As the business world becomes more complex, a small-business owner may no longer be an expert in all the specific disciplines that a small business needs. Despite the fact that small-business owners must necessarily focus on the production and management of sufficient cash flow and get customers at the door, it is also important for them to cultivate and nurture relationships with a support team . This group includes:
An accountant / tax expert
An insurance broker
A sales and marketing professional
Although thinking about a “relationship” with employees may seem a bit strange to the business owner, this relationship to the owner may be the most important of all relationships. Because good employees represent a major resource in a small business, the time and effort it takes to nurture that relationship by the owner gives huge returns on investment. Employees who feel, respect and admire them almost always produce more than anticipated.
Employees represent – indeed they are – customers to the company. Business relationships with customers depend largely on their experience and interactions with employees. Happy employees want to satisfy customers, do a good job and stay in the job. This is critical to the continuity of high-quality customer service and avoids the significant expense of new, inexperienced employees, employee turnover, employee withdrawal and costly but unavoidable “fraudulent mistakes”. Additionally, by being reliable, long-term employees can free the owner to handle on-site duties as needed. Establishing a retirement plan can benefit both you and your employees.
A banking relationship is an obvious requirement, not only for regular business banking, but especially when the need to grow capital, increase inventory, buy a building, bridge the short-term gap between payables and receivables or address the cash flow seasonality it occurs. In business. A banker who goes for a loan must know the business owner, understand the history of the business and have an understanding of the owner’s judgment and credibility regarding loan usage and payment possibilities. If there is a long-term relationship, or it is at least in the process of being built, then the loan request has a better likelihood of being approved. If the business has borrowed and repaid in the past, established track records and relationships increase the chances of approval. (Debt protection insurance can help in the event of financial difficulty.
Accountant or Tax Specialist
A relationship with an accountant is equally important if the business owner must have confidence in the quality, clarity, timeliness and understanding of the financial reporting provided. A relationship with an accountant can also increase a business’s credibility with a banker when the business is seeking additional capital.
Many small businesses combine accountant and tax-specialist functions in an external entity for convenience, time savings, and cost reasons. This is fine if the accountant has the necessary tax experience for the industry and the tax expertise to serve in a specific business.
Every business owner must have a relationship with a business lawyer, liability lawyer, or law firm. When an owner invests money and effort in building a business, it should be protected from losses resulting from a lawsuit.
As part of business risk management, an insurance broker must also have a reliable relationship with the business that will provide optimal coverage in related areas within business budget constraints.
Based on the owner’s sales and marketing expertise, a relationship with a marketing professional is highly advised. Most small businesses start with an entrepreneur who has a specific technical skill, a business certification or follows clients for good work.