What is your biggest regret in business?

When I look back, my biggest regret in business was that I did not engage business advice when I bought my first business.  Coming out of a high level corporate role and purchasing a small business was going to be easy wasn’t it?  After all, I had managed multi million dollar budgets, responsible for 400 staff and $30 million of assets.  How hard could it be to run a successful small business with revenues of under a $1 million and 12 staff?

What you take for granted in a corporate environment is all the support you have.  A financial controller to provide you with all the analysis you need, an HR manager to deal with staff issues, a sales manager to manage sales and keep revenue coming in, a marketing manager to get your business message to the target market, an operations manager to schedule jobs, manage operational staff and assets, customer services staff to take calls from customers and deal with issues and an IT manager that dealt with all things IT.

I underestimated the effort and focus required in a small business to keep on top of all the different roles I now had to do myself rather than have other people to do it for me.  It was a daily struggle to keep myself accountable and prioritise correctly and I did not have the expertise or experience to do each role as well as it should have been done.

Now, did I still run a successful business?  Sure, I did, but when I look back I often think how much better it could have been if I had sought professional business advice.  Someone who I trusted that could keep me focussed, hold me accountable and challenge my thinking.

I see this struggle everyday when I talk to business owners.  The ones that have engaged professional business advice look happier, more relaxed and in control of their business.  The ones that don’t seek help look stressed, complain of money issues, are worried about future sales, are continuously having staff issues and their personal life is not great.

Owning a business should and can be fun, productive and rewarding.  If this is not the case with your business, then why don’t you engage some help with a professional business advisor.  Don’t have regrets in 10 years’ time on how much better your business could have been.