.
Ignoring this vital aspect of the help you need could have serious personal consequences, even if your business bounds to success, so be aware of your simple, human need for peers, and seek them out.