In the past few weeks we've discussed the importance of leveraging professional relationships in your business. Today we are looking at the steps you can take to make sure you're leveraging your professional services to the max.
Business Owner Newsletter - Page 36
1. Keep the regular reviews with your agent. Businesses are making changes daily and keeping up with those changes requires some effort. Depending on the size and type of business, you may need to review with your agent quarterly, or even more often. Your agent wants is done correctly and at the lowest cost as you do.
2. Your agent is the only advocate you have with the insurance carrier. Disclose everything to them. They can't help you or educate you if they don't know what exposures you have. It is better to know up front what pitfalls there are than to find out after a claim happens.
1. A good Relationship (Personal) Banker will want to be very involved with your business, keeping up with the daily happenings of the business, and working to be an advisor for the business owner.
2. The good Relationship Banker will aid the business owner through all stages of business: Growth, Sustainability, Succession Planning, and Exit Planning.
In the June 3rd article, we talked about leveraging your professional service relationships such as your Accountant, Insurance Agent, and your Bank or Relationship Banker. Rather than give you more of our own ideas and experiences, we thought we would go straight to the service providers themselves for their thoughts on what business owners need to know and how they need to approach the relationship.
Click on the professional service type to see what the experts had to say!
Last week we discussed the importance of leveraging strategic business partners. This week we ask you to question how to use this advice in your own business.
Relationships are the keys to most successful businesses. The more obvious relationships are those you hold with your customers and your employees. The less obvious relationships are those you hold with the other businesses and professionals that provide you and your business with important services, such as bankers, attorneys, accountants, and technology providers. In larger businesses, these disciplines and services are often provided through in-house dedicated departments, because they are so essential. In smaller businesses, this group is most often not leveraged properly and therefore never develops into a relationship that maximizes the value for your business. Yes, your CPA can do more than just prepare your annual tax returns, and your local Banker does more than loan money. There is a possibility you are not asking the right questions, or avoiding the questions altogether.
So, what if you began to think of each of these providers as essential departments within your business, all working as strategic partners towards a common set of goals? To work, all participants in the relationship must be engaged and working towards the same results. You have to be as involved as your strategic partners, and that means taking responsibility for your part and holding your partners accountable for theirs.
Some think that there is a clear analogy to money and time. We invest our money, we invest our time; we save our money, we save our time; we spend our money, we spend our time; we make more money, we make more.... This is where the analogy breaks down. Yes, there is something to be said about the investing, saving, and spending of both money and time, but you cannot make more time so you are left with two choices: Make it count the first time, or let time just slip away. Time is relentless and continues to tick by no matter what you do to slow it or stop it. This is why what Golda Meir once said is so important, "I must govern the clock, not be governed by it."
This past month we have focused on Time Bandits. Three common Bandits identified that will govern how we spend our time when we choose to not govern them were; e-mail, over committing, and employee interruptions. The proven system of "How to Implement Do Not Disturb Time" was made available as a tool that will help you to govern the clock rather than be governed by it. Take the system, implement it, use it, and watch your time become your own to do with as you choose.
Last week we discussed implementing "Do Not Disturb Time" as a way of combating Employee Interruptions. If you're like most of the business owner's we've coached over the years that might sound a lot like Never Never Land: great to imagine, not so easy to implement.
The good news is that our business coaches have worked with hundreds of business owners, just like you, with great success of implementing time to work "ON" the business and not just "IN" the business...as Michael Gerber describes.
Where does your time go? How is it that you can come in at 7 AM and then at 6 PM suddenly realize that the day has completely passed you by? How did you miss dinner with your in-laws? (Okay, you may want to plead the Fifth on that one, but you get the idea.) Time is the one resource you cannot replace but use and allocate the worst. So, what happens to your time? How does it get away from you? What steals your time?
Time Bandits are responsible for stealing the better part of the day away from you and your business. They can include anything from answering the phone, having a cluttered desk, or having an unscheduled meeting. They can and will be different for everyone, but in the space below, you will find three common bandits that may be stealing your time.