You’ve probably heard it said before that “you are judged by the company you keep.” Thanks to another old proverb, “birds of a feather flock together,” this especially rings true when it comes to business associates. People want to do business with honest, knowledgeable, dedicated professionals, and while you may look the part, your choice of business partners may be saying otherwise. Both your company and its partners need to paint a pretty picture in order to win and keep clients.
As 2016 comes to a close and a new year knocks on your door, it is a good time to reflect on and take stock of your business partners. You don’t want your company’s reputation to be tarnished because of the poor business conducted by someone else. By thinking of your partners as a list of references and considering the questions below, you will be able to answer whether or not the relationship is good for business.
Are You Keeping Good Company?
One of the first questions we ask a new client at Links Financial is, “which CPA firm are you using?” Our team is able to tell a lot about a business’s situation based on who they are already doing business with and the reputation of that firm. The same can be said for lawyers, insurance agents, financial firms and other business partners. As you consider your current list of associates, ask yourself the following questions:
1. Do your values align?
A company’s values are the foundation of its business practices. If your partner’s values stray too far from that of your company’s, then it should raise a red flag. While the partnership you have in place may be working just fine, misaligned values could result in that partner becoming entangled in embarrassing media or a serious lawsuit which will reflect poorly on all companies who do business with them, including your own.
2. Do they represent what you do best?
As is mentioned above, who you do business with is like a list of references. Do your references paint the best picture of your company? Do they support your business’s strengths?
3. What’s their reputation in your industry? And in your community?
Referrals are still one of the most common, and arguably the best, source of business. Your company works hard to get business and sustain a good reputation, and none of your business partners should put that in jeopardy.
4. Have you done successful business with them?
It may seem simple, but consider the projects you have worked on with each of your partners and ask yourself if they meet your criteria for success. If not, identify why (was it due to your partner, something internal or something external?) and determine whether or not you could be more successful next year by making a change.
5. How does your partner enhance your company?
Each of your partners should be helping your company reach its goals. If a partner is not improving profit, efficiency, research or development, then it should raise the question, “is my company being well served?”
6. What would they say about doing business with you?
What do your business partners say about you? It’s worth knowing. A good but frustrated business associate can be just as damaging as a questionable partnership.
Make Links Financial Your Financial Partner
At Links Financial, we take our clients’ business as seriously as we take our own. As a financial firm built on referrals, our team understands both the importance of doing good business and the necessity of great partnerships. Explore our services to learn how Links Financial can be one of your trusted partners.