Asking for help in a business is something every entrepreneur or manager must do, sooner or later. Calling on the combined knowledge of your advisers, experts and network can prevent you from making mistakes, taking the wrong approach or even missing opportunities. Many people struggle to put their hand up and ask for assistance or knowledge, thinking that it could show weakness, or believing that they have all the information and insight they need to guide their company on their own.
You'll find that almost everyone is happy to contribute their experience or their thoughts. Tapping into that is incredibly important. Here's how.
Never discount your contacts' knowledge
Keeping tabs on your advisers is a great first step. If you meet experts in any field, people with a lot of value to offer, make sure you note it down. Using a CRM can help, but if you don't want to take that approach, just putting a note in your diary or on the contact itself will work. Think of this as a bank of knowledge that you can call on at any time.
Make sure you ask for advice before you take any big steps
The right time to get feedback and insight is before you've made a big decision and committed to something - not after it! At Charltons, we've had experiences where our clients have made a business move and then come to us later and commented that they wish they'd consulted us first. It's not even a difficult step to take - sometimes, just picking up the phone and calling in some expert advice before you sign on a dotted line could make all the difference.
Recognise the value of advice
The value of good advice is something that often can't be measured until you've made a bad decision without it. When you reach that point, you'll find it all too easy to measure in dollars and cents! When you seek out and take on good advice and good insight, you won't always be able to reconcile that against a tangible value in your head, but if you stacked it against the risks and costs of a false step, it's much easier to recognise its value!
Find the right people to ask at the right time
We pride ourselves on having an extensive network of people who are very good at doing very specific things. They know their stuff, and we're always ready to provide an introduction when our clients need it. Why do we do this? Essentially, it's because we know that giving people access to the experts who have years of built up, genuine information is always going to give them a chance to learn and improve.
Asking for help is what lets business people grow. It's what can protect you against the fallout from a tough decision, and it often lets you make your calls with years of experience you might not have just yet!