We all need to surround ourselves with people that we can trust. The best way to find good advisers is to use your network. MARCIA GRIFFIN
By Marcia Griffin
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As CEOs, we need to have a number of people around our business who we can rely on. Recently I wrote about finding mentors, consultants and advisers, but I am referring here to technical advisers/suppliers.
The essential technical advisers I believe are; a lawyer, accountant, IT consultant, and recruiter. Your needs will vary according to the particular business you are in, but these four are essential.
Finding reliable suppliers is just as important as finding good technical advisers.
Recently I had to do an exercise finding some essential suppliers for a new business venture – these suppliers are to be a critical part of the venture, so the selection is vital to the new business.
So where does one start finding these people who can make or break a business?
I started with the people I know who are successful in their area. One of the things I have learned is that successful people are always happy to share their knowledge, particularly if you are prepared to do the same.
I have always been happy to refer great people to others as it makes sense from both an altruistic and selfish viewpoint – first, people are grateful to be referred and will give you even better service, and second I feel it is important to assist those who put that extra effort into what they do.
In my exploration for these suppliers I came across one particular story that illustrates the importance of a good supplier. One of my friends has been running a successful business for 10 years, but due to a badly planned merger his logistics company had missed some critical deadlines and in doing so almost killed his business.
I was very lucky, as my friend had just gone through the exercise of finding a new logistics company – the same search I was about to undergo – and had found a company that solved his problems and got the business back on track. The really rewarding part was that when I thanked my young friend for the referral he reminded me of the assistance I had given him in setting up his business – the favour had been returned!
On a personal level, we also need to have some technical advisers; my essential ones are a doctor, lawyer and accountant. My GP of 20 years recently retired, and it has been an interesting exercise finding a new doctor, mainly by asking healthy friends for referrals. Here I have found that the search has been longer because I have been looking for someone who will give me pro-active medical advice, rather than simply body maintenance!
So just a few thoughts about surrounding ourselves with trusted advisers:
- Ask successful, trustworthy people for referrals.
- Service and results are more important than cost – within reason of course!
- Look after these people and pay them on time.
- Make sure that you are clear about your needs so they can do their best.
- And most importantly, be prepared to refer others to trustworthy, competent people. In this way, the favour will be returned to you.
- Reputation is everything!
To read more Marcia Griffin blogs, click here.
High Heeled Success is Marcia Griffin’s latest book, and is a frank account of building a business from a solitary sales person to a multi-million dollar business with 4700 sales consultants around Australia and New Zealand. It recounts successes and failures along the way and was written to inspire entrepreneurs-particularly women to triumph in business.
Joyie writes: I agree with what Marcia said but it’s also a match of your expectation and how you get along with that supplier. Some maybe really good at being an IT expert, but can’t talk to you in a way you understand; there’s no point.