I spent yesterday at a CIMA MiPs at Cadbury House in Somerset. Now, who CIMA MiPs are is a question only relevant and interesting to CIMA MiPs, suffice to say they are a group of people who do the same as me. The reason we lay on the day is to help fellow business people, in the same line of work, by offering support and education, and to share ideas on best practice.
The day got me thinking about how small business owners can get support. It can be lonely running your own business, and you often don’t have anyone to talk to about how you are feeling and what problems you are facing. You often can’t talk to your life partner because you don’t want to worry them – and they wouldn’t understand anyway. You certainly can’t share your worries with your ‘friendly’ bank manager! So who do you go to?
For me, the answer lies the network of contacts, made up of business friends, I have built up over the years. Within this network are people I trust and we offer mutual support and advice to each other. Just being able to say ‘Life’s a bit shit’ to someone when they ask ‘How are things going’ can be a real relief!
It’s equally important to have people you can share successes with. When we were employed and we did a good job, there were generally people around who could say ‘Well done!’. Who does this when you work alone?
So my advice is to find business people you like and trust who can do this for you. If it’s early days how about using a coach or mentor?
Finally, I would just like to say a big thank you to Tony, Nicky, Andrew, Liz, Fiona, David, Trevor, Jo, Debs, and the rest of the Bevan Financial Management supporters club!