What I am thinking of are people who provide services which fall outside the real scope of your consultancy practice, but which your client is keen for you to source. Whether they work under your brand or their own, your reputation is on the line, so you have to be certain in your own mind that they are the right people for the job.
I have put together another scorecard, much like the business partners and associate one you already have, but this time you want to focus more on their technical experience and professionalism. How they work will reflect on you and your business after all!
|NO||ISSUE||SCORE (OUT OF TEN)|
|2||Established track record as an independent|
|3||Recognised subject matter expert|
|4||Communication skills (re relationship with client)|
|5||Delivery on time, to specification, and within budget|
|6||Value for money|
|7||Understand and respect your brand|
|10||Transparent re client relationship|
The key differences from the business partner and associate criteria are:
- They need to be recognised for their technical excellence, as you will not necessarily see much evidence first hand, unless they are working alongside you.
- They should be prepared to feed back to you anything you are entitled to know regarding the client and what is going on in his/her business.
- They should have a reputation for quality delivery.
- They should be realistic about fee levels.
- They should evidence that they understand what your brand stands for, and the values and principles which are important to you and your business.
- They must remember at all times that the client relationship is yours not theirs.
As before, it is really down to you how you assess and score such folk. Again I would suggest 70% as an acceptable “qualifying score”, with no individual aspect scoring below 5. Equally, you are free to adapt the criteria to suit your personal preference – I would once encourage you to view this list as indicative.
You could also adopt a similar approach when identifying external service providers for you e.g. lawyer, accountant, insurance broker, HR consultant, IT experts, social media expert, web design/hosting, PR professional and so on – they all have an impact on your brand to varying degrees, so you need to choose wisely.
My next article will focus on the financial model, and will in fact be my last article in the Growing Business series. So make sure you don’t miss it! In the mean time, do contact me with any questions on finding business partners, associates and outsourcing partners, or anything else you feel you need advice with.