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Using Third Parties and Advisors

21st May 2019

Next steps for Growth - Part 5

As your business grows, there will likely come a point where you have to decide what makes sense to keep doing and when it makes sense to seek expert assistance or advice.

Your business may not yet have all of the services you need in-house, so there will be times when you need to involve an external supplier for services such as:

·     Legal

·     Accounting

·     Design

·     ICT

What can they offer?

When you’re deciding who to use, you might want to carefully consider:

The value they offer – this is not about cost. This is about deciding if their all-round customer experience gives you everything you’re looking for (and ideally more!).

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The range of services you can access – for instance if you’re looking for an accountant, you might need general bookkeeping and tax filing services, but also want them to be proactive and experienced in supporting and advising you on how to grow your business. And do they add extra value outside of the obvious services? Are they interested in educating and empowering you as a business owner to understand your accounts and plan for the financial future of your business? At Grant Jones in our Third Thursday Knowledge we provide free short trainings on all sorts of topics such as business, finance, income and goal setting. This adds massive value to everyone who interacts with our business.

Their values – do the values of their business align with yours? For instance, if you have an ethical, carbon neutral business selling clean, green, vegan beauty products, and you’re looking for a packaging supplier, you must make it your business to know that the supplier you choose is sourcing and manufacturing their products with the same values you have built your business on.

I’d highly recommend doing a little bit of shopping around as well. Speaking with two or three different service providers will give you a broader picture of what’s available.

Be clear on the contract

Once you’ve decided on the business you’d like to work with, when agreeing to work with them, make sure you are 100% clear on:

  • What you are buying – you need to know exactly what you are receiving for your financial investment. And just as importantly what you are not receiving. Things like hidden and unexpected extra charges are not something you want to be dealing with down the line.
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  • How long you’re tied into an agreement – this is a new business relationship, and while you’re going into the agreement in all good faith and with all good intentions, you are not able to predict the future for either yours or their business, so be cautious when signing an agreement that ties you in for a long period of time. Make sure you are clear on the cancellation terms and have an eye for any hidden clauses. If you’re in any doubt whatsoever, always ask a third party to look over the agreement for you.
  • When services will be delivered – ensure the terms of delivery are clearly stated in an agreement before signing.
  • What you are required to do, for them to do their job – for instance at Grant Jones we ask our private clients to submit all of their financial information for the year within a certain window of time, so that we can submit their tax return before the 31st January deadline.

Eventually your business will have grown to a size where you’ll need to bring in team members with some of the skills I’ve highlighted. Until then it’s a good idea to keep your eye on the job market, so you are up to speed on market salaries, etc. and are ready to go when hiring time comes.

If assistance with the financial aspects of your business is what you need, Grant Jones has teamed up with a small army of accountants across the UK to formalise a 9-step best practice called the Performance, Measurement and Improvement System (PMI).

If you’re ready to create an action plan that jet-propels your business to success, click the link to arrange your free PMI consultation.


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