Pinning down the right people to work with can be a real challenge — whether you are looking for a vendor/provider or an employee/freelancer, you want someone who fits the definition of the word “partner”. Working with partners helps ensure that everyone’s goals are the same.
What makes a great vendor/provider?
When I owned my first business around 25 years ago, I worked with a vendor that provided our technology services. I didn’t interact with the owners of that company much because I didn’t need to. But once a year, I’d get a telephone call from one of the partners asking me how our business was doing, and what our plans were. At the time, I thought it was curious that they bothered reaching out to me with such regularity, albeit infrequently. But I have never forgotten those annual check-up calls and the interest they showed in my business.
In hindsight, I realize that they were actually very good at doing something I like to call “managing assets”. If I was a satisfied client of theirs, I was an asset that they had in the field — there were no doubt countless occasions I’d have to interact with other business owners, and each of those occasions might have been an opportunity to share their name, and my positive experience with them. And we all know that maintaining a good relationship with a satisfied client is much simpler, and less costly to the business, than acquiring a new one. That technology company was a great vendor/provider!
What makes a great employee/freelancer?
We live in “the age of the Internet” and I am very fortunate to have a business that I can operate from anywhere, thanks to Internet technology. This technology also enables me to hire talent no matter where in the world I find it — highly-talented people don’t have to live in my town in order to work on my team. A writer halfway across the United States, a graphic artist in Europe — these are people whose skills I never could have utilized before the advent of the Internet.
No “9-to-5” for me
As business owners, many of us know that our clients call on us at all hours, on any day of the week — few businesses can survive these days on a “9-to-5” workday. So for me, great employees/freelancers are the people who are willing to pitch-in whenever the work demands it. That’s what distinguishes someone who wants to partner with you and be a real member of your team, versus someone who wants to work with you!
How do you pin-down the right people?