It is quite shocking for me to learn that two-thirds of small business owners feel they can't talk to friends, family or advisors about the stresses of running their business ...
A recent study of 500 small business owners throughout the United Kingdom also discovered that 48 percent find it hard to actually know who to talk to about their problems. This is deeply concerning to me as I'm well known for being the Business Godparent.
And that's not just in the capacity of their accountant or financial advisor, but as their Business Godparent too. Relationships in business are an incredibly important part of the road to success and always being ready to listen is one of the key things I do.
The biggest worries I'm hearing right now are reducing sales because of the cost-of-living crisis, problems with finding new customers when everyone is pulling their horns in, and growing inflation which is putting their own costs up. Mix all these together, and you have a perfect storm of worry and it's understandable small business owners feel they can't talk about it.
My Business Godparent hat is well-used right now. I'm often surprised when people I've known to be successful for many years call me and say, "Hey Roger, I've got a problem, can we talk?" It's hard to take that first step and reach out for help, and I'm honoured they trust me enough to talk to me.
I like to grab a coffee with someone where possible. Yes, a phone call is a good start, but getting face-to-face lets me know how worried they are. Body language is a great indicator of emotion, and if I'm their accountant, I can look beyond the numbers and help them get to grips with the issues at hand.
They realise they're not alone, they don't have to solve the problems all on their own. If I can help directly with advice and guidance and a bit of clarity then I will, and if I need to reach out to my own extensive network to look for a solution, they can be assured I will always find the right person to help them.
Many of those I work with have teams of employees, and I encourage small business owners to be open with them. Maybe not telling them everything that's going on, but certainly what they need to know. Creating a positive work culture means they are more motivated!
It's widely quoted that, "running a small business is a marathon, not a sprint" and all athletes know they need a team around them if they want to succeed. Confide in someone, it's as simple as that. And if that confidante can help take some of the stress and worry away, then even better.
The Business Godparent is always here to help.
If you feel inspired to find out more about anything I've said here, do call me on 01908 774320 or leave a comment below and I'll be in touch as soon as I can.