Running a small business most likely means you do it all – marketing, business ideas, accounting, and more. Maybe you think no one can do it better than you do. Or perhaps you feel like you started a business because you wanted things your way.
The truth is you may feel like you don’t want or need assistance, but the key to growing your business is asking for help. Often the entrepreneurial mindset includes passion, determination, and optimism. But it might also include the reluctance to ask for help, which could put an end to your business venture.
Whether it's delegating some tasks, partnering up, or outsourcing, asking for help has taught me a few things about my business.
- Doing it alone sucks. My strengths lie in finding new business, building relationships, and creating ideas. I quickly realized there’s no way to do these things without asking for help in other areas of my business. It doesn’t do an entrepreneur any good to hold on to to all the responsibilities – and it’s pretty much impossible. Whether you hire an accountant, salesperson, or administrative assistant, there’s got to be at least one person you can delegate some work to so you don’t get overwhelmed. Outsource to cover for your weaknesses and you’ll have more time to build on your strengths.
- I don’t know it all. Every person I build business relationships with has taught me something useful. From the beginning, I’ve made it a point to keep the lines of communication open between my business peers, even if our businesses have nothing in common. One associate stays current on technology while another is an expert in social media. When I’ve reached out for help on even the smallest of issues, I not only get it, but I also learn something I wouldn’t have known if I hadn't asked for help.
- There are a lot people out there willing to help. Whether it’s the mentors at SCORE, my business associates, clients, or vendors, most people do not hesitate to offer an opinion or piece of advice – and I make sure I am open to offering the same in return. (Disclosure: SCORE is a client of my company.)
Asking for help with your business doesn’t signify weakness. In fact, asking for help at the right time usually strengthens your business and your entrepreneurial skills.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva's free TrendCast reports.