How to Select your Right Partner
Journey of an Entrepreneur – Part VI
Thank you for reading the previous parts of the entrepreneurship journey. If you have missed the initial parts of this journey, do read them to keep track of this journey. In this episode, we are going to focus on the selection process. It could be any type of selection – selecting a vendor to service different business needs like a company secretary, accountant, auditor, technical team, marketing agency, banking partner, investor, employees, etc.
Google search will yield hundreds of results for any service provider. One tried and tested approach would be to meet people via references and prepare a list of the various services with the features and benefits with their respective offerings. For a given service provider, the services would be similar, however the offerings would vary. Make a comparison list between at least three service providers to get a holistic view. In doing so, the price would be one of the factors for consideration versus the only factor for consideration. This will help answer the question, “Is cheap really cheap?”
Illustrated below is a comparison chart that I had prepared in April 2017 when I had to select a payment gateway for one of my clients. The descriptions would vary as per the product and/or service as per the vendor or provider. The point is to make a properly informed decision after carefully considering various factors involved including quality of product and/or service, reviews, etc.
As you can see from the above figures, the different parameters can be categorised and then grouped together. These will give a “sub-rank” in each category. Subsequently, all of these can be clubbed together to give an overall ranking.
Thus, this type of comparison chart helps to list offerings of similar services or products together and gives a holistic view. This also helps to answer the question, “What value for money do we get?” On some occasions, if you are unsure of what you are looking for, enlisting the features in a comparison chart like this, also helps to gain more clarity.
Another way to look at this, if you have a specific set of requirements in mind, these can be listed as parameters as per their categories. There will be additional features that will fall outside the purview of the initial requirements, however, these can be used as add-ons for comparison purposes.
This type of chart does not have to be too complex, rather, it is a simple listing with simplified formulae. This is very useful for the below factors:
- Making an informed decision for selecting a set of products and/or services.
- Choosing a vendor or service provider.
- For your own product or service, you can draw a comparison chart for your competitors’ offerings and see where and how you can make a difference.
Selection is an important aspect and should follow a proper comparison process rather than simply looking at a single aspect or a small set of features. An overall comparison would give a 360-degree view and helps to make a better-informed decision. A similar approach can be taken for your products/services against your competitors to strategize your offerings to have the leading edge. Thank you for reading this far. Do feel free to leave your feedback and thoughts about this in the comments below. Stay tuned for the next episode.
Part 1 – Who is an Entrepreneur?