3 steps to choosing the right business service

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Step 1 - Finding people

Get recommendations.

From friends and family first. Then branch out and ask in the many free networking groups on Facebook, like Network NZ. Ask for recommendations. Heaps of people will put their hands up, look for others backing them up.

Step 2 - The leg work

  • Shop around.

    Price is NOT an indicator of service level or skill level. There are amazing people you can work with at every pricing level.

  • Get your cyber stalk on.

    Scope out their business social media accounts and their website. Not having a website is generally not a good sign, unless they are brand new.

  • Make sure you check out their portfolio.

    See if the previous work gels with you and if they have examples of what you need. If you want a logo, examples of their graphics won't help you. If you really like their work, but don't see an example of what you are after, email them and see if they have something to show you as an example. I get this from people a lot and happily send through examples :)

  • Ask questions.

    Use the below questions to help you decide between candidates. How long they take to answer your email will show what sort of delays you will be looking at when emailing back and forth.

Step 3 - Dig deeper

Questions to ask those you selected:

  • Turn around times and possible delays.
    How long is the job expected to take, what is the worst case scenario if there are delays? What happens if the delay is their fault, what happens if it's yours. Are there discounts if it's theirs, are there extra charges if it's yours?

  • Communication.
    How often will you be updated along the way? Most service providers prefer email, but some are open to Facebook chat. The biggest issue is keeping track of all the platforms.

  • Cost.
    How much will the work cost? How much is it if revision needs to be made? Either right away or down the line. For example, you hire someone to design a graphic, then a month later you need the text changed, what will they charge you?

  • Exactly what do you get?
    Make sure you get as much detail as possible about what you will be receiving.

  • What happens if you don't like the results.
    Having someone who can receive kindly worded negative feedback, without taking it personally, then offer solutions will almost guarantee a good experience for you.

This may seem excessive, but trust me, it isn't!

Better to have all your facts now, than get an unpleasant surprise. I can't tell you how many times horror stories have come up in business networking groups. If they had followed these steps, they would have been happy with their experiences.

Order of importance.

Make a list of your priorities.

Everyone will have different factors they prefer over others when making a decision. I use this:

#1 Customer service
Because if they aren't the skilled, I can still offer feedback until it looks how I want.

#2 Price
This matters to me and is proportionate to the results.

#3 Turn around time
I want a great job done for a reasonable price. I'm willing to sacrifice time to achieve that.

A final note: Contracts

Make sure you get one from them and that you read it very, very well. Have a friend check it over and make sure nothing jumps out as odd to either of you. Ask them questions about their contract if there is something you aren't clear on.

It is OK to go through all of this with a prospective business owner and then decide they aren't for you. There is no obligation at all on your part!
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I would love to help you with your photography and graphic design, get in touch and ask me loads of questions!

You'll find my photography portfolio here and my design portfolio here.


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