Did you start off in business thinking about how wonderful it would be to be your own boss? Yes, me too. The idea of getting to do what I loved for a living was pretty intoxicating. We all know that running a business means working hard, but do any of us think about the business support we might need?
Keeping everything going on your own can become a bit of a struggle over time. You won’t get a medal for running yourself ragged. Here’s how you can get great business support and save your sanity.
Help with systems
I’ve finally given in and admitted it. I know how to get organised. I can even give great advice on the subject, but I’m not actually living it. My business systems leave a lot to be desired. So, I’ve bitten the bullet and have booked someone to come round later in the week to sort me out. I have no doubt she’ll shriek at the state of my desk, but it needs to be done.
If this is you, get a second pair of eyes on your business. Where are you wasting time? What tool could you be using that would revolutionise your accounts? What business support would let you hand over the mundane bits that you don’t like?
Look at your marketing
Marketing can eat up more time than you’d believe. You sit down to write a blog post and suddenly a whole morning has vanished. Planning your strategy takes days, if you find time to do it at all. You’ve either lost oceans of time or you end up with a haphazard or non-existent strategy.
There is tons of marketing help out there, it’s just about finding a solution that works for you. I can help you write anything from blogs to email marketing campaigns and everything in between. Other people will help you get good PR or look after your social media for you.
Planning your business support
This might all sound a bit overwhelming. How do you know where to start? I’ve found great business support through networking, both in person and on social media. Meeting new people and talking to them about their services can help you to understand what support is available and what you might need. Then, when you’re ready to act, you may already have someone in mind.
If you’re not ready for face to face networking yet, join a Facebook group or follow a page that’s dedicated to business owners. Lots of them are free and you can lurk for as long as you need to.
Do you remember why you started a business in the first place? Was there a particular reason why all that freedom was so appealing?
Following your dream might have been a big motivator, but there’s more to your life than that. At least, I hope there is. For me, being able to work around my two young children was incredibly important. Sometimes it means I’m working at 10pm after they’ve gone to bed, but that’s my choice. They see me working hard but I’m still there when they need me.
The point is, sometimes support isn’t just about other businesses. It’s about knowing that your friends and family are there cheering you on. If you haven’t talked to your loved ones about your business yet, do it now! They might glaze over, but at least you’ll have tried.
Laura Phillips’ blog on how to stop trading time for money