Ever since childhood, you've heard some tried-and-true phrases: Two heads are better than one. You can get by with a little help from your friends. No one of us is smart as all of us are.
They're well-used because they're true. And they extend to the right partnerships, too. Establishing reliable partnerships makes sound business sense. Yet many small business owners don't think to bring in another person or business--internally or externally--to help their companies succeed. Call it ego, or call it a natural propensity to do everything oneself, but too many business owners behave like lone wolves when they really should be gathering a strong, trusted pack around them.
1. New Brain, Fresh Eyes, Can't Lose
This is a spin on the famous rally cry from the Friday Night Lights TV series: "Clear eyes, full heart, can't lose." When you bring in new partners, you will get more than just extra hands working on your business. You'll get that person's unique perspective and their distinctively creative ideas. You'll also get fresh eyes on problems and issues you have been staring at for too long. You'd be surprised by how easily solutions occur to someone who is new to a problem.
2. The Accountability Factor
Any productivity expert worth their salt will tell you that one of the best ways to get things done is to be accountable to someone. Having someone to "check up on you" can motivate you to do the things you usually put off. It's also a fantastic way to have someone correct you on any counterproductive or otherwise detrimental behaviors you may not realize you have!
It can be as simple as having a monthly meeting with another business owner, where you can trade notes and commit to getting certain tasks done by a certain date. It's very motivating--after all, none of us wants to admit to a respected peer that you didn't meet your deadlines.
3. Balance, Balance, Balance
Even the most exceptional, rock star business owners have faults, weaknesses, or areas where we struggle. Not everything can come naturally to everyone. Some people are better at numbers than they are ideating new marketing ideas. If you are a major right brain or creative kind of person, the left brain or logic stuff might not be as effortless for you.
This is where partnerships can really help you. Bringing in someone who "fills in" your gaps can make sure you're covered on all aspects of your business. Think of it as a counterbalancing measure that will keep you moving full steam ahead instead of veering off the tracks.
One of the most common areas where small business owners struggle is in finance or bookkeeping. Managing money is a necessary evil, but it's not necessarily second nature to most entrepreneurs. This is why many companies are choosing to partner with financial and accounting services and leveraging them as a "virtual CFO."
Sage Live has become just that for many customers. This robust, powerful accounting engine automates many routine financial and accounting tasks. It also offers consulting to their customers by assigning them their own personal customer success coach. Between this coach and the automated power of the Sage Live accounting engine itself, more and more business owners are enjoying the ability to offload their tedious accounting tasks to your virtual CFO.
No matter which partner you choose, it's important for your internal and external programs to have a complete view of your business. This way you can ensure everyone is using the same information to make decisions. In addition, storing your financials in the cloud, you can allow external partners like accounting advisors to access and analyze them for you. This takes you out of the money managing equation and allows you to get back to doing what makes you money.