Success doesn’t come from one person. It comes from a group of people. The saying, “Two heads are better than one,” supports the logic. Even if you are a sole entrepreneur or have a small firm. You can’t do it alone. Having support systems in place makes you successful, happy, and sane! There are several different support systems you should be utilizing in your business.
Support comes in many different forms and each one is needed. You need support from your family, because they will be there no matter what. They need to understand how they can support you and what that support looks like. That may be helping you with some of the chores at the house or organizing files at the office. There may be something you can have them help occasionally or there may be something you have them do every day. It’s also just knowing they believe in what you do and encourage you!
Another form of support is your friends They, too, can help you in your business. More than likely, they will be cheering you on and asking how business is or what’s new in business. They are genuinely interested in what your business is doing. Friends are great referral sources, too, because they have a network of connections. Many times they are singing your praises and can tell others about your business. They also need to support your time. In other words, when you miss a party or have to leave early from lunch to meet a client for an important meeting, they understand you are making an investment in your business. Friends also are there to give you an outside perspective on things and have some fun. Everyone needs more fun in their lives!
Finding like minded business professionals inside and outside your industry is another support system you need to be successful. This one is important for a couple different reasons. You want to form relationships with business people who have the same thought process as you. They want to improve their business, grow their business, add employees, etc. Whatever those goals are for their business, you support one another and aid in assistance. There will be times when you are flying high and doing well, while they may be experiencing a business low. You are there to support and brainstorm together.
These professionals can be found in a variety of places. Being involved in industry specific organizations, civic, or community events are just several of the places you can find these like-minded professionals.
You can also form relationships that will help your business operations by forming strategic partnerships. Strategic partnerships will not only benefit your actual business operations, but it will also bring work in the door. It’s two-fold. These strategic relationships are good referral sources and bringing good business strategies to you, too.
Through your networking, you should be able to connect with other architects, engineers, or construction owners that are outside your geographic territory and that aren’t your competitors. These people are a wealth of knowledge and know your business systems. You should brainstorm about recruiting and retaining talent, what project management software is the best, which accounting software you use, when the right time to hire a marketer or business developer, just to name a few. Building these professional, strategic partnerships gives you another form of support in your business.
Finding these partnerships may be difficult initially, but with some primary and secondary research you’ll find the right ones. Do a Google search or call your national industry association to find out if there is a group like I’ve described above. There are exclusive, non-compete organizations in the marketplace that cater to your business. If you can’t find one, then you should create one.
Your employees are another support system you need to have in place. Even if you are a sole entrepreneur, you will still need help with many tasks. These may not be full time employees, but they are freelancers or an extension of your firm. Finding the right people for these roles will help you grow your business and focus on what you do well. Take care of those employees that deliver good work and communicate well, because they will assist you in so many ways. Thank them and recognize them for their hard work and commitment to your firm.
Support comes in many forms: family, friends, professional connections, strategic partners, and employees. Each one of them plays a slightly different role in your business, but they are each an important component to a successful business. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with, so make sure you surround yourself with a great support system that will help you professionally and personally.