Have you ever been to a music festival? I recently attended a weekend music festival and was struck by the collaborations that had to take place between different agencies in order for the weekend to run successfully. There were the actual singers and musicians that performed on the days, the technical guys, the lighting guys, the security staff, the event hosts, the sales staff, the first aid team, the TV crews, the cleaning staff, the ushers, the food vendors, the list was endless.
In order to be successful in any worthwhile venture, we need the help of others and the ability to work alongside them as one team – one vision, different people, varied tasks; all working towards the same goal. To think that we can go it all alone; the ‘lone ranger mentality’, is many times a misjudgement of what we think it requires to build a successful venture, and can rob us of valuable help and resources, especially when it comes to setting up a social enterprise.
Reflecting back over the music festival, it was clear that although the idea for the weekend music festival might have come from one person, it took many people coming together to make it happen.
Perhaps you’re thinking of setting up a business, you don’t have to go it all alone; are there any business start-up courses offered by your local community? Have you looked at what funding might be available; if you need to raise capital to get yourself started on a community project? Some local boroughs and organisations offer free business start-up courses, which prove invaluable in helping people make the transition to becoming business owners, and some housing associations like the Orbit group are investing money into running local community iniatives, to help their customers set up small businesses.
Are you already in business and wanting to improve your performance and efficiency or thinking of expanding? Have you considered speaking to a business consultant? Are you networking and linking up with other business owners in your field, or are you a bit like an over-protective parent; sheltering your business in ways that stunt its growth in the long run?
Wherever you are on the business ladder, remember ‘no man is an island!
Some useful websites to help you get the ball rolling:
Impartial information and support for businesses seeking finance: www.betterbusinessfinance.co.uk
Funding information portal for small U.K businesses: www.j4bgrants.co.uk
Funding for arts and culture: www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding