Running anything is a solitary activity. No matter how close you are to the people around you, there are some decisions you must make by yourself. These are usually the sort of things you can't discuss comfortably with anyone else, such as:

♦ Is so-and-so pulling their weight?

♦ Is there enough cash in hand for next month's wages?

Having friends outside your business, particularly those who may have gone through similar experiences, is worth its weight in gold. Most often such people have no other vested interest than wanting someone else to avoid the pitfalls that were so hard for them to climb out of. A person whose judgment you respect, someone who you can level with, discuss situations with, and try solutions out on is invaluable, if you are astute enough to learn from another's experience instead of discovering everything at your own expense.

The most important areas to get advice about are obviously those areas you know least. It might be market research or the legal side. Build up a group of contacts you can call on.

Tip Help like this is unstructured and sometimes presents itself when you least expect it. You just have to learn the knack of switching into a receptive frame of mind / instantaneously.

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