In 1956, Johnny Carson hosted an afternoon television show called “Who Do You Trust?” It was a game show where married contestants had to decide whether he or she would answer a particular question. If they answered correctly they would win a prize, if they answered wrong they were eliminated.
Well, I got to thinking about it from a business point of view. I began thinking about those valuable folks that I have come to rely on here at Sharn Enterprises. You see, in a very large corporation, you likely have a number of well paid professional advisors with many resources to find out the answer to any given question.
But it is not that way in most of the country’s smaller businesses. If you don’t have the resources of a very large corporation, then who do you trust? Certainly there are a number of vendors or sales professionals out there who will offer you free advice. All you need to do is to buy their latest book, new website design, or their latest “Widget” and all of your problems will automatically disappear!
Now I know having been in business for a long time now, many of us do actually cultivate very important relationships with our suppliers, we begin to trust their instincts and judgments in particular areas of our work life. However they still are likely to be from within our industry, so even though it may be good advice, is it always the best advice?
When you run a small business, you need to try to be an expert in sales, manufacturing, finance, and human relations, just to name a few things. Not many of us are skilled in all of those areas. I have learned to count on many folks both within and outside of our industry. For instance, you need to have a good “outside” accountant. You need an attorney who is smart enough to know what he doesn’t know, and be able to refer you to a legal specialist who can get you the answers you need. Of course it is absolutely essential that you have a very good relationship with your banker. Not just from the point of view of the Dollars and cents necessary to conduct your business, but also to introduce you to other folks they know who offer services which might help your company.
Finally if you’re lucky enough to have a spouse or significant other in your life, seek their council. They may not know much about your particular area of business, but they know YOU. Their advice can often be counter to your own instincts, but if you listen carefully and take seriously what they say, most of the time they will keep you from making a big mistake. They will likely help you to make a better decision, than the one you would have made just on your own.
“The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it.” – Thomas S. Monson
SO, WHO DO YOU TRUST?
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