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Founding a business gives you independence: this is one of the major things that draws entrepreneurs. If you’ve been frustrated by having to work within the confines and restrictions of an existing business, when you know things could be better organised, you might have daydreamed about setting up your own business where you’re not held back.

While this independence is a big boon for many entrepreneurs, it comes with a dark side: isolation. If you’re in charge, you can find yourself without peers to bounce ideas off, or simply share your concerns and celebrate successes. It can be difficult to have an equal relationship with people you’re employing, and there are good arguments that you shouldn’t!

Friends and family may be supportive but they don’t necessarily know the stresses that you’re operating under.

That means you have to look elsewhere for peers to get advice you can trust, to use as a sounding board, and to share your worries.

Expert Consultants

The first place you can look is at independent consultancy firms. As well are getting you expert advice, a consultant who’s independent of your business can be a useful peer to discuss ideas with. They’re not obliged to agree with you, and their job isn’t contingent on thinking you’re right – in fact, a good consultant should be giving you new information, challenging you and telling you where you’re wrong!

A brand tracking agency can solve your market research problems while also helping to relieve the problem of founder isolation.

A Business Lawyer

It’s well worth finding a good lawyer for the help they can give you when you’re setting up your business. They can ensure your articles of incorporation correctly outline your business, that you’re registered in the right way and help you avoid paying taxes and fees you’re not due to!

On top of that, as an experienced and expert professional in their field, they can be a useful sounding board, a source of wisdom that can help you navigate the tricky waters of founding your first business.

Your Rivals

It might seem counter-productive to look to your rivals for support, but by definition no one understands the difficulties of running a business in your industry like…someone else running a business in your industry.

When you have the chance to network, then these are your peers – and as long as you’re not sharing sensitive operational information, then discussing the industry and the challenges you face can be an important safety salve and lead to both of you doing a better job!

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