When Valley View-based Electric Sweeper Service Co. sought out a financial partner, president Bob Merckle knew that along with the financial benefits of the partnership, there would also be adjustments.
“We would like to think, as probably would most entrepreneurs, that we were open to frank and honest discussions with our managerial staff, but ultimately, the decision was ours,” says Merckle. “And now, I find … if it’s something that affects the long-range future of the business, my new partners have certainly earned the right to know and be part of some of those decisions.”
Merckle has also had to adjust to financial reporting constraints. He’s learning to do more budgeting and financial planning and adhere to stricter accounting practices.
“Most small business don’t because … it adds additional layers of complexity to the accounting systems that aren’t required to be successful,” says Merckle. “But to be owned, it’s a level of comfort that the financial partner certainly deserves and expects. We’re building our own staff to accommodate those needs.”
Merckle says having a financial partner has complemented what the business does, but the partners still have a lot to learn from each other.
“I’m all about selling vacuum cleaners and vacuum cleaner parts;, they’re all about making money and using money to make money,” says Merckle. “I don’t understand their world, they probably don’t understand mine, but we’re both learning.”