As an entrepreneur, there will be days you'll feel like you're somewhere between a psychologist and a press secretary. The buck, after all, does stop with you. That means all complaints will eventually make their way across your desk.
What I've learned over the years is that you can't please everyone. Despite your best efforts, there's always going to be a customer, vendor, or employee that disagrees with the way you're doing things. You should always do your best, but trying to make all of them happy all the time is often unreasonable.
The other thing I've learned is that there are a few key people you should focus on. If you can make them happy, more often than not things seem to fall in line.
CRA (or IRS, HMRC, etc.)
Ok, so this isn't exactly one person per se. But, if you do something wrong, it usually ends up with one person being assigned to you. If you can submit your returns and remittances on time, and keep your bills paid, you will barely know they exist. Forget to do these things, and your business life becomes very unpleasant.
Like the CRA, if you're doing what you're supposed to do, you may not speak to your account manager all that often. If you need them though, they have the power to make or break your day/week/month/year. If you can keep your balance above ground, or give them plenty of warning if something bad might happen, they are much more likely to help you out in your time of need. Just by keeping them in the loop, and being open and honest with them, I've had a few managers really help me out of some big jams.
Spouse (or insert other significant personal relationship)
This brings to mind the saying "If Momma ain't happy...ain't nobody happy".
Running your own business is really hard work. There are often long hours, and some rocky years while you wait for the profits to show up. If you want to keep some iota of your sanity, you need someone in your corner. If you don't nurture those relationships, you'll be fighting an uphill battle...at home and at the office. Remember, your job is not your life. When things are tough, having the support of your husband, wife, friend, child, dog, or fern can really give you the strength you need to fight another day.
There's another reason these are important relationships. If these people are all happy with you, it means your business is running properly. It means your admin work is efficient. It means your cash flow is strong. And, more importantly, it means your work/life balance is in order.
Is there someone I'm forgetting?
What relationships do you find are the most important when running a business?