It’s not a sin to ask for help in business

Some of these decisions we make with someone else, many we make alone. The results good, bad, great or of no consequence arrive and with their arrival we either have a fait accompli or possibly a further decision still to make.

For the owner manager decisions they make in relation to their business, does of course impact on multiple others. My business is small, I only employ 10 people but it isn’t of course just those 10 people that can be affected by what I may decide, but their husbands, wives, partners and children so in fact 10 people in my case turns into 37 ! And that’s a small employee base.

When we make a decision about something that genuinely just affects you for instance, what you may find to have for your supper, that’s one thing but entirely different if it’s shall we relocate ,” shall I sell , perhaps I will retire?, and much more, as such a decision is not really mine.

So who makes it, when and how, and whose counsel do we take, and when or why? We often do what comes naturally and shoot from the hip.

Probably only afterwards may we have the time to reflect. The trouble with a decision is of course that the actual ramifications of it may not be obvious until post the event.

As an owner manager I have now realised that you may take all the advice you like. Some of it will be contradictory and much of it may well be sound, but ultimately it will be your decision and good or bad it will be your legacy.

Lonely OH YES just a little!

Ever looked in the mirror and thought “goodness me what shall I do or words to that affect? You are a lucky man or woman indeed if you haven’t been there.

Admitting this vulnerability is cathartic (though I caution who exactly you may make such a reveal to). Perhaps just to yourself may be sufficient. In my own case that was incredibly difficult. Invulnerable of course I am” yeah right!

But remaining strong and focused and in control is the role of the owner-manager isn’t it?

My remedy? (Well of course I have no panacea and if I did trust me I would have patented it and it would be another business!!!)

Find someone to talk to and this isn’t someone that will have all the answers, but just expressing out loud your fears and concerns is immensely helpful. It’s not a sin to ask for help and it’s not a sin to say you don’t know what to do. It’s taken me 25 years in business to understand that.

Jo Haigh?is head of FDS corporate finance services and the author of?The Keys to the Boardroom – How to Get There and How to Stay There.

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