Starting a business is never easy: the planning, countless computations, sleepless nights—all of this accompanied by a wave of uncertainty if you’re doing the right thing. If you’re a veteran entrepreneur who has years of experience under your belt, you probably wished that someone was there to give you advice when you were starting. While you can’t visit the past, you can influence the future: the new generation of entrepreneurs.
Business Needs Innovation
Businesses thrive by innovating, but you can’t innovate if you don’t have the proper foundation. While making mistakes is a part of the learning process, it helps to know when and how to avoid more costly blunders. And with many new ideas from the younger generation, we can’t afford to waste these innovations to benefit the industry. This is where experienced entrepreneurs can lend a hand, but entrepreneurs helping rookie entrepreneurs isn’t as common as it should be.
But why is that?
Perhaps we’re afraid of the competition. It might have taken you a good amount of time and hardships to get to where you are now, and you probably think that everyone has to go through the same struggles. But think about it this way: if a younger entrepreneur’s business thrives thanks to your advice, chances are they’ll consider you a partner rather than a competitor. Not only would you have helped a bright-eyed entrepreneur, but you’ll have gained an ally and a new connection.
You Have Time
A common saying among business owners is that they “don’t have time.” We’ve all been guilty of using this excuse to get out of anything we don’t wish to participate in. Aside from that, wearing our lack of time like a badge of honor is a thing of the past, and as cliché, as it may sound, if there’s a will, there’s a way. Sparing even 5 to 10 minutes of your time to help a struggling entrepreneur is more helpful to them than you realize.
If you don’t think you have the time, find a way to make time. Time management is the key to a successful business, after all. Don’t shoulder all the tasks you think you can handle and delegate your tasks among your employees and other partners. You’ll have a lighter load, more time, and no more excuses to make.
It’s an Investment
What might cross your mind when it comes to helping another business thrive by giving away some money. Under the proper circumstances, this can be a great way to help a new business thrive. However, guiding a newcomer towards success is more than just giving them money. If you want to help, give advice and tips that you would have liked to have known when you were starting.
Think of it as an investment: the businesses you lend a hand to will surely be grateful for your input, and since word travels fast in the industry, your efforts won’t go unnoticed. This becomes good PR for your company and a way for you to connect with other businesses. And you never know, the people you help might want to return the favor one day.
How You Can Help
Having a mentor is an important element to helping someone grow as an entrepreneur. You can lend a hand to new companies by working together with them. Try to observe their business framework, see where they might be lacking, and help them find ways to improve in these areas. You can also make use of your connections here. For instance, if you’re helping out a manufacturer of heating and ventilation systems that’s weak in sales, you can get in touch with an HVAC sales agency that can help them increase their sales.
Choose to support local startups or SMBs, who would appreciate all the help they can get.
Pass Along Opportunities
If you’ve been in the industry for a long time, you’re bound to come across many opportunities that aren’t a good fit for your business. Pass it along to someone who you might think would be a better fit. While it may not always happen, someone else might fill you in on an opportunity better suited for your business. It may not always happen, but you won’t lose anything by paying it forward.
Pool Your Resources
Finding a company in need that has similar interests to yours can be a good thing. Instead of seeing them as competition, see what you can both do to lighten the workload. When you work for a common goal, you might be able to share resources (suppliers, contractors, etc.) and get work done more efficiently.
The world needs more experienced entrepreneurs who are willing to help their younger counterparts. If both work together, the amount of ideas that can be turned into reality becomes endless.