4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Build a Great Business Alone

So many people in our society seem hell-bent on doing everything themselves. No help needed, thank you very much. Maybe they think it’s more noble to go it alone, they feel like they can’t afford to hire anyone, or they feel weaker when someone else is lending a hand.

I think this is a real shame.

Don’t get me wrong – more and more people are making a solo run at building a business these days, which is fantastic. It’s a wonderful feeling to have creative control over your ventures, and I can’t recommend it enough. But I also had a lot of help with my businesses.

Here are a few reasons to reach out:

  1. Mo Money = better business. I had partners who invested the funds I needed to make sure I could set my businesses up for success. I might have been able to scrape by, getting enough funds on my own to cover the bare minimum. But that’s never a great way to go into business – you want to make sure you have enough in the bank to cover all expenses, plus extra for unforeseen issues (repairs, etc), with money left over to invest in the growth of your business.
  2. Great advice = fewer lessons to learn the hard way. I had fantastic advisers to call on, every step of the way, and it has been invaluable. My friends, former teachers, parents, uncles and aunts were always there to lend an ear and offer support or expertise. I’m lucky–I have wonderful relatives and friends who have lots of business experience. If you do too, take advantage! If you don’t, look for a business mentor or a mastermind group. Most people love to share their knowledge, and it makes them feel good to help out.
  3. Paying professionals = peace of mind. I can’t imagine building my businesses without the services of a professional accountant and lawyer, among others. Again, I could muddle through and learn enough to get by, but I’d be spending time doing tedious work I don’t enjoy, and I’d be stressed out that I’m not doing it properly.
  4. A great team = more fun, & more time for you. I have so much fun with my staff, and get a lot of satisfaction from investing in their growth. I also feel great knowing they’re taking fabulous care of my store, while I work on new projects I’m passionate about!

Yes, you should be clear about your values, and your desired outcome with your business. These, more than anything else, can guide you to make the right decisions. But there will always be times when someone else can offer you the skills, insight, experience or funds you need. If you let your pride get in the way of accepting help, or you’re afraid to invest money in hiring people, your business will probably suffer.

17 Responses to 4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Build a Great Business Alone
  1. Rachael Slorach
    July 26, 2011 | 9:37 pm

    mmm, thanks Natalie, this post made me realize that I do tend to want to build my business myself without much help. I think it has something to do with proving my success (“I did this all by myself!”)
    This post made me decide to call on my uplines, mentors and paid professionals more often. Thanks for posting!

    • admin
      July 27, 2011 | 12:22 pm

      Thank you Rachael – I’m happy to be of service! I’m sure you’ll benefit from inviting others to give you support and advice, no matter how great you’re already doing :)

  2. marquita herald
    July 27, 2011 | 10:16 am

    Really liked your article Natalie. I always enjoyed being part of a team in the “corporate world” but since I started my own business it’s been pretty much me/myself/I … while I have done a lot of networking online and would love nothing better than to arrange to meet with some of my cyber pals in person in the future, for now I’m really enjoying working on my own.

    • admin
      August 3, 2011 | 7:20 pm

      Thank you, Marquita – networking online is fabulous! And you don’t need business partners… my point is that we can accept help and advice in all kinds of ways. Online entrepreneurs benefit greatly from being part of the online community, sharing and taking advice from each other, and collaborating.

  3. Catarina
    July 27, 2011 | 10:45 am

    Great article Natalie!! Agree with what you are saying in particular to get other people to come up with the funds:-)

    Joke aside, advisors and mentors are essential. None of us know everything. One way is to have a board of directors already as a start up.

    And having an accountant is essential, unless you are one yourself. Could cause all kinds of trouble to save money by doing your own accounting.

    • admin
      August 3, 2011 | 7:21 pm

      Thank you Catarina – using other people’s money can definitely be a great way to go :) And yes, a board of directors is a great suggestion!

  4. Jeanine Byers Hoag @ Dressing My Truth
    July 27, 2011 | 11:06 pm

    Hi Natalie! You’re right. It’s so easy to think of yourself as a one-woman show that it might not even cross your mind to ask for help when you need it. But the journey is much easier when you know that help is available and know how to access those resources.

    • admin
      August 3, 2011 | 7:22 pm

      Yes Jeanine, I’m all about ease when it comes to business – why make it harder than it needs to be, right? Especially when there are so many other people out there who would love to help us!

  5. Hi Natalie,

    Every one of your points are so true. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about a large business starting up, or just creating a money making blog. You still can use, and should use help from others, and tools that are available to accomplish your purpose.

    Lou

    • admin
      August 3, 2011 | 7:23 pm

      Absolutely, Lou – the size of your business doesn’t matter. We can all use tools and assistance from others.

  6. Dr. Bob Clarke
    July 28, 2011 | 10:10 am

    Agree with all of the above, Natalie… I have many mentors who have helped me along with way. I outsource whatever I am not good at (which is most things! :-) and have been a part of several masterminds through the years.

    But I will add one more that you didn’t touch on. If you are lucky enough to have the support of a spouse or loved one, someone who will encourage you when things are slow and lend a hand when things get crazy, there’s nothing better.

    For me, it’s my wife Rosemary who is the backbone of our business. But it needn’t be a spouse. A good friend works just as well. Not essential, but it helps.

    Thanks, Natalie for the great post.

    • admin
      August 3, 2011 | 7:25 pm

      Lucky you, Bob!

      Yes, a supportive spouse can be a true blessing for anyone in business. We don’t all have that one special person to count on, but those who do should definitely be grateful for them. And you’re right, a good friend does wonders for us as well.

  7. Emmanuel Olonade
    July 28, 2011 | 5:30 pm

    Hi Natalie,

    It’s a wonderful short post, this. I really agree with number 4 (building a team). Having a great team can sometimes be the difference between the TOP businesses and every other person.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • admin
      August 3, 2011 | 7:27 pm

      Thank you Emmanuel! I love my team – I know not every business needs one, and there are so many thriving solopreneurs out there, especially in the online world. But it can be so rewarding and fun to work with a team. Not to mention how valuable it is to outsource the things you don’t want to do, or can’t do, like Bob said.

  8. Jayne Kopp
    July 28, 2011 | 10:48 pm

    Hi Natalie, good post. I suppose it makes the difference what type of business you are running. When I had my brick and mortar business, naturally, we had a number of staff. It would have been impossible to do and know everything.

    Working online in my line of work however is a tiny bit different int he way that I don’t find it difficult to stay on top of it because it’s branded around me.

    Nobody else can be me obviously, however with that said, for tasks such as custom programming, or editing, etc., I hire friends I have made online such as Devesh, or outsource to others.

    I get what you are saying, but in our line of work, we do at least have the resources to reach out to and there is always someone available to bail us out. (Particularly when you’ve been in a particular community for a while).

    I do agree with hooking up with a coach or mentor though, it can be so awesome and such a time saver!

    see you soon!

    Jayne

    • admin
      August 3, 2011 | 7:29 pm

      Thank you Jayne – absolutely, not everyone needs every kind of assistance I mentioned here. But we can all benefit from reaching out somehow, in some way… and it looks like you’ve done well at that. Community, coaching and outsourcing are all fabulous routes to building a better business.

  9. Dev @ Social Media Marketing
    August 6, 2011 | 8:46 pm

    Hey Natalia,

    Excellent Post. I love the point #4 – having a team is very important. I know how hard it is to manage so many projects at a time, without a team.

    Thanks for sharing this great post.
    Dev @ Social Media Marketing recently posted..Blokube member spotlight – Ileane SmithMy Profile

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