Learning to accept help to boost business success can be difficult for entrepreneurs. People are often attracted to the challenge of starting their own business because it allows them to be independent, not waiting on others for support or approval. If you’re a freshly minted founder, going to others for help or advice can feel like getting drawn back into those restrictive practices, so it’s vital to develop your understanding of just when going to outside experts can be a really valuable source of help or insight that you simply don’t have access to with the skillsets in your new business.
Data and Research
One of the main resources that it’s worth spending money on, rather than gathering yourself, is data and research. While you can confidently feel like you can be an expert on the data that’s flowing through your company: the capacity of your staff, your sales statistics, and even what your customers think of your brand.
What you don’t have that kind of ownership over is data that’s outside your company, and this is where it’s well worth talking to experts. A market research company or brand tracking agency can tell you not just what your customers think about your business, but how a cross-section of all consumers see it.
This is invaluable: even if you do survey your own customers, you can only learn about people who already think your business is the right choice! If you want to grow as a business you need to tailor your offering and advertising to the people who haven’t yet chosen your brand.
A brand tracking agency can also specifically help you monitor the strength of your brand over time. This programme of market research asks consumers to rate your brand for the key qualities that define success for it, and in your field, and to rank it against your competitors. This lets you see how your decisions are making your brand stronger or weaker and whether they need to emphasised even further or corrected for!
This is one area that the independent entrepreneur may have fled specifically! If you don’t understand how a human resources department can be valuable to a business, they can look costly and pointless or worse, interfering. A well-run HR department that has the confidence of a company’s executives is like a backbone – it transmits important messages to every department and employee, and connects them into a unified whole. Even if you don’t have the staff to justify hiring a full-time HR specialist, it could be worth looking into temporarily paying for the services of an interim HR manager who can help to set up the systems that will keep your business running smoothly until dedicated staff are required.
What are your top tips for business success?