An Entrepreneur is on his way to a meeting that is a few hours away. He fills up the gas tank of his car, which holds 10 gallons and gives him 25 miles to the gallon. In his mind, this should get him to his meeting, as it is 220 miles away. Unfortunately, about 20 miles from the meeting, the car stops, and he discovers the tank is dry—obviously from a leak, because he can see drops dripping. How many gallons of gasoline has he lost? (Mensa brain teaser)
Everyone loves a brain teaser. When you are trying to solve a problem like the one above, you begin to understand that there is probably some logic behind the answer. In order to solve it you have to stay focused and understand it.
When you are running a business, your days are filled with brain teasers and problems that need to be solved. It can mentally, physically and emotional weigh you down as you try to decide which part of a problem you need to handle first. You do not have to be alone when solving problems. The best solution is to surround yourself with intelligence. Whether you are starting or already in business, having key people at your finger tips should be a key part of your plan. Having intelligent support surrounding you will help to strengthen your business structure.
How do you surround yourself with intelligence?
Consider the following examples:
Mentor– This is someone who will spend time with you on an ongoing basis who has a lot of expertise in the type of business you own. Mentors are also good listeners. They will not tell you what to do but will guide you with well rounded knowledge that has been attained through years of business ownership.
Advisor – An advisor will share opportunities and encourage others to communicate effectively within the organization. They help to strengthen the organization because they have the professional expertise and credentials. A business owner can work with one advisor or they can form an advisory board or committee to help assist with business decisions.
Professionals (Accountants, Lawyers and Bankers) – As an entrepreneur you know a considerable amount about running a business but from a legal or financial standpoint it is impossible to know everything. Working with professionals can save your business a lot of money and heartache.
Business Coach – The role of a business coach is to help support and encourage the entrepreneur. A coach will help you realize your full potential.
Business Consultant – Consultants can help guide the entrepreneur in both the start-up and/or growing phase of business development. They can also help to determine what the right steps are and at the same time set realistic goals for the business.
Employees – Surround yourself with employees who believe in your dream and are both creative and ready to contribute both their time and brain power to help the business be successful.
The brain teaser above was not too difficult to figure out. The answer is two gallons. The problem arises when there is not a sudden solution to the problem. This is where you can see the importance of having support at your fingertips and surrounding yourself with intelligence. The old saying, two heads are better than one, certainly makes sense because if you put two people (or more) together to solve a problem, the final outcome will happen more efficiently.
The Halton Region’s Small Business Centre is here to help you. One of the goals of the Centre is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give you the tools to achieve success. Ask us about our Access to Professionals program. For more information about this and any of Halton Region’s other Small Business Centre resources and services, and how we can help direct you to the right resources, contact us at 1-866-4HALTON (42-5866), www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville.