Guide to Using Professional Service Providers to Grow Your Business
You are a business owner and have been for quite some time. You have become a “jack of all trades”. From managing a team to hiring new people and at times even answering calls, you have done it all. In truth, you now understand the complete picture of your business. You have employed people to perform those tasks which you cannot.
Work is dished out depending on qualifications and professional requirements. All in all, you have a good grip over your business. By now, you would have ran into a few times that you would have needed specialized services as not everything can be carried out in-house.
This may be because of limited knowledge, lack of space, financial benefits etc. The reason could vary, but the answer lies in outsourcing. This is where you need to use professional service providers.
What Type of Services Can Be Outsourced?
If you are willing to pay the right price, you can outsource any job. However, if you outsource everything you could minimize your control. It is advisable to outsource only those jobs that require huge investment and are required to be performed by experienced and skilled professionals. These professional service providers can perform the task faster and with more accuracy than any internal team would be able to. Let us now look at some of the activities that are best performed by professional service providers.
When it comes to legal matters you have to be at the top of your game and can’t fake ignorance. Therefore, this is one job best left to those who know the intricacies involved inside-out, aka lawyers. As a business owner, you will be adhering to certain rules and regulations, entering into contracts with employees and third-party’s and filing litigation. All this makes for a lot of legal work that needs to be filed. You also need to understand the legal mumbo-jumbo. Only a lawyer can fully comprehend the matter at hand and provide the correct legal advice, draw up papers and fight a case in a court of law. Therefore a professional legal service provider is a better bet every day of the week.
Accounting is another area where you could use professional help. Yes, you could employ people to do this. But, how will you judge their capability when you don’t understand the work itself? Skilled accountants can help you manage your finances, do audits, assist in tax planning, advice on all matters that have financial ramifications and look for government grants. Therefore, this is another job best left for the experts.
3. IT Solutions
All businesses rely heavily on IT. There is a lot of business that is conducted solely over the internet. Information technology has seamlessly integrated itself in all aspects of the business. Again you are no IT expert and even if you are, it's nearly impossible to concentrate on running your business and on IT management.
Managing IT is not a part-time job which can be managed in intervals. It requires continuous monitoring, processing, and upgrading. All of which can be draining on time, money and finances. Therefore, professional service providers like Dorks are there to lend a helping hand. We provide IT support management and application development for a wide array of clientele. Focusing on specific needs we work in-sync with the clients business model. As professional service providers, we can help you streamline your systems and operations management, implement hi-tech solutions to uphold the security, integrity, uptime, and accountability of all internal system processes.
Another activity which is the job of specialised professionals is marketing. This is mainly because it involves being on top of market trends at all times. Running a business is full-time work. How will you create more hours in a day to do marketing as well? Marketing experts not only know what works but are also equipped to continuously innovate and modify for maximum return.
How to Choose Professional Service Providers?
Choosing the right professional service provider is a matter of proper research and due diligence.
1. Get Referrals
Getting referrals is the easy part. Ask fellow entrepreneurs, and other professionals, post queries and check the internet. You can also inquire with various professional associations and government agencies that have interest in the same field. The idea is to get to know some key players.
2. Contact Them
Contact some of these players to see if they would be interested in working with you. If yes, ask them if they would be interested in getting down to details.
The idea here is to match the skill-set to your requirements. Many times the professional service providers come with preconceived notions concerning your business requirements. Make sure to describe your needs clearly so that you can get tailormade solutions that suit your business.
Pricing is at times a game-changer. Discuss the pricing structure and the payment structure in detail. This needs to fit your budget and expectations. As a business owner, keep in mind the fact that costly does not mean the best. Be aware of the service delivery and what happens when expectations are not met, this could be a misunderstanding in a contract that was written by a solicitor or unexpected downtime. Make sure you are aware of what you are getting for your money. Most of the time when you are starting out, you don’t need the best. Depending on the model of your business you might be able to make do with a more cost effective service that might not have the uptime guarantees that a premium service offers.
5. Validate Credentials
No matter what the professional service provider claims, it is best to check and validate their credentials, ask for testimonials if they have not been provided.
Keeping Costs in Check
1. When it comes to dealing with professional service providers there are a few ways in which you can keep the costs in check. These go a long way in keeping you and your business financially happy.
2. Firstly, as already stated above, you don’t always need the best. Hence, instead of concentrating on a big name, try to look for expertise.
3. Some tasks are straightforward and simple. You don’t need a highly qualified professional to look after them. In order to handle such tasks employ paralegals, bookkeepers etc., on your own payroll, keep the difficult tasks to be outsourced.
4. Always keep your records organized, memorandums written and documents indexed. Otherwise a professional will charge you an hourly rate for doing it. Doing your own footwork will keep your expenses in check as long as it's not at the expense of time that you could be earning more doing something else.
5. Refrain from making impromptu calls to the professional service provider. Depending on their procedures and process you could be billed for every 6 minute amount. A quick Google and you will be surprised how much of this could actually have been cut down.
6. Don’t just always rush to your lawyer for each and every dispute. First, try to settle them on your own. You can ask your legal counsel for guidance in such cases.