We all know what small business owners are like. They’re motivated, self-directed, energetic problem-solvers. They figure out a way to accomplish a greater number of difficult tasks in a shorter amount of time than most people would believe is possible.
But that kind of tenacity can sometimes manifest as a stubbornness. Many small businesses owners chose their profession for the independence it provides them, and have accomplished much of their success on their own. This can make it strange to shift gears and ask for help when they have reached the boundaries of their expertise. The best way to address this mental hurdle is to consider the benefits of asking for help.
First, there is a good chance it will save you time and energy. When a professional with more experience solving the problem at hand steps in and gets your operation up and running again, you get to go back to work. What might have taken you another week of frustration instead becomes as simple as calling a friend or family member, asking your mentor for advice, or signing a check to an experienced consultant.
Second, at the end of the day, you’ve learned something. Whether they fixed the issue and then explained how, or guided you through the solution in real time, you’ve made an investment in future solutions (through learning) while also solving an immediate issue.
Third, even if you don’t trust anyone else to run your business, you have to trust the customer. Asking customers for their feedback on an issue your business is struggling with can be a great way to get some insightful advice (for cheap, or even free!) while also gaining a deeper insight into how your patrons think about your operation. Not to mention, many customers enjoy getting to know the businesses they regularly deal with.
And lastly, anytime you reach out to someone beyond your payroll, you are building and strengthening your network. A customer interview this month could mean a surprise call next month from that customer’s friend, who wants to explore a partnership with your business. If you don’t put yourself out there, especially when you need help, you can’t make those connections.
So ask yourself: is there something you need help accomplishing within your business? Who could help you to accomplish it as best as possible? And how can you make the experience as powerful and impactful on your growth, and theirs, as possible?