Lots of SME owners I meet wait until the last minute to ask for help. Pride, fear, trust – whatever the reasons may be, asking for help is a strength, not a weakness. It can open doors to new perspectives, opportunities, and growth for both you and your business. Embracing support and collaboration can lead to improved outcomes and alleviate the burden of managing everything alone.
Some small business owners really struggle with asking for help. When things go wrong or even just not the way they planned, they wait and wait before asking for help. Why is that? Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) owners often find it challenging to ask for help due to a variety of reasons. Here are just some of the – why not see if they strike a chord with you?:
1. Self-reliance: Many SME owners are self-starters who have built their businesses from the ground up. They may have a strong sense of self-reliance and believe they should be able to handle everything on their own. Many see asking for help as a sign of weakness or an admission of not being able to handle the challenges themselves.
2. Fear of judgment or vulnerability: Asking for help can make certain SME owners feel vulnerable. They may worry about being judged or perceived as incapable or incompetent. There can be a fear of losing credibility or control by seeking assistance.
3. Time and resource constraints: SME owners often have limited time and resources, and they may feel overwhelmed by their workload. They might hesitate to ask for help, fearing that it will burden others or take away from their own productivity.
4. Lack of trust: Trusting others with important aspects of their business can be challenging for SME owners. They may be concerned about the reliability, competence, or confidentiality of external parties. This lack of trust can discourage them from seeking help.
5. Perceived financial implications: SME owners may worry about the potential costs associated with seeking help. They may fear that hiring consultants or experts will be too expensive for their limited budget, or they may feel guilty about spending money on external assistance.
6. Perfectionism: Some SME owners have high standards and expectations for themselves and their businesses. They may strive for perfection and feel that asking for help is an admission of falling short. They may prefer to tackle challenges on their own to maintain control and ensure things are done exactly as they want.
Overcoming the reluctance to ask for help is essential for SME owners’ personal growth and business success. Here are a few suggestions to help address this challenge:
1. Shift mindset: Recognise that asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a demonstration of strength and a willingness to learn and improve. Understand that seeking assistance can be beneficial for your business’s growth and development.
2. Seek out support networks: Connect with fellow entrepreneurs, industry peers, or business associations where you can find support and guidance. Building relationships with like-minded individuals can provide a supportive environment where asking for help feels more comfortable.
3. Delegate and outsource: Identify areas where you can delegate tasks or outsource certain functions to experts or professionals. By delegating responsibilities, you can free up your time and focus on strategic aspects of your business.
4. Start small: Begin by asking for help with smaller, less critical tasks or projects. This can help build confidence in seeking assistance and demonstrate the value of collaboration and support.
5. Develop a support system: Build a network of mentors, advisors, or coaches who can provide guidance, expertise, and support when needed. Having trusted individuals to turn to can make it easier to ask for help and receive valuable insights.
6. Prioritise self-care: Recognise the importance of self-care and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Taking care of your well-being allows you to be more receptive to asking for help and seeking support when needed.
Remember, asking for help is a strength, not a weakness. It can open doors to new perspectives, opportunities, and growth for both you and your business. Embracing support and collaboration can lead to improved outcomes and alleviate the burden of managing everything alone.
Do you need help? If so – don’t be shy in asking for it.
Would you like help to ‘Get comfy and confident on LinkedIn’ or to ‘Get your website looking and sounding like the real you’? Yes? Then book a chat directly in my diary. That way we can have a virtual coffee together to see if/how I might be able to help you. The call will cost you absolutely nothing, you’ll be under no obligation to do anything further AND I GUARANTEE you’ll get value from our call – otherwise I’ll pick up the tab for the virtual coffees 😂