Most likely, the answer is yes, and understandably so. Your business idea has blossomed into a thriving business and much like a parent leaving their child in someone else’s care, you are putting part of your business in the hands of someone outside of your company. This is a necessary growing pain all startups and business owners must face at one point or another. Because we like to talk about solutions, here are some tips to help you discern between your options so that when you enter into the third-party agreement, you know what you’re getting yourself into.
- Background should be at the forefront: when you get a job at a company, they are likely to run a background check on you to ensure that you have not been involved in any serious legal issues and bringing you into the company won’t cause them any problems. In that same vein, you should do plenty of research to ensure that the vendor you’re entering into an agreement with has an overwhelmingly positive brand. Even though you might think this is common sense, this study found that 32% of companies don’t vet their third-party vendors. This mistake could come at an incredibly high risk for any company, but especially a startup or small business that is aiming to take off. How can you do your due diligence here? Google is everyone’s best friend these days. Run a search and see for yourself what information is out there and available: website (would you like these people to design your website? Does their image align with yours? Is the content sound and definitive?), social media pages, reviews on sites like the better business bureau or any local/state organization that manages business practices, etc.
- Get to know them, don’t speed through the process: entering a third-party agreement is a lot like starting a new relationship – it’s often better to take your time getting to know someone than jumping into a commitment before you know enough. This is a tricky phase because at first, everyone shows their best attributes and wants to woo you into being a customer, so how do you navigate this? For one, you can ask fellow business owners or anyone in your network if they’ve worked with this company before; chances are you heard about them from someone, so if they come recommended it’s a pretty good sign. When you meet with them, make sure to come prepared with questions that matter to you and to the success of your company. Make sure that their policies take care of you and your employees, as well as your customers. Ask about contingency plans, beta testing phases, deadlines, etc. Don’t enter into an agreement until you are certain that this is the right move and timing for you.
- Let go just enough: one of the hardest things for a business owner or executive to do is to hand over the reins of a part of the company to another. When it’s software related, there are a myriad of security concerns, data privacy issues, etc. that can really make it hard to not be involved 24/7 in the project. The key here is to find a balance where you allow the company to help your business in their growth phase while either you or someone else in your team establishes touchpoints to review that the process of the project is on track. Both you and the third-party vendor need to establish a cadence that fits all the needs of the company and gives them time and freedom on their side to test so they can give you a proper update. And this helps too.
There are a lot of companies that offer services you may be looking for, which is why it’s so important that you take your time figuring out which one is right for you. If you’re in the market for a software developer, this is what we can say about ourselves: we are a company that has been around for almost two decades now with support opportunities around the world, a track-record of happy and loyal customers we are very proud of, and with a team of experts that truly bring the staff augmentation concept to new heights. Using a third-party vendor doesn’t have to be scary when you have all the information available at your hands. If you want to know whether a fit with Lagash would work for your company, please contact us and let us show you our offering, our approach, and our promise.