The First Service Providers To Hire For Your Business

Service provider relationship management covers a wide range of operational tasks from finance to legal to technology. For many businesses, it is more effective to outsource certain operational tasks to third-parties and vendors (“providers”), than to handle in-house — especially if your team is small. By leveraging expert providers, you can save time and money where the task can be performed at a lower cost externally. Here are the common providers you’ll want to enlist to streamline your business.

1. Primary Operations

Your “Primary Operations” are generally expenses needed before you launch or expand. Bringing in outside expertise for these tasks allows you to save money right from the start of your organizational planning.

Business Set-up

  • Accountant/Administrator — Manages your critical financial and cash reconciliation functions, used in making important business decisions. Your accountant may also suggest you use expense management tools to track day-to-day spending.
    (e.g., QuickBooks, Expensify, Xero, part-time CFO)
  • Legal Counsel — Leads your business formation and documentation, plus regulatory requirements in many cases.
    (e.g., Rocket Lawyer, LegalZoom, established law firms)
  • Bank — Holds your business banking cash accounts and corporate credit card needed to facilitate the money movements and financial transactions between you and your customers, investors, and other providers.
    (e.g., Brex, Mercury, American Express, Stripe, Square)

Logistics

  • Work Space — A physical space to conduct business, which can be used as a temporary location instead of buying/leasing an office.
    (e.g., Werqwise, Breather, WeWork, sharing space with peers)
  • Travel — Transportation costs related to your business, especially while fundraising or doing sales. Be mindful that travel can become one of your largest expenses in your business’s early stages.
    (e.g., Leverage airline/hotel discounts and rewards programs)
  • Virtual Assistant — A virtual scheduler to set up meetings and optimize your time, especially if you do not have an in-house employee running your office admin.
    (e.g., Calendly, X.ai, Zirtual)

Data

  • Cloud Document Storage — Holds your legal documents, valuations, and other financial information, for ease of search. Be sure to consider privacy-related obligations, for example if you need specific passwords or restricted ownership rights.
    (e.g., Box, Dropbox, Google Drive)
  • CRM — Software that manages and tracks customer and partner relationships, to organize your outreach.
    (e.g., Affinity, Airtable, Pipedrive)
  • Document Sharing — Platform to send, share, and track the opening of documents such as your pitch deck, which removes unnecessary password obstacles for the audience.
    (e.g., DocSend, Slideshare, WeTransfer)
  • E-signatures — Collects electronic signatures and other information. Use this to sign legal documents like customer contracts or investor term sheets.
    (e.g., DocuSign, HelloSign, Adobe Sign)
  • Password Manager — Stores multiple passwords and protects against the unauthorized use of information, especially electronic data.
    (e.g., 1Password, Dashlane, LastPass)

Branding

  • Designer for Materials — A professional designer creating your pitch deck, logo, business cards, and in many cases your website for the purpose of marketing. You may also try a copywriter to refine language.
    (e.g., Design: 99 Designs, SketchDeck, Tractor.io // Copywriting: Scripted, Upwork)
  • Website — A web page conveying your business’s brand to customers and investors, while also instructing your audience how to reach or follow you.
    (e.g., Squarespace, WordPress, WIX)
  • Social Media & Online Presence — Shares general information, perspectives, or recent articles about your business to maintain engagement with your current and potential customers. Be sure to register your business’s name with each platform early.
    (e.g., LinkedIn, Medium, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, AngelList, Crunchbase)
  • Business Email — A professional email address where customers can reach you, as communication is the cornerstone of your operations.
    (e.g., Google G-Suite, Microsoft Office 365, GoDaddy, Rackspace)

2. Maintenance Operations

Your “Maintenance Operations” are expenses that should be considered after your initial business launch. Outsourcing your maintenance operations helps you scale faster as you hire more team members.

Technology

  • Productivity & Collaboration Tools — Task management platforms for personal and team matters, which keeps email volume down and allows you store data and institutional knowledge as you grow.
    (e.g., Asana, Slack, Trello)
  • Internet & Telecom — High speed internet gives you abundant bandwidth especially while video-conferencing or making remote calls. Virtual office phones give you capabilities to separate your personal vs. work lines and send texts to achieve higher response rates.
    (e.g., Internet: Sonic, Xfinity // Telecom: Google Voice, Grasshopper, Ooma)

Infrastructure

  • Payroll & HR Services — Pays out wages and benefits, which streamlines your compensation information. Consider enlisting one after adding your first employee for a maternity/paternity policy, 401(k), or employee handbook, etc.
    (e.g., Gusto, Rippling, Paychex, Trinet)
  • Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment (“FF&E”) — Supplies, movable furniture, or other equipment used for ordinary workflow such as desks, chairs, and printers.
    (e.g., Knoll, Houzz, Feather Furniture, Ikea)
  • Insurance — Business insurance that protects you and your business from financial loss.
    (e.g., Embroker, Hiscox, CoverHound)

3. Growth Operations

Your “Growth Operations” are expenses that may arise as your business continues to expand.

Advisory

  • Job Boards — Posts open jobs at your business and tracks candidates to automate your hiring process.
    (e.g., LinkedIn, AngelList, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter)
  • Audit & Tax — Examines your business’s accounting books and tax returns, which your investors may require depending on your industry.
    (e.g., PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, Kruze Consulting)

Branding (cont’d)

  • Public Relations (“PR”) — Manages the spread of marketing information about your business. Be sure to leverage any journalists or other industry writers in your own network first.
    (e.g., Onclusive, Mention, Cision)

Be prepared to oversee various providers for your business as you launch and grow. With each operational task decide whether or not to outsource, and make sure you understand what the provider requires from you to integrate into your platforms. Excellent service provider management could make the difference between a smooth-running operation and missed opportunities.


More Articles:

Business Planning
The 10-Point Checklist to Launch Your Business
12 Steps to Scale a Business
How to Calculate Market Size
7 Steps To Assess Your Competition
Competitive Advantages That Last
Finding The Right Customer Profile
How To Measure Results
Know Your Niche & Costs
Developing a Go-to-Market Plan (GTM)
4 Steps of Customer Discovery Before You Launch

Pitch Decks & Messaging
How to Make a Pitch Deck for Your Fund
How to Write an Investor Update (With Example)
How to Write a One Pager
9 Easy Steps to Build Your Company’s Messaging
How to Make a Great Pitch Deck

Fundraising
3-Month Fundraising Plan — Priced Equity Round

Operations
A Simple Way to Track Your Business Finances
The First Service Providers To Hire For Your Business
Who Should You Hire Next?
Customer Service Basics
Save Your Business in 60 Days: Cutting Costs — Part 1
Helpful Tips for Better Operations
5 Ways to Productize Your Business

Sales
How Your Sales and Operations Can Thrive Post-COVID-19
Save Your Business in 60 Days: Increasing Sales — Part 2

Civic Engagement
The Importance of Denouncing Racism

Kaego Rust is CEO at KHOR Consulting. If you’re looking for help, contact kaego@khorconsulting.com or visit www.khorconsulting.com.

Photo by Josh Calabrese

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CEO at KHOR Consulting, helping companies build business plans, pitch decks, and streamline their operations. Email: kaego@khorconsulting.com

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Kaego Ogbechie Rust

Kaego Ogbechie Rust

CEO at KHOR Consulting, helping companies build business plans, pitch decks, and streamline their operations. Email: kaego@khorconsulting.com

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