small-business-support-program	|	Photo Courtesy of small business owners aspire to a stoic self-reliance, priding themselves on being a “solo entrepreneur.” But most business owners can look back on personal experiences and see why having a support system trumped trying to go it alone — such as quitting smoking with a support group, running a 5K race with friends or planning a wedding. A better strategy for success is to bring in players that complement your goals and strengths, while compensating for your weaknesses.

Many people are familiar with the idea of a mentor from growing up with teachers, coaches or other role models. An article on the Small Business Trends website suggests that three additional roles can also have a significant impact on your business success: an accountability partner, a confidant and an evangelist.

Here are the three role players you need on your team and how they can help improve your business:

  1. The accountability partner: Even if we readily ignore or revise promises made to ourselves, most people hate the idea of disappointing someone else, or having to admit that they didn’t follow through on a promise. Having an accountability partner on your team can help push you to complete tasks and processes that will help you grow, especially those things you’re avoiding but still need to do.
  2. The evangelist: Every business benefits from cultivating cheerleaders, ambassadors and evangelists. “These are people who truly believe in us and like us with no agenda,” career consultant Deborah Shane writes in the Small Business Trends article. “Not only welcome them but let them consistently support and cheer you through and on.”
  3. The confidant: Even for those who aspire to be self-reliant, having a trusted, knowledgeable person to confide in can lighten the psychological load while alerting you to potential pitfalls and opportunities you may not recognize.

For very small businesses, hiring an accountability partner, an evangelist and a confidant may not be feasible, but there are other avenues to explore. When it comes to identifying a confidant, for example, you might find sympathetic listeners within your staff, friends and family, or more objective perspectives through networking with your peers.

Which team roles have you found most crucial to success in your small business? Join the conversation by posting your thoughts below in the comments section!

Source: Small Business Trends, May 2013