Peyton Manning reached the NFL Super Bowl with the help of wide receiver Marvin Harrison. Michael Jordan garner six championship titles with the help from Scottie Pippen. Who is your Harrison or Pippen? Every team has essential players who takes the team to the next level. In turn, most organizations should have a banker, CPA, lawyer, and mentor/advisor on their team. 

Each team member plays a different role, therefore these outside partners are valuable resources. When you focus on building the team, the partners will become strong advocates. This will be beneficial to the organization when you are in need.

In order to cultivate the relationship, constant communication is required. So, visiting with each partner on a regularly basis is vital. In fact, meeting quarterly for just ten minutes will go a long way. To ensure these meetings are useful be clear on the objectives presented so that both parties’ benefit. 

To help establish and grow these relationships, you need to know what to discuss, confidently maximizing the business relationship. The following items will help guide a discussion:

  1. Conduct a Business Financial Review

Know your numbers.  Discuss the good and bad regarding your business finances. Be able to present a cash flow along with sales projections.  Educate your partners on your industry and how you expect to perform. Ask for ideas and strategies on how to improve your financial results. From a tax perspective, always ask how your current financials will affect your taxes. Are there tasks you need to do to lower your tax bill?

  1. Review Current Business Situation

Be willing to provide an overview of your business. What products and services are selling or stagnant?  How are your clients performing? Have you changed vendors for a particular service? Ask your partners their thoughts on your situation. Discuss how your organization is creating an environment to attract lenders or investors. Notify your partners of new contracts entered.

  1. Discuss Future Goals

Be open to share your business’s strategic goals. Involve your partners in your business plan. Your partners can expose gaps or weaknesses. A fresh perspective can help you see underlying problems. Ask your lawyer if there are any risks you need to be aware of for upcoming changes. Such as: How do I make sure I’m compliant with local, state, and federal agencies?  If you are expanding or pivoting to a new product or service, ask what business records should be kept.

As small business owners, you are not an expert on every subject. There are so many dimensions to manage for a business. As well as lots to learn about managing a business. It is best to talk with the experts on your team, and get advice for your business needs. Partners should be available to provide advice, counsel, and solutions. Demonstrate to your partners you support their organizations and expect to receive the same support. Take your business to the next level by creating your dream team to back you up so you can focus on vision and strategy.

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