On the lookout for a service provider to help you take your business to the next level? It can be challenging to choose the right person or team for your startup, especially with so many options available. But fear not, we’ve got you covered! Here are some top tips and a free checklist of questions to consider when selecting a service provider for your startup.
Look for providers with experience working with startups in your industry. A good service provider should have an in-depth understanding of how a startup operates and what it needs to succeed–not only within their professional field–but in the industry as a whole.
Tip: Providers who work offer customer-centric services, such as marketing, growth and product, should also have experience and proven results working with your target market.
A Good Rep’:
Check the provider’s reputation and read reviews from previous startup clients. Reviews are always based on context, so ensure you’re listening to people who share the same business needs and interests as you.
Tip: Don’t just rely on the reviews on their website. Look for neutral sources such as Google Reviews or those provided by a services marketplace.
When comparing services, it’s often tempting to go with the cheapest option, but it’s important to consider the overall value of a provider, as opposed to just their rate. More often than not, investing in an experienced provider, will save you time and money in the long run, especially in technical roles.
Tip: As a startup, it’s best to contract your projects in sections, to allow for you to test and pivot as required. This will allow you to use your budget on the most up-to-date approach. Just be sure to share your whole vision or roadmap early, so that your provider can help give you the best advice and strategy to get you to your end goal.
Communication is always key. Ensuring your provider can communicate clearly and effectively in a timely manner is essential. They should be easy to reach, responsive to your inquiries, and provide regular updates on the progress of their work.
Tip: Don’t forget, communication is also a two-way street. Clearly communicating your needs, expectations and business goals will assist in ensuring you’re able to get the best return on your investment.
If you’re new to this, we suggest you check out some Product or UX design resources to help you effectively communicate your vision to providers or team.
Every good startup shifts, pivots and evolves to find product-market fit. Your provider should be ready to come along on that ride with you. So understanding their ability and willingness to move flexibly should be considered early in the relationship.
Tip: When working with providers, especially technical ones, you should consider implementing Agile Methodologies to your processes. This will help you move quickly and efficiently.
Engaging service providers shouldn’t be transactional. The most effective collaborations come from forming long-term relationships, so it’s important your provider can continue to grow alongside you where possible.
Tip: When you work with a provider, you invest considerable amounts of time and effort in getting them established within your business and across your needs. You can significantly save time and improve productivity by reducing sign-up expenses and using that time toward work delivery.
Similarly, you shouldn’t look to hire on a job-by-job basis. Instead, consider your long-term objectives and requirements and pick someone based on those needs.
And yes, this includes MVPs (but not prototypes)!
Tip: Your long-term goals can considerably impact your approach to your growth strategy and early build decisions. So, having someone to help you set up in the right direction, early, can save you so much time and money in the long run.
You should also consider whether your service provider offers the right services to help you maintain and scale your products or systems. If they don’t, figure out a plan to help you exit or supplement those services sooner than later.
Consider the provider’s culture and values to ensure they align with yours. You’ll be working closely with them, so it’s essential to have a good working relationship.
Tip: Creating startup/service synergy is a must! You want your provider to back your every move, so creating an environment that fosters growth and innovation, is a priceless asset to have.
Choosing the right provider is crucial for your startup’s success, so it’s important you consider the long-term needs of your business, and use those to guide your decisions. To help you do this, we’ve created a Free Startup Checklist to help you evaluate what you need and whom to hire in order to get the best value for your startup.
Click here to download it now!