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A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.
By Michael Lambert, Wyoming Market Research Center manager
“I am thinking of starting a business because I really like the idea of not having to rely on anyone. Do I really need anyone’s help to be successful?” Bob, Ten Sleep
This is something that I hear from a lot of people. It’s a rare business that doesn’t need some type of help to make it successful. You may no longer have a boss, but can you do everything your new business needs and do it well?
Jayson Demers, founder of AudienceBloom, writing in Entrepreneur magazine, says there are five types of people who will help an entrepreneur succeed. These are:
-- Mentors you admire. You really need mentors, especially if you are a first-time entrepreneur. You want someone who’s “been there and done that,” so that you can learn from his or her missteps and triumphs. Do you really want to make all the first-timer mistakes? A good mentor can provide advice, guidance and mentoring, and may have an extended network of contacts who can help build your business.
-- Partners you respect. If you are working with a partner, make sure that you have mutual respect for each other. Without trust and respect, your business may quickly dissolve into a series of interpersonal conflicts when the focus should be on building. Don’t rush into a partnership; take your time and make sure the fit is right.
-- Trustworthy employees. One of the most common things I hear is that business owners in Wyoming struggle to find good employees. If these people aren’t trustworthy, you are putting the future of you and your business in the hands of someone not worthy of the responsibility. How do you find good people? First, create an environment that is attractive to the type of people you want. Then, be clear about the characteristics you want.
-- Friends. Many entrepreneurs think that, by going out on their own, they will magically gain huge amounts of free time. Guess what -- you won’t. Entrepreneurs work long hours. This means having a support network of friends. Keep them close, because they can help maintain balance and perspective. Take time to do the things you love with friends. They will help recharge your batteries and can keep you grounded.
-- Family. Family, even more than friends, were there before you caught the entrepreneurship bug, and they will be there whether you succeed or fail. A close family gives you a place to share fears, issues and triumphs. Take time off to spend with your family, and let them share both work and home lives. I know that my wife and family are great sources of strength and comfort.
Most of us really can’t do everything by ourselves. In order to succeed as entrepreneurs, we all need to have people around who help us find our way.
A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at http://wyen.biz/blog1/.
The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email email@example.com, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.