Why small businesses should secure consultants in today’s economic times.
I don’t know if you have ever seen the movie “Blindside” yet there’s a great underlying theme about how the most successful teams take care of its players. In today’s small business world in particular, nothing could be more important. Long gone are the days of full-time Directors of various departments. Today we need to seek out the best in the business and partner with those who do their job best.
Who Should You Have on Your Team?
Ideally, a well-rounded small business should have a hit list like this one to be the caregivers of its operation. Sure, it’s important to have the contacts yet to be most successful, it’s critical for the owner of the business to develop and maintain close working relationships. You never know when you may need to reach out and touch their talent; often it is when you least expect your need for advice. Some team members are obvious, others are not: all are vital in today’s complex business world.
- a banker
- an accountant/tax specialist
- a lawyer
- a sales and marketing professional
- an IT specialist
You’ve certainly heard the saying: “The customer comes first”. I’m OK with that infamous business mantra yet fully believe it’s the EMPLOYEES that must come first. They are the face of your company. This relationship could be the most important of all of the relationships for the owner of any business to cultivate. The time and effort that you invest in your employees can be the best return on investment that a small business can make.
Do you really know your banker? Would he or she recognize you from a distance? If not, it’s time to repair that relationship gap and get to know the person who can make or break your business in the best or worst of times. Sure, the day to day banking support is a given, but what about when you need some serious cash for a capital investment, make a significant commercial real estate purchase, or need to get your credit in line? Make your banker your best business friend.
Accountant or Tax Specialist
If you have a knack of balancing your own books, that’s a bonus when running a small business. Yet what time do you really have to allocate to this critical component of your business operation? Having an accountant and/or tax specialist in your back pocket is one of the best investments you can make. It also helps your credibility with your bank and other financial partners. When you have an accountant that you can trust to handle the intricacies of your day to day operations, you’ll have more time to focus on your future. And that alone is worth the partnership with a financial specialist.
I know lawyers in general don’t have the best rep, yet they should. They have brought some of the best advice to our business and can do the same for you. Be it a liability attorney, business lawyer, or legal firm, find one that fits your personality and business style and keep their number handy. With all of the challenges that come with owning your own business, it just makes good sense to have a friend who can offer some sound legal advice when you need it most.
A Sales and Marketing Professional
Many of the world’s largest companies continue to trim from the top and with that, many of the finest sales and marketing professionals in the world have opened their own consulting firms. And that’s a great thing for the small business world. Today you can contract with someone who used to hold a Chief Marketing Officer position, spend a few hours a month to tap their brain and voila ~ you receive their professional opinion at a fraction of the cost that you would have paid if they were a full time employee. Run, don’t walk, to partner with a marketing consultant today.
An IT Specialist
With the ever-changing world of information technology (IT), you’d have to be extremely savvy in the art of IT to handle your computer needs in-house. Similar to the situation just noted above, there are endless professionals in the field who can make your life a lot easier. From the basics of keeping your computer alive and on-line, to elements that are just as crucial to keep your business competitive, your operating costs in line, and productivity in full motion, IT specialists can watch your internal operations so you can continue to concentrate on your company’s external products and services.
So Who’s Got Your Back?
As a small business owner, it seems like the list of “must haves” to succeed are never-ending.
Don’t let this short list stop your progress. In fact, when you have business specialists by your side to do their best on your behalf, you will have more time to do what you do best. And isn’t that why you got into your business for in the first place?
When you’re ready for some more advice about how small businesses are truly succeeding in today’s challenging business times, call us at Forbush and Associates.