I just witnessed a long time business owner almost go out of business.
For the last several weeks he’s fought to keep what he’s built.
Unfortunately, he may still lose his business.
As I heard this news I couldn’t help but think…Why is his business in such a fragile state?
The more I learned about the business the more I realized there’s a big lesson in this for every business owner.
Let me explain…
This business owner, let’s call him Tom, has a very compelling business. There are few other businesses in his city that offer what he does.
In fact, his business has 2 of the 3 things you look for in a successful business:
1. A great product and…
2. People willing to pay for it.
What he failed to do a good job with was his marketing. Too few people knew that his business existed.
What’s even more troubling is that Tom had on staff at least one person that had several ideas on how he could market his business more effectively. And I’m sure there were others as well.
Yet, it seems, Tom never bothered to ask anyone for help…that is until it was too late.
The Walls are Crumbling
Now rather than building an empire…Tom is trying to dig himself out of a ditch.
Tom should be cashing big checks, taking vacations with his family and enjoying life. Instead, he’s on the brink of losing his house and being forced to declare bankruptcy.
And while Tom’s story is quite a dramatic one…I believe many of us face similar situations … and most of the time we too have to declare a different kind of bankruptcy – giving up.
You see, Tom doesn’t have to be stuck in rut like this. All he had to do was ask for help.
Penny Wise and Pound Foolish
Rather than trying to control everything himself and tuck away every penny…he should have reached out to his staff for ideas and help implementing them.
Tom really should have found a marketing expert that could have helped to fix his problem.
Here’s another way to think about it…if the roof on your house has a whole in it and water is slowly coming in…most of us would call someone to come and repair it.
If we get into an accident or fall down the stairs and receive a deep cut that requires stitches…we don’t stitch ourselves up…we go to an expert (a doctor) to do that for us.
Yet when it comes to business, many business owners (including the self-employed, consultants and freelancers) hesitate to extend their hand and ask for help.
Something inside our minds says, “You know what you’re doing…you don’t need to spend money to get someone else’s help…everything will be OK.”
Yet the result based on this way of thinking often isn’t positive. And as I look at Tom’s situation it’s quite critical.
All of us at one time or another need to ask for help.
We have to let our guard down, put our egos aside, and really think about our businesses best interests.
Having confidence in yourself is tantamount to success. Realizing when you need help and going out and getting it from an expert is what separates the flat-lining business owner struggling on a daily basis from the climbing higher and higher to new levels of success.
There’s no reason to wait. If you see the need, if you can learn new skills, approaches and techniques from an expert, now’s the time to do that. Not later…now! You can’t know everything and surely you can’t do everything.
Building a profitable and sustainable business isn’t about how much you can do yourself…it’s about recognizing what needs to happen to become more successful and then getting it done as quickly as possible …whether you’re doing it yourself or having others help you.