Harry Potter didn’t do it all himself, so what makes you think you need to?
Working by yourself, for yourself, can give you a great sense of achievement. However, when you run your own business, an ability to recognise when you need to ask for help, employ staff or delegate is vital.
Harry Potter was aware of his limitations. He recognised that without the help of his friends, he would never win the day. So perhaps you should be more Harry – and surround yourself with a winning team?
Disadvantaged by his broken, hand-me-down wizarding equipment and not a star of academia, Ron is nonetheless very loyal and brave. He brings a touch of humour to the darkest of hours and situations, and shows an aptitude for practical skills and tactics that sometimes succeed where magic and encyclopaedic knowledge do not.
Do you have a Ron in your life? Someone to field those difficult phone calls, perhaps, and chase up those invoices? Someone who can come up with practical solutions you might not be able to see, and who can use humour to defuse tense situations and lighten the mood when things aren’t going well? Having a Ron around the office – someone who can be depended on to stick with something until the job is done – could be invaluable.
Ron may not be able to fix the photocopier for you (though he might!), and unlike Hermione, he may not be able to quote the manual, but he will be able to get someone in to fix it – without needing constant prompting or direction from you.
Hermione is also loyal to the bone, but her strengths are hard work and intelligence. She soaks up knowledge like a sponge. Although Hermione knows the rules inside out and likes to stick to them, she can think of highly imaginative ways to work within the system to the maximum advantage of herself, Harry and their friends. She also displays compassion and a strong social conscience.
Your Hermione will probably be a great business accountant or financial adviser. Instead of harbouring an encyclopaedia of spells and curses in their brain, your Hermione will know everything there is to know about the implications of your business registration, the pros and cons of registering for VAT, what expenses you can claim against tax and how to do so… their expertise will be endless, and crucial to the way you run your business. Hermione-the-accountant will deal with HMRC for you, understanding their jargon and countering it her own line-by-line knowledge of the pertinent tax regulations.
Maybe your Hermione could be an adviser on legal and ethical issues too, making sure clients of all backgrounds and abilities can access your services, and that you don’t fall foul of equality regulations. Hermione Granger gives a voice to the oppressed, so in the real world, your substitute can ensure you keep all your clients and employees in mind and treat them fairly.
Dumbledore is highly perceptive and intelligent, and although he is the ultimate giver of sage advice, he also encourages Harry to come up with his own solutions and gives him the space to make mistakes, while keeping a watchful eye on him from a distance to ensure he can step in if necessary. Dumbledore has a knack for supplying the tools Harry needs before he even knows he needs them, such as the Invisibility Cloak, and knows everything there is to know about magic.
The Dumbledore in your life may be a business mentor or industry expert. Trade associations, local business consortiums and mentoring networks could all be great places to meet a business mentor – someone experienced and successful in a similar industry or service.
On the other hand, maybe your Dumbledore could be a highly competent and experienced manager that you bring on board to run the day-to-day affairs of your business, or to take charge of that new office you’d love to open? If you want to expand, you will need expert staff to run new premises or take charge of new sidelines and enterprises, delivering the same standard of service you already provide.
So who could fill the gap in your business? Do you need a Ron, a Hermione, a Dumbledore – or all three? Of course, if there’s heavy lifting involved, having your very own Hagrid could be more useful!
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We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!