8 Essential Contacts for Every Business Owner

Running a business isn’t easy. Here are the key players who can help troubleshoot challenges—and take your company to the next level.

When it comes to managing a business, it can be tempting to try to tackle every problem yourself. But if you want your business to grow and thrive, it helps to rely on the experience of your team to help put out fires and to plan for the future.

Every business will face problems and risks throughout the business cycle, whether it’s employee issues or challenges to a company’s reputation. Whenever challenges arise, you should know who to contact to help with a solution.

Who are the key players that new owners should have on speed dial? Let’s take a look.

  1. Chief Financial Officer

    If you have revenue-related problems, your chief financial officer (CFO) can help out. CFOs are typically your strategic thinkers. They know where a business has been, where it is now and where it is going.

    Consider the common issue of collecting accounts receivable. Business owners are all too aware of the conundrum of having to pay vendors in, say, 30 days, while it might take 60 days to collect on sales. That’s where the CFO or controller steps in. The business owner can sit down with the team and talk about the working capital management of the company. Having on speed dial a trusted treasury management professional from one’s bank is ideal to have as part of that conversation.

  2. Accountant

    Your business is only as strong as the records it keeps. After all, you can’t make any growth moves if you don’t know your current financial condition. This is where your accountant comes in.

    Accountants are going to ensure the financials are accurate and truly reflect the health of the company. A bad set of financial statements is not a good thing.

    If you’re considering a merger or acquisition, for example, you need to talk to your accountant and run a debt capacity analysis so that you know how much debt you can take on while meeting your existing obligations. A quality bank relationship manager can also bring in experience to help with that analysis.

  3. Relationship Manager

    Another key financial contact is the relationship manager, or RM, at your bank. This person will support your working capital needs, help with expenditures for fixed assets such as equipment and provide growth dollars to support acquisitions.

    RMs are committed financial advisors who are familiar with a specific market and region. It’s very important to have a banker who understands your business—someone who understands your strategy, your pain points, your challenges. A good RM will discover problems that business owners didn’t even know existed, and then come up with viable solutions.

  4. Human Resources Manager

    A frequent challenge that business owners face is employee management. Employee issues can often cause disruptions, whether it’s no-shows or negative attitudes, or a shortage of well-qualified individuals.

    Given the ongoing staffing problems businesses are facing, you’ll want to keep your human resources manager in the loop to help manage and potentially expand your workforce. One should look to their HR professionals to not only help with problems, but also proactively offer solutions to help further develop the business. That includes regular in-person visits with the team. So many people have gotten used to virtual visits, which will never replace the favorable impact of face-to-face meetings.

  5. Chief Operating Officer

    This role goes by many names, whether it’s COO, inventory manager or plant manager. Whatever the title, they’re in control of your business’s inventory. If it’s not managed properly, inventory can be a liability. Maybe you’ve ordered too much, and now it’s sitting on those shelves, and it’s not selling as quickly as you thought it would.

    For problems like this, you can rely on your COO to help develop a good inventory management system and a working capital optimization cycle. Supply chain issues have become a real challenge for many. Looking for alternative sources of materials have never not been at the forefront of a COO or inventory manager’s mind.

  6. IT Manager

    In today’s business world, information technology is critical. Fraud is on the rise in this country and around the world, so having a good IT manager and group is really critical.

    Your IT manager will also make sure that all software is up to date—for security and for the quality of financial record-keeping.

  7. Sales Manager

    The sales manager is sometimes known as the business developer, head of marketing or media relations specialist, depending on the type of business. Some companies might even call this the chief social media officer.

    Why is your sales manager so important? Online marketing continues to grow for almost all businesses, so the company needs to be able to figure out how to utilize this medium effectively.

    In many ways, most powerful marketing tool is the company’s reputation. Who manages your business’s reputation? The sales manager. Take the example of a business that has a solid reputation in a particular region. When the company branches out into a new geographic area, the sales manager engages with the community and the media to spread the good word about your business. Reputation is everything to a company’s success and it starts with the people and involves the marketing or sales managers of the company.

  8. Risk Manager

    Another key contact is the risk manager. Regions sees risk management as being crucial, and that everyone in the company is essentially a risk manager as they focus on the risk of their particular activities. Lawyers are going to review contracts and compliance. CFOs are reviewing capital markets and liquidity risk. Operations and plant managers are also in charge of reducing risk.

    Some businesses might have a dedicated risk manager to oversee all of these aspects of mitigation. If not, Regions advises that business leaders meet regularly with their key peers to discuss risk management.

From Going It Alone to All Hands on Deck

Many entrepreneurs have kind of a go-it-alone attitude. The lone-wolf mentality is really what made them an entrepreneur in the first place.

Business owners are understandably proud of the companies they’ve built from the ground up. But, everyone has blind spots, and the owners who have typically grown their businesses successfully have realized they can’t do it all alone.

With that in mind, keep these contacts close as you make the decisions that will determine the success of your business.

Three Things to Do

  1. Contact Regions today if you would like to learn more about our approach to relationship management or contact your local Regions Relationship Manager.
  2. Consider setting up an appointment with a Regions Business Banker or Commercial RM who can help build a Greenprint financial plan for your business.
  3. Read more about ways you can grow your business.