by Jessica Sanders
Whether you’re worrying about finances, talking to potential clients or having nightmares about getting up and running, starting a business can be difficult and stressful.
When it becomes too much, it can be easy to forget your goals and original intention of creating your dream business. When that happens, you can veer off course, destroying all the work you’ve completed up until that point.
You know most startups fail ‘only’ because the founders stop working on them, and often, it’s because it’s emotionally draining. – Jason Cohen, the founder of Smart Bear Software
With a very high startup failure rate across the country, you don’t want to be another negative statistic. So, how do you avoid this? You need to find someone to hold you accountable. It will be this person that reminds you of the grin you had on your face the day you decided to “just do it.” Whether you think so or not, the time will come when you need this person.
What Will Your Accountability Partner Do?
The person you choose to hold you accountable can do a number of things for you. First of all, this person should know all the details of your business, from financial to creative. In order for them to keep you on track, they need to know where you’re headed and what’s at stake. This is not necessarily a defined role, though there are a few things they will do.
- Remind you of weekly or monthly goals as needed.
- Keep important information on hand, including scheduled meetings, financial statements, etc.
- Be an ear for important decision making. As someone who will know important details of the business, they can help you back on the rails if you veer off course.
While this person is starting to sound a lot like a business partner, it should be clear that this needs to be someone from the outside, who holds an unbiased opinion. A business partner is just as likely to get caught up in the stress.
- As someone without a stake in the business, the person holding you accountable will remain clear headed at all times.
- Knowing the importance of goals, meetings, and finances, your accountability partner is in place to give you gentle reminders.
There are a number of people who can take this role. You’ll need to consider how much support you’ll need and what sort of information the person will be holding. While it’s not suggested to start a business with a good friend, it’s not suggested that you choose a good friend to be your accountability partner either. As someone who cares about you, they may sway with you as you become emotionally ambivalent. It may be best to choose someone you aren’t close with, but know on a business level.
- An old co-worker who you had a formal connection with.
- Someone you know who has been successful in their own business.
- A family friend who would feel compelled to help you succeed.
- A person within your industry that you’ve connected with via LinkedIn, etc.
This position is very informal, and not clearly defined anywhere. With startups defaulting every day across the country, it’s clear that something is missing here. With someone to get you through the emotionally draining spots, and everything else in order, you can surely see it through to your success.
Jessica Sanders is an avid small business writer touching on topics from social media to background checks. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including VOIP phone systems for B2B lead generation resource, Resource Nation.