There's a big ... between working FOR ... ... BY ... Every smart small business ... learn how to build a TEAM of people around themwho will help build the business
There's a big difference between working FOR yourself, and working BY yourself. Every smart small business operator should learn how to build a TEAM of people around them who will help build the business - even when they are independent owners.
The very first person on your team should be your accountant, or at least a bookkeeper. Even if you're a math whiz, and love doing your own books (will you come and work for ME, please?), an accountant should still be one of the people with whom you consult regularly.
Based on your financial statements, they can help get you back on track in a hurry if you start veering off-course.
The next person you want to have on your team is your banker. Even if you didn't have to borrow seed money or start-up funds, it's always a good idea to develop a positive relationship with your banker - you never know WHEN you might need to dip into the pot, and you might as well have a good rapport with the person who makes the decision!
Another person you may need to have on your team is a business lawyer, especially if you are importing or exporting, or doing any kind of international business. If you're in either the information or manufacturing business, a good corporate lawyer understands the nuances of things like patents, copyrights and trademarks, too - and many of them now have a pretty good handle on the demands and diversity of e-commerce enterprises, as well.
Another team member that's vitally important is your mentor - and some of us are lucky enough to have more than one. If you don't already have a mentor, I highly recommend finding one - there's nothing like the voice of experience to see you through a start-up or growth phase, or even the introduction of new products or services.
Employees, if you have them, are key members of your team. Don't ever forget that if you need them, then you couldn't be building your business without them!
Then there's your friends and family members, who most certainly make up a part of your team - sometimes the most important part. These are the people who, although they may not know your business like you do, know YOU better than anyone. That means they'll know when you need support and encouragement, or when you need a big pat on the back for a job well done.
Finally, the most important people on your team are your customers or clients. Yes, that's what I said - who else can give you immediate and honest feedback about your service or product and your customer service skills? See them as part of the team that's helping you build your business, and you can't go wrong!
Together, ALL of the people on your team can make your business successful.