“Blood, sweat, and tears.” This is arguably one of the most common responses when someone is asked what it took to take their business from a dream to a reality. The effort, vision, and astronomical leap of faith that is required to create a business from scratch cannot be overstated.
Be More Worried About Failing Than You Are Asking for Help
So why do almost 20% of small businesses fail within their first year and nearly 50% by their fifth year if their respective creators are passionate and hard workers? The answer, in a nutshell, is one person or one team can’t be experts at everything.
Yes, someone may be an expert at product development, but it’s unrealistic for that same person to be an expert at marketing, sales, and all the areas needed to ensure a profitable business. Yes, someone may be a better face-to-face salesperson than even the sweetest-looking Girl Scout selling cookies outside the supermarket, but that doesn’t mean that the same person knows how to set up and maintain a Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook account for the business.
This is exactly why being open to outside sources, from consultation teams to specialists in fields that a business lacks expertise within, is important. One of the truths that the most successful businesses know is that it’s not only acceptable to ask for help, but it’s also wise.
Advice for Entrepreneurs
Richard Branson once said, “A business is simply an idea to make other people’s lives better.” The truth in his words is exactly why the world needs businesses to not only be realized, they also need businesses to be successful so their staying-power is strong.
To give entrepreneurs a better chance of survival, Forbes released an article entitled 17 Key Lessons For Entrepreneurs Starting A Business, and those key lessons are as follows:
- Come Up With a Great Name for Your Business
- Understand That Raising Financing Is Difficult
- Focus on Building a Great Product- But Don’t Take Forever to Launch
- Become a Strong Salesperson
- Build a Great Website for Your Company
- Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
- Nail Your Executive Summary and Pitch Deck
- Understand Financial Statements and Budgets
- Keep Your Investors Constantly Informed With Both Good and Bad News
- Get All Employees and Consultants to Sign a Confidentiality & Invention Assignment Agreement
- Market Your Business Like Crazy
- Use Consultants and Freelancers to Supplement Your Team
- Make the Deal Clear With Co-Founders
- Get the Right Business Lawyer
- Take Into Account Important Tax Issues
- Do These Things Before Hiring an Employee
- Expect Big Challenges and Be Prepared for Them
To sum up the above list, entrepreneurs need to be creative, financial-minded, organized, forward-thinking, flexible, and experts at product development, sales, website-building, social media, marketing, and employee relations. And that’s just according to this specific list. It is unreasonable to believe that someone or even a small team could check all those boxes at their highest level.
Do not be afraid to reach out to businesses who are doing well and ask them their secret to creating a well-received product, positive social media presence, and longevity. The odds are they will enlighten you with people and ideas they brought into their fold that made their business better. By reaching out and learning from the success of others, you’ll be letting them help you. Help, after all, is the four-letter word successful business owners embrace.
Author: Evelyn Lindell