What are your thoughts when you see a car broke down on the side of a road? If you’re like most people you first feel sorry for the people in the car. Then you may also think about whether you could help. You may wonder if you should call 911 to get them some professional assistance. Then, as you drive by, you think to yourself “I’m sure glad that’s not me!”.
I’m not sure why, but one of my thoughts when I see someone frustrated and struggling on the side of the road is “I sure hope they have someone they know who can help them!”
In your business there are times when you are “broke down on the side of the road”. It may be a problem with your product or service. It may be an employee who quit or is not performing well. It may be a customer who is upset or angry. It may be a legal challenge or technical issue that you cannot resolve.
Being “broke down on the side of the road” is a fairly regular event in business – particularly if you think of it as those times when something stops you or slows you down from achieving your goals. You’re stuck and can’t move. You’ve been delayed and need help to get going again.
So knowing these are routine events in business, when is the best time to interview, screen and select those specialists who can help you get un-stuck and back on track? It is BEFORE you get on the road – BEFORE you get started – BEFORE you get “stuck on the side of the road”!
As a business owner who is already moving down the road, already in the race, you should already have your race team identified and in place for if and when you need them.
But why is it that nearly every week I have business owners ask me for recommendations on who they should use for their bookkeeping, who could help them with their banking issues, who would I recommend to help them fix their phone system, who can review their insurances, who can help them find and hire some new team members?
More often than not, business owners try to “go it alone” and only want to engage with service providers when they need specific urgent help. But that is often too late. At that point, they are not very selective – anyone who can help is ok – and the outcome is rarely exceptional or above expectations.
Here’s a better solution: Take time TODAY, THIS WEEK to build your race team! Think through all of the functional specialties that you may need to support your business and begin talking with, interviewing, evaluating and selecting those individuals who you feel can best help you and have them on your speed-dial now – before a break down occurs!
Think about a board room table like the one in the picture above. There are 6 or 7 seats that you need to fill. You may never need to call on them, but if and when you do have a need, you will know exactly who you will call. Fill every seat at your race team table with a name of someone you have met, come to know, like and trust. Then, and only then, can you race hard in your business knowing you have someone to help you if you get in a bind.
Who should be on your team? It varies by business, but there are some that are universal: a CPA, a Banker, an Attorney, an Insurance Broker, a Financial Planner, and a Business Mentor or Coach. You may also need to have a Real Estate professional, or a Commerical Lender, or a Payroll/HR provider, or an audit/compliance expert. You can add others as you see fit for your specific business.
Take the time to meet several in each category, get to know them and select the one that is BEST FIT for your team. Don’t just partner up with the first person that comes along – that is rarely the best fit. Take time – just as if you were hiring a new team member. This is important. Doing this will help you get un-stuck quicker, stay in the race longer, and improve your chances of winning by a huge margin!
Build your Race Team this week! It is a critical to long-term success in your business. If you need some recommendations or advice, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll be glad to introduce you to some folks I’ve come to know.