Get Outside Help for your Business

Video: How to determine if your business needs outside help


I was at a small business event recently.  One of the speakers said something genius!  She equated getting help for your business to going to the doctor.

How bad does your health need to get before you see a doctor?  Of course, you might do regular check-ups, which is awesome and recommended.  Other times, you have a small annoying pain that you keep hoping will go away.  Maybe you wake up with the flu or food poisoning – you’re not quite sure which – and you can’t decide if you should go see a doctor or not.  You know an emergency room visit would cost you more if you wait for it to get really bad but you don’t want to waste your time going to a clinic or making an appointment with your primary care physician if it’s not serious.

How about your business?  How bad does you business health need to get before you seek out help?  Are you having regular check-ups with any kind of outside advisor?  Are there annoying pains you wish would simply resolve on their own?  Maybe something is going wrong and you can’t decide just how serious it is?  You know an emergency where you need an attorney or accountant to step in would cost a lot.  Is it serious enough to look for help with a program, mentor, or coach?  How can you tell?

I thought of 3 questions to ask yourself about your business to know if you should seek outside help.  Here they are:

  1. If you got hit by a bus, could your business continue or at least have a plan for dissolving? Answer “no,” then get some outside help.
  2. If you woke up with the flu or food poisoning, could your business run on its own for a few days while you recover?  Answer “no,” then get some outside help.
  3. Is your business barely getting by?  For example, could something that’s bound to happen eventually – like an equipment failure or a competitor making improvements or opening nearby – make you go under?  If the answer is yes, get some help.

Let’s say you answered no to either of the first 2 questions or yes to the final third.  How do you go about looking for help?

There are plenty of programs, mentors, and coaches out there who claim they help entrepreneurs.  How do you know who to choose or where to turn?

Obviously, we would love if you considered our coaching.  You can find out more on our recently updated coaching site at

Strategy to Find Help

But we recognize that we won’t be a good match with every entrepreneur and business leader.  So, here’s a basic rule of thumb.  You could spend hours researching how to get help.  It’s quite overwhelming all the options out there.  What we suggest is research until you have 5-10 options (depending on how much time you have to find help). 

Then, find someone to talk to at each of the options.  If they are coaches, mentors, or consultants, try to do a complimentary session.  If they are programs, try to talk to the program coordinator or an alumnae.  Choose whichever of the 5 to 10 are the best match for you, your personality, and your learning style. 

Some people learn best in groups.  Others prefer to learn within a 1-on-1 relationship.  Some people prefer classroom trainings with broad subject matter to get a big picture.  Others prefer individualized experiences crafted to give you focused information specific to your situation.  Some prefer being told what to do.  Others prefer discovering for themselves the best path forward.

If your style is within that 1-on-1, focused, self-discovery, then coaching is probably a really great fit.  We invite you to discover for yourself through a complimentary coaching session.  You can sign up here.