Business owners and entrepreneurs often struggle to determine whether they need help with their business. They want to handle everything themselves and don't easily trust others to help them with various tasks. We recommend asking yourself the questions listed below to determine whether you need assistance from a mentor, consultant, accountant, marketer, and any other professional with experience in this field.
#1 Do you spend at least 20% of your time working on your business?
It's easy to get into the daily grind of running a business and not thinking about it. Business owners usually don't spend much time working on the business and that can lead to stagnancy. Spend at least 20% of your time working on a business, which can amount to as little as a day for the week. Consider business strategy, planning, marketing, systematisation, and even your mindset regarding your business as this helps you step back and take a look at the bigger picture.
#2 Are you paying your bills on time or early?
Managing finances is one of the most challenging aspects of a business and many owners struggle with it. Business owners have a number of bills to pay and these include taxes, raw material costs, employee salaries, loan instalments, rent, and other such necessary expenses. If you're unable to meet this obligation on time or early, you need to refocus on business finances and determine what's wrong. The best way to do that is to reach out to a financial expert and get their opinion on the matter.
#3 Do you have a plan to check on your progress regularly?
Even well-planned businesses need constant monitoring in order to succeed. It's easy to get lost in the day-to-day operations and forget about keeping track of performance, which is why you should schedule some time to check the progress and keep track of all business operations. Make sure you have some KPIs or Key Performance Indicators in place and plan for clear goals. This will help determine if the business is growing as it should and whether you're hitting all targets and goals.
#4 Do you have well-maintained monthly P&Ls?
P&Ls stands for profit and loss statements and a surprising number of business owners ignore the need to maintain them. These statements are often generated by the accounting software and provide a detailed view of how much you spend on the business and how much you earn in return. A business owner should study them carefully and regularly to ensure their business is on the right track. If there's a dip in profits or if the accounts show loss frequently and consistently, it's time to revamp the structure and look at the business strategy closely.
#5 Can you go away on holidays for a week or more without checking emails or taking calls?
Your business and work shouldn't interfere with the smaller pleasures of life, but it often does. Many business owners don't take breaks, sacrifice weekends, and cancel plans with friends and family just to keep their business running. If that's the case with you, it's time to find some help. A successful business is a venture that can work smoothly without your assistance. A combination of the right systems, delegating tasks, and outsourcing can help keep the business running even when you take a break.
#6 Do you have a marketing plan with predictable lead generation strategies?
Every business needs a workable marketing and lead generation strategy. If you can't generate leads or improve overall visibility of your brand, you won't get any customers and that will cause your business to fail. Develop a marketing plan with predictable strategies that you know will work to improve visibility and bring more profits to the venture. It's a good idea to get assistance from an experienced marketer or mentor for this.
#7 Do you work less than 40 hours per week?
If you're forced to work more than 40 hours per week consistently, your work life is hampering your personal life, which can have consequences down the line. An experienced mentor or professional can help systemise your business and make it more productive. If you can't get all the required work done within 40 hours, it's time to seek help.
#8 Are you able then to delegate tasks confidently knowing the job will get done?
Having good KPIs in place will help you understand your team and improve your level of trust in them. Greater trust will make it easier for you to delegate important tasks to the team. This is a vital aspect of running a business and indicates that you have the right infrastructure in place to be successful. If you can't trust the team and hesitate to delegate, you need assistance to figure things out.
#9 Have you got a team that works just as hard as you?
Delegation isn't easy if you don't have the right team in place to help you. Sound recruitment strategies will help lay the foundation for a good team and ensure you have people to rely on. Experienced mentors will help create employee profiles and determine what kind of skills you need in your business.
#10 Are you excited about your business?
If you're excited about your business and enthusiastic about it every day, it's more likely to succeed. If you're not confident and are uncertain about your business strategies, you need moral support and expert advice that a mentor can offer.
These questions will help determine if you need help from a mentor or an expert in the field in order to be successful.
About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and "Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed". He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.