If your business needs professional support, it’s not alone. Virtually every company reaches out to others for help. Getting everything done perfectly using nothing but your internal team is tremendously challenging.
But how and when should you reach out for support? That’s the topic of this post. We look at ten signs you need professional guidance and how you might solve your problems in each case.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
1. You Lack a Clear Vision.
Most people outside of the business world assume that entrepreneurs always have a clear vision of the future. The media says they are the movers and shakers, radically mixing things up, and changing life as we know it.
But the truth is often far less clear-cut. As a business owner, you may have a general idea of what you want to do, but you don’t always have a specific plan of action or a roadmap to follow.
You sort of know where you’re going, but it often seems like you’re feeling your way there, instead of marching down a set and well-defined track.
Fortunately, you can get help from consultants and business strategists. These people take the time to evaluate your business and look at how you might improve it.
While their advice isn’t always perfect, they usually have enough wisdom to create a clearer path for you and articulate things you struggled to articulate in the past.
2. You Have Limited Time and Energy.
Not having enough time or energy to do everything is another sign your business needs support. If you’re running around trying to get everything done, rushing all day, it’s a recipe for burnout and can undermine the quality of your products and services.
Many entrepreneurs get into trouble by wearing too many hats. They spend all their time juggling multiple tasks and roles and wind up feeling exhausted.
The obvious solution to this issue is to delegate. Most entrepreneurs take on too much work that other people could do. Your sole responsibility is to make decisions enabling the business to run better and more efficiently. The goal is to please the owners, whoever they happen to be, not to complete tasks yourself.
If you’re still struggling to get everything done or your team is stressed out, consider outsourcing. Getting other companies to take over time-consuming tasks, like content creation and marketing, can be an excellent way to free yourself up and do more.
3. You Don’t Have Sufficient Money and Resources.
Another sign you need professional business support is running out of resources and money to invest in your company. If you can’t make ends meet or you’re struggling to pay the bills, it’s a sure sign something needs to change.
The first place to go is your investors. Explain the situation and why you need more money.
Most VCs and banks will react positively if you can show them the reasons for your losses and why you aren’t making more money. A miscalculation on their part could be to blame.
The other option is to get someone to come in and look at your costs. Professional consultants will quickly tell you where you’re wasting money and how you can become more cost competitive.
4. You Lack Skills.
You might also lack the skills you need to make your business a professional success. Not every firm can afford IT, marketing, and quality printing teams in-house. Sometimes, they need to outsource these functions.
Remember, even if you don’t have the requisite skills in your business, you can almost always buy them elsewhere.
What’s more, they are significantly cheaper. Conventional professionals cost a lot of money, but pay-per-use services are far more affordable.
5. You Lack Customers.
Lacking customers is another common issue firms encounter. Firms that don’t get a critical mass of people through the door will fail quickly if they’re not careful.
As a company, getting more customers should be your number one priority.
Often, it isn’t a problem with your products and services, but your marketing and outreach. Again, these are tasks that are better outsourced. Trying to make them work from scratch in-house is highly likely to result in failure.
Remember, a lot of small brands are invisible in the market. Bigger players are so dominant that others barely get found. Again, that’s where marketing professionals can help.
6. You Don’t Have Enough Feedback.
Your company might also lack sufficient feedback to make meaningful improvements in its products and services. The same might also apply to you personally. You may be working alone, without any guidance, advice, or encouragement from others who understand your challenges and goals.
The trick here is to actively seek feedback and get it from people who aren’t afraid to tell you how they genuinely feel. Customers are one option, but checking forums and following social media conversations tends to be significantly more productive.
When seeking feedback, tell people to let rip. Make sure you find out what they actually think about your brand, instead of only listening to what they want you to hear.
7. You Don’t Have Confidence.
Another common problem that requires professional support is a lack of confidence you can make it in business.
Entrepreneurs can often undermine their capacity to grow their firms, simply because they believe it’s impossible. You may be doubting yourself, your abilities, or your potential in your company, feeling discouraged or distressed.
The trick here is to hire someone who understands what you are going through. Business coaches and CEO gurus can reprogram your mind to think more positively about yourself and your enterprise. They can address the unconscious biases and beliefs that are leading you away from your full potential.
8. You Lack Creativity and Innovation.
A lack of creativity and innovation is another common issue firms face. While market leaders forge ahead, laggers struggle behind and don’t always know how to move forwards.
You might have found this happening in your business. A competitor introduces a powerful new technology and you don’t know how to respond. Eventually, their lead gets larger, and you find it virtually impossible to catch them.
You might also feel bored by a stagnant industry. Your enterprise might not be moving forwards because the rest of the industry is stuck in a kind of time warp.
Building more creativity and innovation can be challenging. It requires a company-wide effort for many months or years.
If you’re struggling, you might want to invite outside consulting firms to look at your business and tell you how you can adapt it to the modern economy.
9. You’re Not Growing.
Failing to grow is another significant issue many firms face. Growth is essential, but if your brand can’t reach a critical scale, it will never thrive.
Some companies can get stuck in a rut, doing the same things over and over, without making progress. They make a little bit of money, but not a great deal, creating a kind of trap from which it is hard to escape.
If you’re not making progress on your business, it’s often a sign that you’re not spending enough time on the strategic aspects of the firm.
As a business leader, the most valuable thing you can do is have interesting thoughts about your strategy. The more ideas you can brainstorm, the more successful your enterprise is likely to be.
10. Your Business Isn’t Making You Happy.
Lastly, your business may no longer fulfill you. You might be losing sight of why you started it in the first place and what you want to achieve.
The trick is to go back to the drawing board, write it down, and recommit yourself to following through on your plans.