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Why small business owners should ask for help
When it comes to being an entrepreneur, we're usually the ambitious ones in the room who are sometimes overly optimistic. Although this usually is a good thing, it can be problematic when something doesn't go as planned. Strong minded people can also be stubborn and not want to ask for help because they think it's a sign of weakness, but it's not.Do you think asking for help is a weakness or a strength?
When we all started out we asked questions everyday, so what changed in our mindset that it's not ok to ask now that we're a few years down the road and know everything there is about our business? The fact that we think we know everything is the exact problem and as soon as you can break through that, you can begin to ask for help and not feel like a failure. Another thing that has to do with this is our age, when we were younger we would ask dozens of questions every hour in hopes of getting answers or help with something. As we got older we became more independent and didn't think we needed anyone because we were adults, but that's a bad way to go about things if you want to be successful.
We began to withhold our curiosity and stopped asking questions, whether it be because we thought we knew everything or it was because we didn't want to seem weak. You could also just be embarrassed to ask something because people think of you as the top dog that should know the answers to the questions you want to ask.
But at some point in our maturation, most of us started to bottle up our curiosity. It’s not that we don’t have questions about what’s going on around us; rather, we’re too embarrassed to ask. The downside of not asking because you're scared could actually be your downfall since the severity of the question could make or break your business.
Why asking for help is a good thing
When looking back at it, there are definitely more good things that come out of asking someone for help than if you were to withhold your question. Not asking for help can lose you a lot, and I'm not just talking about money. You could lose friendships, your business, your home, your car, etc. Below I'm going to go over a few reasons why asking for help actually helps
When asking for help you're putting yourself out there and hoping someone on the other side of the question will respond in a way you hope. Usually, if it's within reason, the person will help you out if needed and that's a great boost to your confidence which you need to keep pushing forward in order to be successful.
When asking for help you're actually opening up to new networks of people. I'm in a few skype groups and I've asked for help in them and gotten a great response. I've gon on to build business relationships with a few of these people and those relationships still grow to this very day
Not only are they helping me out with what I need at the time, but they learn my strengths and I may be able to help them out when they are in a time of need in the future
When opening yourself up and asking for help you may see how a friend or collegue does their work which will in turn spark an idea you want to turn into a different business venture. So many successful companies have been built on the simplest ideas, and I'm sure it's possible for you as well
Boosting Confidence in Others
You need to look at it from both angles. You will be boosting the confidence of the person you're asking help because they will think "They came to me for help and no one else. This means they think highly of me". You're confident they can help you and that's why you specifically asked them, which gives them confidence as well
Asking people for help can be a huge hill to get over, but you can do it with the few simple ways I've listed below. Now for some of us we're already over this hill, but this could still help you out and possibly spark some ideas for you
When you're asking for help from a person who has been in your field for a long time, you're technically looking for a mentor. If you're a new person in the field you will definitely need the knowledge of someone who has been doing the work for years, so don't be afraid to ask.
Usually you will find a mentor as you go about your business over time. You will naturally build a connection with them and it will be easier to ask them for help, you may not even realize your doing it.
2. Asking Your Customers
When you're asking your customers for help, you're not actually letting them into your business in order to change something around in order to increase your rankings, readers or sales. You can set up a survey or meet with them directly to see what they think about your set up, systems, process, checkout, etc. They will give you honest feedback and that can be used to change some things around for the better. Now you'll have to take averages when doing this, you won't just rely on a single users feedback and change everything. If you see a common trend like "Your checkout page is too confusing" then you'll need to set up an easy checkout system so you can please everyone. This will also increase your sales, and we all love that
3. Talk with your family
You'd never know it, but the best help can come from right within your home. Just like the survey idea above, the people you live with will be brutally honest about what you're doing and how you should change because they love you. They want to see you successful and they will tell you what is on their mind without hesitation, usually. They will be able to tell you things that you're blind too, which is great when it comes to a business because we can be so focused on specific things that we miss little details, or large ones lol.
Something that I regularly do is ask my sisters about web designs that I'm about to launch for myself. I'll ask them what they think, not what they think about a certain page. This way they will give me an overview of the page and say stuff like "I love the colors but I hate that dumb looking logo, you should change that" or something else like "I tried finding this one page but it was tough so I decided to look at other parts of your website". These two things show me that the layout needs a little bit of work so it's more user friendly and that my sister has horrible taste in logos
4. Consultants and Freelancers are your friend
At some point in time you will hit a wall because you just can't do something on your own. This could be a particular skill like PHP, in my case, or something along the lines of online marketing. Instead of looking over everything that you would need to take years to learn, you should think about bringing in someone that has already invested the time and knows what they're doing.
You'll need to be weary when bringing in a consultant because you could be paying a premium to not learn very much, or nothing at all to be honest. I've heard horror stories of people paying $1,000 to $5,000 to fly in a consultant for the weekend and when they leave, the team doesn't know what they hell to do. So hiring the right consultant who knows how to teach is better than any consultant you find online. When it comes to freelancers you can usually look up their reviews on whichever platform you're on and that will give you a good understanding of how well they are going to perform.
As a business owner you will have to set aside your pride from time to time and ask for help. You need to realise that you can't do everything on your own and you may even have to bring in a consultant or freelancer to help you out. Asking for help should be seen as a strength and a networking tool because that's exactly what it is. I wouldn't have a couple of my profitable websites unless I had asked for help from a friend and in turn they saw what I could do
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