Building a Support Network For Your Small Business

3 min read • Sep 02, 2015 • Erik Larson

Every business owner needs the help of a loyal and dependable support network that can offer valuable advice and assistance. Your support network should be comprised of individuals who provide you with backing, counsel and guidance. These can be your mentors, family, peers and friends—basically, anyone you can trust and rely on.

While there is no golden rule for developing a support system, here are some techniques you can follow to set up your own support network:

Be Open

There is nothing wrong with needing help. Instead of procrastinating, jump right into the task. It will be easiest for you. There is no point in issuing your friend or mentor a formal invite over dinner and drinks. Rather, go straight to them and ask them upright.

It always pays to be direct and forthcoming. Inform the person frankly about the condition of your business and how they can help you. Rather than giving them lengthy and drawn-out explanations, be candid and sincere. It’s surprising how many people will say “Yes” if you simply ask them an honest question.

Include Old Friends

The friendships you make during your childhood and school years are the strongest and are likely to last your entire life. Your old friends are most likely to support you and offer you important business advice without strings attached. They are the people you can rely on the most.

Support systems made up of old friends are very helpful in taking your enterprise to the next level. Incorporating these individuals within your support system can make a world of difference to the way you run your business, as they are most likely to offer you genuine assistance and guidance without looking to further their own agendas.

Polish Your Networking Skills

A network is all about interacting and collaborating with others. By honing your networking skills, you will be able to find likeminded individuals with the same corporate drive as yourself. Building up a list of professional contacts is vital in developing a support network for your business. These are people who will support you in combating the unavoidable obstacles and hurdles on your path to make your business successful.

These days, social media has made it extremely easy to connect with others who share your interests. It’s amazing how open and forthcoming people can be on their social networks. Moreover, you can join innumerable online groups, blogs and communities made up of business owners like yourself. Your social circle can become a source of invaluable backup and support for your business.

Support systems work both ways, with your contacts supporting you and vice versa. Consequently, it’s a mutually satisfactory and beneficial way of sharing business advice.

Pick The Right Mentor

While it’s always great to have the support of your peers, a mentor can also play a pivotal role in guiding you. Your mentor can prove to be a pillar of strength for your corporation, as they have been in a similar situation as yourself and are, therefore, in the best position to offer you assistance and support.

When selecting a mentor for your organisational needs, make sure you both share compatibility and can build a strong mutual working relationship. Mentors can make or break you as a business owner, so it is critical to ensure you choose an advisor who fits perfectly with your business goals and objectives. It’s best to pick someone who has the right kind of experience that you’re looking for.

Support networks can be veritable treasure troves of guidance and assistance for your company, so it is important to take the time out to build such a support base for your business needs.

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Erik Larson

Erik Larson frequently writes for Lendio about SEO, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Business Loans, and whatever else strikes his fancy. He can be found on Google+ and Twitter.