In a previous blog post I discussed how overwhelming it could be for business owners to run their own business. The main cause of this is the multitude of different roles they have to play – many of them outside their area of expertise.
Unfortunately many people go into business without realising what is involved and as a consequence find they are drowning. It is absolutely critical to get proper advice at the early stages (preferably before starting) of the business journey to ensure you are on top of everything. A common roadblock for early stage businesses in seeking this critical advice is a lack of cash flow to pay an advisor such as a lawyer or accountant.
While the ideal solution for any business is to hire the best possible advisor to handle areas they don’t have expertise in, there are other options out there for people short on funds. In Australia the government and local councils provide great free resources for small businesses.
The government resources available to small businesses include:
business.gov.au – is produced by the Federal Government in Australia and is an online government resource for the Australian business community providing essential information on planning, starting and growing your business. Some of the tools found on the site include a growing your business checklist, business planning guides and templates, grants and assistance finder and an advisor finder. An overview of business.gov.au can be found by watching the Introduction to business.gov.au video.
Business Victoria – is produced by the State Government of Victoria. This site provides on-line tools to help you start, run and grow your business in Victoria. Some of the services provided include free business mentoring, workshops and events. There is a business site like the Business Victoria site in every state in Australia due to the specific rules and regulations that apply to each state and territory. Click here to find on-line resources relevant to each state.
Local Councils – are a fantastic resource of information relevant to the local area the business operates in. Examples of support include workshops, networking events, information on permits and regulations, advice on starting a business and access to a local economic development unit. Small business owners should get in touch with their local council to find out what support is available to them.
The resources I have mentioned above are relevant to Australia. For people operating in other countries such as the USA and UK, similar government resources exist and it certainly pays to investigate those.
There is a lot of support out there for struggling business owners feeling overwhelmed by the day-to-day challenges of running their business. The key to overcoming these challenges is to reach out and ask for help. Don’t go it alone. Asking for help could be the best thing a business owner ever does for their business.
Do you make use of the support that is out there? What resources do you make use of?