The biggest advantage of founding your own business is that you have total independence. You decide how long and when you work, and you get the rewards for the effort you put in. You’re not constrained by the processes and structures put in place by other people and you don’t need to wait on anyone else for approval or authorisation.
Unfortunately, this drive for independence can also turn into the biggest problem for entrepreneurs: isolation. If you don’t cultivate the skill of identifying when it’s actually worth turning to others for help, you will either lack vital information and expertise or try to stretch yourself to cover those jobs. This can lead to you neglecting the core functions of your business, and contributes to the very real condition of founder burnout.
Today we’re taking a look at how you can approach this problem, and decide which times are right for you to invest in some expert help.
Skills and Reach You Lack
It’s important to be honest with yourself about what you can realistically do, and where your strengths are. Market research is a useful example here:
Your reach extends to customers who’ve already spent their money with you, or who’ve expressed an interest in your brand by signing up to a mailing list or following you through social media. While you can design surveys to try and find out what they value in your brand and what they want to see next, experts can design questions that get you more valuable answers, and have a reach that can give you insights into the market as a whole. This is important if you want to grow: you need to know why people haven’t chosen to spend money with you yet and work out how to appeal to them, rather than specialise to the desires of the small number of people who have already committed to your brand.
A brand tracking agency can deliver this insight, as well as real-time brand tracking, in which consumers are asked to score your brand for the key characteristics you are trying to build. They’re also asked to rank your brand against the competitors in the field, showing how you’re performing over time both in absolute term and relative to the people you’re trying to out-compete!
This kind of research and analysis is a good example of the work that you need expert help for – not only do the skills of a market researcher and a founder fail to overlap, your efforts to acquire them will take time away from the key decisions you need to be taking to drive your business towards success.
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