It Takes a Village to Grow a Business
Article

It Takes a Village to Grow a Business

It’s just another busy day of juggling your job as accountant, dishwasher, delivery person, marketer, and strategic planner – or in a word, “entrepreneur.”

When you start your own business, it often doesn’t take long for overwhelm to set in. You’re still passionate about your business and want it to succeed, but you just need some help.

The key is knowing when and where to look for it, and to remember that you’re not alone.  From mentors to workshops to peer advising, there are plenty of brains to pick out there. And it truly does take a village to grow a successful business.

Start Building Your Village Now

Do you know what you need to be successful? Do you who to ask for help or support?  An important step in starting and growing your business is identifying those needs.

However, sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know.  Rely on your network or on other organizations with programs supporting small business owners to help understand what your needs are, and then how to fulfill them. Do you need administrative help? Financing assistance? Marketing expertise? Additional education? Or do you just need someone to bounce ideas off of?

Where to Find Help

As an entrepreneur, you have more support resources available to you than you realize. You just need to know where to look:

Business Education Opportunities

You don’t need an MBA to run your business, but getting basic knowledge in key areas like accounting and human resources can help take a load off your mind. Look for educational sessions or webinars on topics that cover your knowledge gaps (many are free and others only cost a small fee to attend).

Networking Events

Be sure to get out and meet people! Interact with your entrepreneurial peers at networking or educational events. Look for entrepreneurial meetups related to your industry, check out what’s happening at your local chamber of commerce or board of trade, and attend incubator/accelerator events and industry association events.

Unlikely Inspiration

When you only attend networking and educational events specific to your industry, it may seem like you’re stuck in an echo chamber. Try to connect with entrepreneurs outside your industry – it can help you clear your head, get inspired and be creative together.

Mentors

Reach out to other experienced entrepreneurs and business leaders you admire, or find a formal mentor through a mentorship program through organizations such as the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, BC Innovation Council and Women’s Enterprise Centre.  Check out www.mentorshipBC.com for a full list of mentorship programs in BC.

You’re Never Alone

Learning from and engaging with others in your community is a critical piece of successfully growing your business There are dozens of organizations throughout BC with programs that support small business owners.  These organizations also understand the value of collaboration and are identifying opportunities to work together to better support more entrepreneurs – every organization needs a village after all.

About Jill Earthy

Jill Earthy is the Chief Growth Officer for FrontFundr. FrontFundr connects entrepreneurs and investors and is a first mover in Canada’s emerging investment crowd funding space.