ENTREPRENEURSHIP - PERCEPTIONS VS REALITY
Being your own boss is an aspirational dream for many people in the UK. Some will be natural entrepreneurs with a ground-breaking product or service, whereas others will fall into business ownership because of a profitable side hustle that develops into a full-time job. The reality as we all know, is that being successful in business is hard work and high pressured.
It is natural as a first-time business owner to feel that your best isn’t good enough or your present circumstances do not match where you feel your business should be in terms of your strategy or personal expectations.
In fact, a survey by OnePoll of 1,000 UK CEOs of SMEs found that many respondents felt a lack of business experience and perceived skill deficiencies were key barriers to the growth of their companies, while 45% of said their businesses had not only turned out substantially different from what they had envisaged. Such findings are not unexpected, but they are troubling given Companies House reported that there were 672,890 new companies registered between 2018 to 2019, the highest number of incorporations since 2009 to 2010. Yet in that same year, the UK saw the largest number of dissolutions since 2009 to 2010 with 508,865 companies dissolved.
SPEAKING FROM EXPERIENCE
It may make you wonder if many of these businesses might have survived to trade another day if the owners had a bit more experience of running a business or at least a mentor to turn to for support and guidance. When I left school I dived straight into entrepreneurship , but with no mentor to guide me, I quickly found progress slow going. My lack of business acumen meant that the decisions I made took time and often proved costly if I got them wrong. Reading books and listening to podcasts on personal development, business and leadership, were great for getting me started as a businessman, but I quickly realised that the communication is one way, and doesn’t allow for questions or clarification. I also found that I felt quite isolated working by myself. For some people this can be especially mentally taxing, especially if they feel things are going wrong and need some advice to get motivated or make a make an important business decision.
When I made the decision to find a mentor I reached out to someone with great experience in business as well as understanding of my industry. It is still one of the best business decisions I have made in my life, as I made new contacts through my mentor and gained indispensable business strategies and advice. Most importantly I made a great friend who I can turn to me for advice and support.
A MENTOR WILL HELP STEER YOUR BUSINESS THROUGH TURBULENT WATERS
If you are thinking of starting a business or are in the process of growing one, do not be afraid to reach out to other business owners and ask for help. A successful mentor can give you the benefit of their business experience and provide counsel whenever you need it. Membership organisations like the FSB frequently host networking works that give you access to a range of talented individuals who can provide much needed support and advice.
Find a mentor. Let them support you to on your path to success and growth, and the results will speak for themselves.