Last month we addressed the need to prepare for and anticipate growth for your business in the New Year. The planning process is time consuming, but necessary. In the many years I have spent working with growing business owners on the goals that help them determine their success, I have seen how important it is for them to share those goals and plans with people whose experience and expectations can contribute to that success.

Napoleon Hill in his classic work Think and Grow Rich stresses the absolute necessity of having a definite plan for the accomplishment of one’s goals. But goes on to describe the need for “power” to accomplish those goals. Power refers to organized effort, sufficient to enable you to produce the results you want. Where do you find the support that produces that kind of power?

One of the fastest growing trends in business today are strategic alliances. These can range in scope from informal business relationships based on a simple contract or joint venture. The basic idea is to minimize risk while maximizing your leverage. You can do this through joint production, joint marketing, joint sales/distribution, joint design collaboration or R&D.

You can find “power” in trade groups and associations where you can keep up to date on industry changes, trends and competitors. Seeking out people that sell to your same market niche, can also help to keep you on track for what is working for them that may be of value to you. There are also centers of influence who have direct influence on people in your market place, whose interest in you can add power to your plans.

You are often faced with making decisions and would like to have the insight of other professionals, but fear the expense in hiring outside consultants. This is where a Board of Advisors or your “master mind” group can be invaluable. Large companies have used this form of accumulated knowledge and experience for years to address employee, technical, sales, financial and marketing issues.

In any of these associations it is essential that you are willing to listen and that you work with people who have your best interest at heart. That means there is a Trust relationship that can be developed. You must be willing to make commitments that will produce the growth and success you want, be accepting and open to criticism and be willing to give to the others who are giving to you.

The Challenge: Spend some time this month reviewing your plans with an eye to areas that need some outside support.