The key to surviving the ups and downs of entrepreneurship

7 Minutes

Growing a successful business from a start-up can be a highly rewarding experience. As accounting and tax professionals to forward-thinking entrepreneurs, we see firsthand the joys of breaking through sales targets and growing the team around you.

We also see entrepreneurs experience the less positive aspects of growing a business.

The truth is growth is rarely linear. There are bumps in the road to navigate. Growing pains. As you reach a new milestone, there’s a fresh set of growth challenges to face, where previous models and approaches you used no longer work. We share the common reasons startups fail (and how to avoid them) here.

The world of an entrepreneur can also be a lonely place. All key decisions fall to you. When you have employees, you become responsible for their livelihood too. The pressure can feel immense, especially in the current economic climate.

The key to surviving the ups and downs of entrepreneurship is to have the right advisors around you.

How advisors can support entrepreneurs through the good times and the bad

Successful entrepreneurship is not about avoiding the bumps in the road or making mistakes of any kind. Mistakes will happen and they will form part of your story. Some will even put your business on a different path. As long as you can recover and learn from those mistakes, they are just part and parcel of running a business.

A lesson many business owners learn along the way is the value in having the right business advisors around you.

A business advisor can take many forms; they could be a business coach or mentor, your accountant, a management consultant for example. Here are some ways they can support your business:

Real life experience – they may have been an entrepreneur themselves or played a key part in growing a successful business. They have already gone through (and survived) those growing pains and can advise you accordingly.

Spotting problems you cannot see – their experience may also allow them to anticipate potential problems you could come up against, and even spot them before you do. This does not mean you avoid these problems entirely, but it could give you additional time to prepare for them and minimise their impact.

A sounding board – as previously mentioned, being an entrepreneur can be a lonely place. It may not be appropriate to discuss high level decisions with your team. An advisor can act as that sounding board. They have an external perspective whereas you are deeply engrossed in the business. They can help raise you up to look about the parapet.

Connections – this benefit can save you both time and heartache. If you need to bring new skills into your business as part of your growth strategy, your advisors will most likely know and can make introductions to potential suitors.

Bringing the motivation – as you hit those bumps and start of venture off the planned path, your confidence can take a knock as well. In our experience this is all part of successful growth, but it can be hard to dust yourself off and get back up on your feet. An advisor can step in as that motivational speaker to get your mindset back into the right place. It happens to everyone.

How to find the right advisor for you

In our experience, entrepreneurs will start looking for an advisor once a problem or challenge has come to the forefront. Perhaps growth has stagnated. You are struggling to recruit the right skills into the business. The business needs financial investment to develop the technology it is using.

An ideal starting point is to ask your network for recommendations (or existing advisors if you have any). Make a shortlist of who you would like to meet. Look at how they communicate and check out their LinkedIn recommendations. If this feels like someone you want to meet and work with, spend time with them in person. The quality of a relationship is key to its success, so you need to make sure there is no personality clash.

Using your accountant as an advisor

One of the first advisors you will naturally bring into your business is an accountant.

At WoodWhite Accountants, we believe that entrepreneurs are the resilient go-getters who drive our economy forward, but we know they can always achieve more.

We offer much more than compliance services (although we do a great job at relieving you of the business admin side of things). We are a trusted advisor to many of our clients supporting them from the beginning of their journey to attain their professional and personal goals.

Whatever lifecycle stage your business is at, we can help you overcome your current challenges and guide you smoothly onto the next stage. Since 1998, we’ve helped many entrepreneurs to grow their business and be by their side for whatever arises.

If we sound like the type of advisor you are looking for or if you would like to discuss the business challenges you are experiencing, we would like to hear from you. Call us on 0118 997 7100 or email