Dave Normoyle Founder of South Calgary Dreambuilders, your renovation specialists
Small businesses are always a challenge to manage for their owners, regardless of what sector they are in. Often the business owner wears many hats as they walk through their day to day business. Most small business owners manage at least some portion of sales and marketing, PR, human resources, day-to-day financials, often hands-on in daily operations, and so on, and so on.
Just as important as attracting new business and satisfying your clientele is your ability to work and partner with other businesses that can help make your life easier.
For each small business owner, that will mean something different. While there is some common ground regardless of what you small business is, the scope of your partnerships can vary dependent on your business, your marketplace, the service you provide and where your own strengths are within your type of business. For example, you may know your product line extensively, but perhaps do not have the skills to market it. Or maybe you lack the polish or confidence to speak with those decision makers who sit where the air is thin.
I think all small business owners will agree that there is great importance in partnering with a financial institution that will allow and support your growth. Or with an insurance company that understands your business. Having a great accountant as part of your power team is key, and can save you thousands of dollars each year. A lawyer can generally be worth their weight in gold as well. Regardless of your small business, your power team can, and should, be a benefit and not a hindrance. If a member of your small business power team is holding you back, it is time to go shopping!
How about your suppliers? If you do not have reliable suppliers who can provide pricing and service that works for you, it becomes more challenging to hold on to customers. We search out suppliers who possess the same attitude towards their clients and their business as we do. Our suppliers go above and beyond to ensure that their customers are happy. We look for suppliers who understand the challenges of, and work with, small businesses. Often they are a small business themselves, perhaps family owned or a business with a history of long-term employees. Generally if a business has been able to hold on to their employees, they have long-term relationships with the companies they work with.
Small Business is challenging, and often the foundation of that business is a love for the industry or sector they are in. Ask any small businessman you know what hours they work. Why would they work the way they do? Because they love what they do. That love should, and can, be enhanced by surrounding your business with great business partners. It pays to revisit those partners on a regular basis to make certain that they are being an asset to your business, and assess where you might be able to do better.