The life of the entrepreneur has its peculiar challenges. While they aren’t restricted to fixed working hours and days, they will often have to grind away at tasks for much longer than the 9-5-er. For them, their business is their life. It consumes their thoughts, time, and strength.
But building a business can be tough. Funding issues may arise; products could fail; sales may plunge; deals fall through. These challenges weigh heavily on the entrepreneur. Because they spend a lot of time working alone, there’s a high chance that they’ll struggle with the pressures they face.
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This is where the entrepreneurial support system comes in. It’s a network of people who can provide guidance, and business and emotional support to an entrepreneur when they need it. The boost given by such a network could be the difference between success and failure for the businessperson.
An entrepreneur’s support system could consist of other business people, mentors, and cofounders.
Here’s how to build a support system you can fall back on when the going gets tough.
1. Seek Out Mentors
An entrepreneur’s mentors are usually better experienced businesspeople, who have gained valuable insights from the world of commerce and industry. If you’re building a business in its early stages, you will find your mentor’s advice quite useful.
You can connect with potential mentors at business events and meetings, or via channels like LinkedIn or other online forums for business owners. It’s preferable to seek people who work within your own industry, as their advice will tend to be more relevant than most.
In addition, be sure that your mentor is a person with a good business and moral track record, someone you can trust.
2. Work with a Cofounder
Many people prefer to start out on their own; they find the idea of a co-founder too restrictive, or even risky. But there are benefits to having a partner with whom you build your business. Besides complimenting each other’s skills, your founder team will make your entrepreneurial journey less lonely and easier to get through.
As we have just hinted, it’s a good idea to go for a working partner who can take on the tasks you’re not very good at. This will relieve you of the stress that comes with trying harder at those tasks.
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3. Build a Support System with Other Business People
Your family and friends could be your best cheerleaders. But they may also fail to understand the nature of the challenges you face. If there are other business people with whom you can share your experiences, you could find encouragement and good advice from them.
A community of small business founders can work as a support system, especially when they are at the same stage with you. There’s a reassurance that comes from knowing that you’re not alone in your battle to build a successful enterprise.
4. Keep a Compact Network
It’s better to have a smaller network of great individuals than a lot of contacts who don’t provide much value. Bigger groups are fine if your aim is to find new opportunities for business growth. But if you want people who can support you on multiple fronts, you’ll want to keep a manageable sphere.
There’s a lot you can gain from a support network. But you will have to reach out to others for help as a first step to creating that network. Be prepared to help others as well; communities are stronger when everyone contributes. If it works well, your support system will benefit everyone who’s a part of it.
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