As the owner of a small business, you’ve no doubt accomplished quite a bit—raising capital, finding space, fulfilling orders and much, much more. The skills and energy you bring to your company are invaluable, but it’s important not to spread yourself too thin.
Developing relationships with partners and trusted advisors can allow you to capitalize on your core strengths and talents without taking a toll on your energy or ability. These people are able to bring their skills to the table so you can focus on the facets of your business you most enjoy.
Critical Business Partnerships
Business partners and advisors can provide experience and insights that complement your own and contribute toward continued success. Here are a few important relationships you may want to nurture:
- Accountant. An accountant can advise you on the accounting method your business uses, whether cash or accrual. They can also help maintain tax records, create financial forecasts and balance sheets, develop budgets and determine profitability.
- Insurance Agent. Without adequate insurance, your entire enterprise—or even your personal finances—could be in jeopardy if someone is injured on your property or by your product, or if your location is hit by fire, theft or a natural disaster. Insurance agents offer a variety of policies, including:
- general liability insurance
- product liability insurance
- commercial property or home-based business insurance
- errors and omissions insurance
Insurance agents can help you choose health and retirement insurance plans for you and your employees.
- Attorney. Of course, having an attorney is critical should you become the target of a lawsuit. Attorneys can also advise on zoning compliance, real estate contracts, incorporation of a business, trademark and copyright protection, and developing agreements with employees, customers and suppliers.
- Banker. Your financial partner should understand the needs of small- to medium-sized businesses. You’ll want access to basic business banking services such as checking and a line of credit or other loan options, as well as credit card and payroll processing. At Navy Federal Credit Union, we understand the needs of our member businesses as well as offer programs and resources available to military veteran entrepreneurs.
- Suppliers. Building strong relationships with suppliers is crucial to your business. Solid supplier connections may help you reduce risk by ensuring a reliable inventory pipeline, maintaining quality and providing timely delivery. Good relationships may allow you to negotiate flexible or longer payment terms, which can help if your business is cyclical or faces a temporary downturn.
- Mentors and Networks. Create connections with other small business owners and seek out a trusted mentor who can offer one-on-one guidance and coaching as it applies to running a business. Networking and industry groups are great resources to start forming these types of relationships. Consider checking out Vistage, Score or Entrepreneurs’ Organization to get started.
We’re Here to Help
At Navy Federal Credit Union, we have the solutions you need, and we can connect you to resources to help your business thrive. Watch success stories and learn more about starting, managing and growing your business on Navy Federal’s Business Services page.