Know when to ask for help

Anyone who has been in business for any period of time knows you can’t tackle everything yourself. Sometimes you just need some help. But let’s face it, asking for help can be tough. One of the most common characteristics of successful business people is that they are not afraid to ask questions or to seek help when they need it. We all spend many hours worrying about a specific problem when it could have been solved with a simple phone call. There is no such thing as a stupid question! When you detect a downward trend in your numbers, need new ideas, or just can’t find a solution to something, seek outside help. Getting real help requires having a willingness to be open and honest. Sometimes this means revealing the skeletons in your closet and, in some cases, admitting failure. Recognise that “helpers” come in different forms. Of course there are professionals like accountants, lawyers, consultants and specialists, and these usually do come with a price tag. But not all advisors require that you write a cheque. The Penrith, Hawkesbury and Katoomba Business Enterprise Centres are funded to provide free business advice which you can access, it’s invaluable. I have had many clients that come in for advice when they are on their ‘last legs’ in business. If I had been called on earlier, nine times out of ten I could have prevented the damage that had now been done. It must be a part of human nature that people wait until the bank is ready to foreclose or the landlord has issued an eviction notice before looking for help. None of us have all the answers all the time, and sometimes we’re too close to a situation to be able to see it clearly. While asking for help can be tough, the right person’s advice can be worth its weight in gold. Just like an illness, most business problems can be cured if they are detected early. If you want to survive in business, don’t wait until it is too late for anyone to help you.