By Fola Daniel Adelesi
When you are in business, one of the ways to get things done is to rely on the best expertise available. I know your first thought after reading this will be, ‘how can I afford the best?’ Well, it is important to consult with experts when taking important decisions that may affect the survival and growth of your business. While you can consider hiring professionals to get things done for you, there will be more gains if you leverage on relationships. If you have professionals as friends, you can share your ideas and seek their professional input from time to time.
Please note that this is not to encourage a free pass for services under the guise of friendship. No matter how close people are to you, you must always compensate for services rendered to ensure quality service and prompt delivery.
By having professionals in your network, you can negotiate long-term business transactions and save cost in the long-run. Long-term relationships with key professionals can also give you access to prospective business leads. If your business has a good reputation and a proven track record, these leads can transcend into customers, meaning growth for your business.
Some of the key professionals you need in your network are:
- Lawyers: If you have a strong relationship with a lawyer, you can be sure to get legal counsel occasionally. Before you get into any agreement, discuss the terms and ask questions about clauses you do not understand. When your friends render legal services to you, they may go the extra mile because you are more than just a client to them.
- Accountants/Tax Consultants: This works well if you cannot afford to hire an accountant right away. If you don’t have your records straight, you may run into financial problems in the future. Keep some accountants close and if you can’t pay them yet, make sure you offer products or services in exchange for their accounting services.
- PR Professionals: PR experts are helpful in planning the promotional materials and the general brand image for your business. You can get some free advice on proper brand imaging or ideas on how to sell services and products.
- Journalists: As a business person, having friends in the media industry has its benefits. For one, your business can get free publicity. When your journalist friends need to interview entrepreneurs, you will most likely come to minds before other candidates.
- Public Sector Officials: You should have a cordial relationship with public sector officials, particularly in your industry. This relationship is crucial as it will keep you informed on new policies and how they could potentially affect your business. As a result, you will able to effectively position your business to anticipate those changes.
Keep all these professionals close so that your business can grow and also ensure that you recommend them to others who may also benefit from their services.
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