Many entrepreneurs spend the first half of their working lives employed at big corporate companies and don't fit into the box of being a "born entrepreneur".
They have extensive experience in management and running a business within the safe confines of corporate cash flow. When setting out to start their own ventures, often cash flow management is a new game to them.
The hardest thing for any entrepreneurs new to the game is having to carry the weight of all decisions by themselves.
Everyday tough decisions entrepreneurs need to make include:
Should I invest in buying a business to kick-start growth and develop scale?
Should I spend my time on social media marketing to sell my products or dip into capital to hire an agency?
How do I value my services in terms of price? Do I always need to offer discounts to gain customers?
Do I have the right tools to support me now and when I grow?
Do I reinvest the money into the business?
Should I work from home or rent an office?
Should I hire someone to help me?
If you've just started out as a business owner, you've probably found yourself asking these questions.
Seeking guidance helps.
When faced with tough decisions as an entrepreneur, it never hurts seeking guidance. Guidance can come in the form of chatting to friends, family or peers in your industry who have to make tough decisions in their business operations. Consider recruiting the help of a business coach who can help you think through your business decisions that you're unsure of.
Find a support system that works.
The question faced by many entrepreneurs is: "When should I seek a coach, group coach, financial coach or financial adviser, and how do I know which is right for me?"
Let's start by addressing the second half of that loaded question. How does one know what is right for you?
Like most things in life, whether it be a financial coach, financial planner, it all boils down to chemistry and shared experiences.
People align with others for many reasons, many decide based on recommendations, while others decide on whether they click with an individual or if they share past experiences with them. We would recommend meeting with a few coaches or advisors before choosing one.
You've probably asked yourself: "Do I need a generic coach, financial coach, business coach, financial planner or advisor?"
If you already have a relationship with a financial advisor who lives by financial planning, recruiting a financial or business coach whom you pay by the hour is probably the best option. They will help you understand the available choices and provide invaluable knowledge to support the decisions you make.
Once your business reaches the time where it starts generating profit, a good financial advisor will help you navigate the choices in defining and investing in your best life.
Lastly, an exceptional group coaching or mastermind program, which is conducted by a financial or business coach will help to learn from others, and you'll benefit from the expertise of a veteran.
When should you ask for help?
You'll find in your journey as an entrepreneur, that you'll be faced with many occasions where you might need to seek out help:
When you are struggling with a decision.
When you don't have enough information to make a decision (this is where a financial coach makes more sense as opposed to a traditional coach)
When you observe thinking or behaviour that isn't serving you. In your personal and business life.
When you and your business partner can't have the discussions, you need to have.
Entrepreneurs who are just starting out probably need the help of financial coaches more than financial advisors.
The reasoning behind this is because, for many, it's the first time that they are required to make all the financial decisions. Should you invest in recruiting the help of a social media manager? Should you do it yourself? Should you manage your cash flow or should you hire someone to handle it?
Recruiting the help of a financial coach is almost like having a financial director who helps you comb through these issues of utilising your capital wisely. Moreover, they might even advise you on how to secure funding if it falls into their expertise.
No matter which support system you opt for, having an excellent partner as a sounding board is worth every rand.