When you’re running a business, it’s easy to feel isolated. Even if you’re in charge of a big organisation, with myriad employers and a strong, experienced C-Suite to work with, ultimately the buck stops with you, and isolation of command is real. If you’re the founder of a smaller start up, that loneliness is even more literal: at the beginning it might just be you working out of a bedroom or garage, and even as you begin to employ more people a divide exists quite naturally between the employer and the employed.
There are two big downsides to this: without the support network that a group of peers provides, you are more vulnerable to depression, anxiety and the eventual burnout that dogs many entrepreneurs. Also, if you don’t have experts you can rely on your decision making is going to be faulty: you simply can’t know enough to make the best decision in every case.
You need to combat the isolation of leadership and your own limited experience by finding partners to bolster your knowledge and skill base, from consultants to specialist agencies, they offer you insight, and a different relationship to the one you have with your employers: that of an expert peer.
Finding a market research company like Attest is a boon for any business. Making decisions about how to price your products and advertise them, the designs you should be working on and when to launch them is just guessing is you don’t have the data to back it up.
Market research companies can give you the raw numbers and insights derived from them that tell you how your business is performing, what your strengths are, where your weaknesses are and what to do next. They can even get you some insight into what your competitors are planning, to make sure you don’t get beaten to the punch by them.
A good business lawyer is useful to a founder from weeks before Day One – quite apart from the advice they can give when drafting business plans, contracts and official documents like your articles of incorporation, they can also be a trusted peer and a key point in your professional network.
A good lawyer can introduce you to other founders and CEOs, who can offer vital advice and opportunities, and also help you find sources of funding: they’re a lynchpin in the local business landscape, so as long as they have faith in your vision they can help you find ways to make it into reality.
Those are only two of the partnerships that successful businesses are built on: find as many as you can to make sure yours is ready to go the distance.