Last weekend we rode our dirt bikes on the tight, technical trails in Prescott. Suddenly I found myself going over the edge of a small drop off, into the canyon below. I landed face down and the bike crashed hard on top of me.

I felt the boiling water from the radiator burning my back as gasoline filled my goggles and burned my eyes. I tried as hard as I could to lift the bike, but it was wedged under the branch of a tree. Every time I exhaled, the weight of the bike compressed my lungs, each breath a bit shallower than the one before. I knew I was in trouble.

Fortunately, I was not riding alone. My buddy eventually helped me get out of this very bad situation. The buddy system probably saved my life that day.

The buddy system is important in business, too. Business owners often find themselves in precarious positions. They need to make tough decisions that can have serious consequences. If they make the wrong decision, they may not be in business long.

A good business buddy system might involve some or all of the following:

Find a mentor who is extremely successful in your industry. They can help you with industry specific challenges and overall business advice.

Then, consider joining a mastermind group. The power of collective thought provides solutions you simply cannot get anywhere else.

Finally, hire a great business coach. Your coach will fill the gaps and provide expertise in desperately needed areas.

For example, when it comes to identifying niche markets, building strategic partnerships and generating referral business, I am extremely comfortable and I love doing it.

I do not share the same passion and expertise in human resources, accounting or managing overall operations. My business coach provides the expertise I need in those areas.

If you do not have a good business buddy system, consider developing one. It may save the life of your business one day.

Bill Nordbrock is vice president of community relations for SCORE Southern Arizona, a nonprofit that offers free small-business counseling and mentoring by appointment. For information, go to southernarizona.score.org, send an email to mentoring@scoresouthernaz.org or call 505-3636.