Starting a business is very stressful.
It can make you feel helpless at times as you struggle to get things just the way you want it. As you struggle through these challenges you will become a better and stronger person if you do it the right way and learn from it. One of the most important things I have found is that you must have a support group around you to help with some of the burden and growth you are about to experience.
The first thing that comes to most people's mind when talking about support is family. Family is the central unit in the majority of adult's lives. Chances are you will be using your business to support your family as time goes on and you become successful.
Keeping your family involved in you processes will help invest them in your decisions. They will become your consultants without the consulting fees. They care about you and your happiness and will help you to realize your shortfalls or strong points as you progress down the path to becoming a small business owner.
Make you immediate family your un-official partners in your venture. They will have something to gain if you are successful so enlist their help.
Reach out to any knowledgeable family members you may have in your extended family. If you have an uncle who has some experience in business, or a cousin who is a lawyer ask them to help you prepare documents and business plans. Use their contacts to shop rates for services or financing. You will be surprised at what you have available for free if you ask.
Typically your friends share your interests and opinions. Involve them in the process of opening your company. Ask for input into designs or plans as well. They may offer a view that you overlooked and be able to help you. You can also use them as free labor or with the promise of discounts and benefits of knowing the owner of a company.
They can also help with marketing. A customer is more likely not only to initially support a business but continue to if they are referred by a friend or family member. If each of your friends has 5 friends or 5 family members you have just increased your business by 10 times simply involving your friends.
As you seek financing, rental space or suppliers out you will meet people who have experience that you may not have. Call upon them for help. You landlord for example may have a contact in the supply industry you need to get with. The landlord will do all they can to help you succeed so that they can collect your rent money. Financing, I was referred to the commercial banker I use by a supplier we met. It was the best contact I was given and saved us a lot of money simply by using the supplier as a reference. These are just some examples of people you will meet on your journey.
We can learn from almost every person we encounter and we can call upon not only those experiences but those contacts often to help us succeed or even just as support when times get tough. The point is we cannot be afraid to ask.