One of the wonderful things about entrepreneurs is the fact that they are so full of excitement over an innovative new product or service that is burning within to get out to the world at large. However, sometimes that excitement gets in the way of making sound strategic decisions and that’s why it is always a good idea to develop relationships that can help grow your company from the ground up and all along the way to a successful enterprise. Just bear in mind that these relationships don’t just appear overnight. They must be nurtured and developed.
A Financial Backer – A Banker
One of the most important ‘must haves’ for any startup is a source of funding. Whether you are starting a restaurant in Atlantic City and need to speak with a Columbia Bank NJ banker or a business angel who is looking to fund an innovative new venture, financial backing or funding is a must. This is one relationship that really needs to be developed. A startup can go nowhere without the funds to keep things going until the business begins to turn a profit.
Every business needs a team. Typically, these are paid employees who work for the company but sometimes the team is a group of entrepreneurs pooling their resources to get a new venture off the ground. This kind of organizational team is often seen in web development or marketing companies when the startup is a barebones group of experts, each in their own field. These relationships are vital if the company is to grow.
Clients / Customers
Once you have developed a relationship with your source of funding and you have a team working together to get your products or services developed and market ready, you then need clients or customers to buy what you have to sell. Today’s customers are savvier than ever and they need to be nurtured as well. Today’s consumers crave a relationship from the brands they deal with so take the time to develop this relationship so that they are loyal and will stay with you through the ups and downs of starting a new business.
A Legal Team and Accountant
These relationships can be kept formal if required but they must still be nurtured. Your accountant is going to keep your books and will probably be the first person to notice if you are experiencing any type of financial difficulties whatsoever. Of course your lawyer is going to ensure that everything is legal and done by the books so that nothing can interfere with profits that are rightfully yours. A good legal team and a strong accountant are a must now as you start out and all along the way.
Few companies can exist in the 21st Century without a sound IT infrastructure. From taking online orders to keeping books and scheduling workers, few things can be accomplished without a computer system, online access and a good telecommunications system. Your IT specialist can set up proprietary programs for your company or help you work with existing software locally or in the Cloud. There is one thing for certain in all this, every company needs at least one person who is well versed and proficient in the world of Information Technology.
An Insurance Agent
One mistake that some new business owners make is to try to save a few bucks by going online to get quotes on business insurance. The only problem with this is that every state has different rules and regulations and some require various types of insurance that other states don’t require and some require more insurance than others. Develop a good relationship with your insurance agent so that you know you have the best protection in all areas so that an accident or legal suit doesn’t take your business before it’s even started!
These are the key relationships which every startup must develop but be mindful of the fact that any relationship isn’t built overnight. Just as a romantic relationship takes months and sometimes years to develop, so too do some business relationships. One thing is for sure in today’s economy and that is that no one is an island. No one can operate alone without a strong support team and this is especially crucial when it comes to business relationships. These will be your core group of people you will keep with you over time. Some may come and some may go but these ‘positions’ will always need to be filled.