Running a small business can be a very lonely place. Not only do you have to juggle all the different spinning plates, look after the day to day activity and at the same time project to the future planning the appropriate course, you also have to manage people. Whether it be your team, your customers, your suppliers or your spouse and children, understanding the needs, strengths and potential of all these people and how to look after them takes energy.

If you are the sole MD of a small business, it can be even lonelier as you have to navigate your way around the world of affairs, making decisions (not always the right ones), dealing with the ups and downs of the rollercoaster ride that is the journey of a small business owner.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to do it all by yourself, there are ways of finding the support, the sounding board or simply someone who can sense check things and make sure you are on the right track.

Here at the Rockstar Project we highly recommend building a strong network of key stakeholders or people of trust that you can call upon depending on your need or requirement. These people don’t have to be official members of your team or board, they could be part of a network group within your industry, a trusted colleague from a previous employment, maybe someone from an association or chamber of commerce, a friend, a supplier or even a customer. Thinking out of the box and being open to new opportunities or ways of working will definitely help the process along and in today’s world of internet and video conferencing you don’t even have to be in the same country.

However, selecting the right partner to support you on your business journey is not always an easy task and one that should not be undertaken lightly, however when you do succeed in finding the ONE or ONES, the rewards can be absolutely priceless!

Working with people outside of your business scope can result in new ways of thinking, creative ideas, reassurance that you are on the right track or maybe a fresh pair of eyes that can bring a whole new perspective to a subject. A trusted partner is someone that you know with whom in confidence you can let off steam to, share exciting news or air concerns to. They can be a good way to sense check what you are doing or even bring a new skill set or expertise to a challenge or project. Whatever the reason, make sure that you do your homework and ensure that those people that you add to your inner circle are who they say they are, that they have the relevant skills and experience and that ultimately they can add value to your business and to you as a business owner. Agreeing on some ground rules together and a way of operating that can be mutually beneficial would be preferential before embarking on a new collaboration or project together.

Our Rockstar Project checklist will help you to find the perfect partner.