Today’s challenge is selecting the best vendors to support you. How do you actually do that?
You are running your business, maybe still working your corporate job depending on how far along you are in the business process. You need help getting some of the work done in your business. Even if you are working your business full time, you can’t do it all. Even if you could do it all, not everything is a strength and so it pays to have someone else help in those fundamental areas. Maybe it’s bookkeeping, marketing, admin services, or all of the above that you need support with. So how do you find the best vendor for you? I’m going to give you 3 key things to look for.
Before I jump into the 3 key aspects, I would recommend you interview vendors just like you do job candidates. Interview at least 3 of them (don’t just pick the first one that responds and go with them). Select at least 3 companies to talk with and then do the following:
- Trust your gut. When you get on the phone or on a Zoom call with them, how are the dynamics? Are they constantly talking over you? Are they so quiet you’re unsure if you have a bad connection? Are they pushy or conversely, are they apologetic for trying to sell you something? The key here is that first and foremost, when you find the right team to support you, you are going to know. You should hit it off. Trust your gut.
- Look for common working methodologies. You have a way of working. For example, for me, I like plans, I like them organized, I like to map out strategies for months at a time, I want a clear cut process, I want to establish what good looks like and want to establish my targets before I get started, etc. I would expect my partners to work similarly. If they are wishy washy, can’t give me suggestions out of the gate, or they simply can’t make any commitments to me, then they aren’t going to be for me. I need them to think and operate similar to me. I can’t afford to have misunderstandings or misalignments when I’m trying to run fast. A vendor is an extension of your team. Ensure they can be that by working similar to how you work.
- Do they know their stuff? Do they have some street cred? I’m not saying they have to have a thousand previous clients or 10 testimonials, etc. I’m just saying, evaluate what they know. They should have a very clear, executable plan based on what you are asking for. They should be able to tell you some key things they will do for you on that introductory call that, based on your knowledge of your business and your needs, will fit what you are looking for.
If you can check for at least these 3 things, you are more than likely going to find a good vendor partner to support your business. You have to trust yourself, you have to add a team like they are your team, and you have to ensure they know what they are doing because every dollar counts and you don’t have time to waste.