Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Setting up a business: Get the help you need

This post is one in a series which is following my progress in setting up a small business.  In my last post I outlined how much longer it was taking me to actually set up my business compared to what I had originally expected.  Two weeks down the track and this has not changed at all. 

One of the mistakes I have made until this point is to try and do it all myself.  I have extremely limited skills in web development and programming and as outlined in my last post this was taking me much longer than expected.  Worse the website was not looking at all professional or to the standard that I would expect.  I realise with the benefit of hindsight that it really would have been better to ask for help much earlier.

One of my good friends is a web developer by profession however I, like I assume many others who try their hand at business, do not want to impose on their friends an family. For the same reason I did not want impose on my friend.  I did ask him for some advice though and when we met up he told me that what I wanted was actually fairly basic and could probably be done with a few hours of solid work if you knew what you were doing (keep in mind that I have been building this thing for a month and it looked terrible).  He offered his help and I realised that I would be mad not to accept it.

The website is still in progress however I admit that I am much more relaxed now that I know that I have someone who knows what they are doing to compliment my skills.  I also realise now that I probably should have done this even if I had to pay for it.

What I will take from this experience into the future

In most areas of my business I believe that I am capable:
  • I am quite an organised person and actually like doing the administration side of the business
  • The product I am developing is what I do every day and I believe I have a real comparative advantage in doing it
However I will most definitely seek help in those areas where I have limited capabilities and where I really need others such as in web development as mentioned above. 

I believe that this is a particularly important lesson for all of us who are looking to set up businesses.  It is pretty important to identify any real skill gaps that you have (this could be in sourcing, manufacturing, administration, accounting, web design etc) and then look for a way to fix them.  This does not mean that you need to spend large amounts of money.  Sometimes your friends have the exact skills you need and will be happy to help you out for a case of beer and perhaps you can help them using your skills

1 comment:

  1. I wish people would write more about this as you have done. This is something that is very important and has been largely overlooked by the internet community