I recently attended a Chicagoland Chamber event and chatted with a strategic business advisor about the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®), which our company is currently implementing. Later, during the event, I bumped into her along with someone else I had not met yet. After a quick introduction, I learned his company was in the website and marketing space which is something we don’t do here at Spot. I could see the possible synergy between our companies which was only amplified by the fact his company was also implementing EOS®. This awesome turn of events got me thinking about how companies benefit when their technology partners know each other.
In many cases, you are going to need more than your IT infrastructure partner because of the different software your company uses. We discuss this in more depth in this article – Can My IT Person Handle Everything For My Business? Expecting any one company/person to understand all the intricacies of multiple software is not realistic. Just as you shouldn’t be asking your CRM provider to troubleshoot your printer issues; you shouldn’t expect your IT provider to be any good at building you a new website. This means you need to get all your technology partners on the same page.
I’m going to share with you the value a company gets when they work with partners that know each other.
Already Vetted Technology Partners
If you are getting a referral from anyone there is a general belief that the company/person making the referral is willing to put their name behind who they refer. This means living up the standards the company/person has for themselves. Think about it. You would never ask a provider for a referral if they were giving you horrible service. Why is that? It’s because you don’t trust their judgment, work ethic, etc, and are not looking for the same type of relationship.
The trouble of finding the right software or other technology partner is finding the one that is going to serve you in a timely manner and not take you for a ride. If you have found one technology partner you can trust then you are in luck. They should be your first call. It makes sense to ask them if they know someone that can help you in a technical aspect of your business because they are generally more networked into all things tech compared to you or other referral sources. And since your technology partner currently has a working relationship with you, they will only recommend someone if they believe that referral will be a good fit for your company. They wouldn’t risk recommending a company they didn’t trust in fear of upsetting you if things were to go south.
By asking your technology partner which you have already vetted for a recommendation you cut through the clutter and start with an already vetted company. This allows you to eliminate some of the time it would take you to do this yourself and as we all know, time is money.
Now if you haven’t found that great technology partner yet, that is okay. Here are some helpful tips to assist you with that search – How Do You Select An IT Provider.
It doesn’t matter if your company’s values are written down or not, it is safe to say businesses want to work with companies who are likeminded. We know decisions aren’t made solely based on the similar values you have with another company, but each other’s values are a part when weighing out your options if you are consciously or subconsciously doing it. You probably took a good amount of time to find the best IT partner for your company and perhaps have gone through a few. When you find that right partner you will see they probably share your values. This gives you a great launching pad to know what you are going to be getting when you connect with a company your current IT partner works with.
One great example that takes this one step further is the phone systems partner we use. Not only do they have similar values to us, but they also share the same business model. This is another advantage you will find when companies work closely with one another. If you like the way your IT partner does business, you will find they work with companies who share those same business beliefs. This doesn’t always go this far, but just like marriages, when companies work together for so long, they start to mimic each other.
Company similarities can cross industries too. This likemindedness is not limited to companies in the same area as technology. Your IT partner is running a business just like you – meaning they have surely come across good and bad companies through the years. Don’t hesitate to ask if they have any recommendations on companies for other aspects of your business like accountants, attorneys, and sales/lead generators. The likelihood they are working with companies with similar values are higher than you think.
IT Companies Who Know Each Other, Play Nice Together
There is an old saying that goes, “If you ask 7 IT people the same question you’ll get 8 different answers.” If you have ever worked with more than one IT person you know this is absolutely true! When it comes to your IT infrastructure and software solutions providers, this also applies. We have seen too many times the finger-pointing game on who’s fault it is when something isn’t working properly. If you have two companies that have worked together before it helps eliminate this finger-pointing. Most providers can see the greater good when working with a company that they either have brought in or who have brought them in. They would like to continue the flow of new opportunities or adding value to their clients so they put their swords away and fight for the same team, i.e. you.