In the MSP world, we consider clients to be partners in business. We want a long-term relationship based on trust and loyalty. Most new businesses will take on any company as a client at the beginning to pay the bills, but over the years, it is becoming vital to the health of our business to be choosier when deciding which partnerships to keep – and which ones to let go. Likewise, when a company is vetting us as their IT company, they should also be looking for a right-fit relationship. Technology vendors should be more than just a business-to-vendor relationship. This is becoming increasingly truer as businesses rely on technology to grow and thrive. This can be true for all industries in the Business-to-Business world, not just in IT.
Here are the top 5 indicators I have found to spot when determining whether an IT partnership is perhaps not the right fit for a client, but also NOT a healthy partnership for our team. You can use the same as red flags when choosing the right IT company as a partnership for your business.
- Misaligned values and goals – Our core values drive everything we do at Capstone IT. You can check out our core values here. If the values, goals, or mission of the two businesses are significantly misaligned, it can lead to conflicts and hinder the success of the partnership.
- Poor Communication - Effective communication is crucial in any partnership. If a business lacks clear and open communication, misunderstandings can arise, impacting collaboration and productivity. Internal communication within Capstone IT is outlined in all of our policies and procedures. We train our team to document everything and to use multiple ways to communicate with a client.
- Financial Instability - Partnering with a financially unstable business can pose risks. A partner that is struggling financially may be unreliable in meeting its commitments, leading to disruptions in the partnership. As a partner, we try to be flexible and understanding when financial issues arise, but it doesn’t take long to spot a company that is not following ethical financial practices. From our end, our goal is to give our clients a fixed-fee model so that they don’t encounter a lot of surprise costs on monthly support or project work.
- Inflexibility - Businesses need to adapt to changes in the market and industry. If a potential partner is rigid and unwilling to adapt to evolving circumstances, it can hinder the partnership's ability to navigate challenges and seize opportunities. When it comes to IT, our partners need to be constantly willing to take measures to keep up with the ever-changing cyber-security climate. We bring the expertise to help them do that.
- Incompatible Technology or Processes - Incompatibility in technology platforms, business processes, or operational practices can hinder the seamless integration and collaboration between partners. We want to offer support to build a business’ policies and procedures around the technology they use in their company. We make recommendations based on best practices we’ve seen in our years of serving businesses in all industries. A bad partnership is when we have the knowledge, and the client refuses to follow best practices as recommended.
In all of our work building our own company we have learned that it is now vital to make sure every business partnership is a good fit for a thriving, long-term mutually beneficial relationship. This is also what we hope to offer our clients as well.