At various times in our personal and professional lives, we need a service provider. That is, we need to hire an individual or a company to provide expert, professional advice and service. But what should you look for? Here are four points for you to consider:
1. Trusted and relevant sources. Your family and friends may offer up some great referrals but if you are looking for specific professional expertise then consider a referral from someone who shares the same needs as you. Who better to refer a professional for a small business owner than another small business owner?
2. Experience. Consider not just how many transactions the service provider has completed (though McDonald’s would argue that 250 billion served is a good indicator of quality) but how long the company has been in business. A company that is established with a long history is indicative of ‘doing something right’. You don’t stay in business for several years to decades if you are not delivering on your promises!
3. People. Consider who would be doing your work. Will you just be meeting the principal of the company but have your actual work performed by someone else? Many people find it reassuring to know that their interests are being managed by the person or people they met. It’s also a bonus when you can support the local economy.
4. Price. You’ll notice this is the last consideration though others would argue that price consideration should be the starting point for choosing any service provider. I disagree. It has been my experience that there is always a reason for the bargain price – whether it is workmanship, materials or wages. If a proposal is significantly lower than other bids, consider why the company has been able to undercut from (presumably) fair market value pricing.