Nothing of any great significance is ever accomplished alone. While you are starting out you likely cannot afford to hire a management team, but there is no reason you cannot assemble a team of professionals to advise you when you need them. Once you are established and generating revenue, you can consider putting a management team in place.
As COO of a $40 million company, I was responsible for the finance department as well as all other departments. That is when I learned that you need a good relationship with your banker. Our banker was essential to our success since business did not always go as planned; yours probably does not always go as planned either. Having an established relationship with your banker before times get tough helps you to navigate the tough times in business.
- Bankers as Strategic Partners: There are times in your business where the relationship with your banker will keep you going. Your banker wants you to be successful and they can be a valuable resource to help you achieve that success. They understand business and they understand that business does not always go as planned. Treat your banker as a trusted advisor, not as someone to avoid. Be proactive with your communication with your banker.
- Advisors who Have Been There: In addition to building a strong relationship with your banker, I suggest that you also get a business consultant, mentor, or coach. There are a lot of professionals in the consulting and coaching space. My advice is to pick one that has actually managed or been in charge of a growing company, not someone who has been to a two-week coaching program. You cannot learn how to lead and manage a successful business by taking a two-week training series. The most successful consultants and coaches have actually been in the trenches running companies in good times and bad. Look for a professional with a successful track record.
- Building Your Advisory Team: In addition to your banker, consultant, and coach, I suggest that you also create a list of professionals that you can turn to for guidance and advice. You should have an attorney, a bookkeeper or accountant, and an insurance agent to serve as advisors for your business. They should be proactively providing you with guidance and advice. Remember, you do not have to go it alone, and you shouldn’t go it alone. Chances are good that you are skilled in your profession, not in the fields of law, accounting, and insurance.
Learn how to develop a great relationship with your banker. Get my book, Make Your Banker Happy or reach out to us. 503-312-3145