10 Apr 2018

Problems running a small business

Loneliness in a small business

So, you want to free yourself from ‘The Man’ and go out on your own. You have that great idea, everyone is going to jump on board and this time next year you’ll be a millionaire (a la Del Boy C1981-91), but there are problems to running a small business

But the biggest killers to the passion of running your own business is loneliness. Everything falls on one person’s shoulders. Every decision that must be made, whether regarding marketing, hiring of staff, borrowing money, paying wages, getting new work _____________(insert problem/issue here), falls on the shoulders of the business owner.

Yes, I would admit that the highs are great, and you can take pride in the fact that you have created this business, but to handle all the lows on your own, to handle all the pressures a business can bring. This I found can sap the enthusiasm from the most positive entrepreneur.

Here are some ways I have found to cope

  1. Get a business advisor

A year into my venture I came to a point where I was stuck, I did not have a clue how to move forward….I did not know what I did not know. So, I reached out and got an advisor for the business. I trawled through the websites of many people, but eventually returned to someone I initially connected with in my first week of business.

From that moment forward Jacob from business depot, has been alongside me, letting me know what I previously did not know. Under his guidance I have managed to overcome many hurdles that would have probably swamped me

Here are some words of advice

“The average Australian business has one owner, and a handful of staff. And while your team are there to support you, the reality is that they’ll always have a different mindset to you – otherwise they’d be running their own business as well.

So straight away, there’s this isolation as the business owner. You’re different to the team, no matter how aligned the culture of the business. And this shows itself most in the anxiety and worry that is basically universal to small business.

It’s why so many business owners do experience loneliness, and see their normal anxieties and worries balloon into something worse.”

Jacob Aldridge, international business coach and all round cool dude

And another thing, don’t wait until you can afford an advisor. A good advisor will more than pay for themselves

  1. Join an association

I found that joining my local Chamber of Commerce enabled me to meet up with other like minded people in business and it quickly established that we all face broadly the same issues. Talking about these issues is a great way of working through them, as the saying goes a problem shared is a problem halved

I also joined an association that specialised in my business, in this case BSCAA. Again, meeting with people in my profession has helped me enormously learn and understand from those that have gone before

  1. Get some good honest friends

We all have friends who will support us and help us in any way we need.

But sometimes you need that friend who will give you the hard truth. Let you know what they really think of your ideas, not always what you want to hear. I know my wife of 20 years soon lets me know when I am just following my own vanities and not the best interest of my business.

Also have those friends who you are just comfortable with, the ones who you can kick back with, let off steam and chill out with, away from the pressures that you may face in your business

In summary

If you do find yourself in a difficult situation, reach out to those around you, speak to them and don’t bottle things up. It is amazing how having a conversation or a connection about an issue can make you feel

And remember if it does get too much there are organisations you can reach out to Beyond Blue and the Black Dog institute are easily accessible 24/7

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