The importance of friends in business

Things haven’t been going so well. Cash isn’t coming in to the business as much as I would like, and I can see problems with the way my work is going. So how can I find a way forward?

I am meeting my friend Verity Pabla to have a catch up. Verity is a singer/songwriter and film-maker, and in the last 12 months, her company I Am Not A Machine Productions has been doing very well. We chat for a while about how things are going, and our similar interests both inside and outside of work. Verity is on the Graduate Mentoring scheme at ICE, the Institute for Creative Enterprise, and when she tells me of the services they offer, I am amazed! Hotdesking, meeting rooms, post boxes, mentors and interns… this sounds just like what I need! It turns out Verity is even on her way there, so she walks me down and introduces me to the receptionist. Within a few minutes, I have a meeting booked in with the programme manager!

When you’re stuck, remember that friends are a valuable resource. Call a buddy who also has their own business; have a catch up. Even if they do something quite different. TRIZ, the thinking tool, teaches us that a problem solving approach from one industry can help another industry. And it can benefit you to stand back, look at the bigger picture and see what works on a macro level, before applying it to your own situation.

Tell your friend your problems and find out what works for them. The comparisons you draw will definitely help you find a way forward, even if that means you don’t like your friend’s ideas! It still allows you to use a process of elimination. And who knows? You might find that there’s a lucky coincidence in there – that they know the person you really need to speak to.

If you don’t have a buddy with their own business – find one! Look for local business networks, or at least use internet forums.

A problem shared is a problem halved.

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