An entrepreneur should be a jack of all trades, and a master of some. Being a good all-rounder is important to running a business, and can save time and cost in engaging 3rd parties to do work which you could otherwise easily do.
It is equally important though to carefully select your external service providers who specialise in areas you neither have the time nor skills to perform, such as SEO/SEM, PR, legal, accounting etc. When you do find good people to perform these functions, don’t be afraid to share them around. Working with other small business owners can be highly beneficial, even more so when you can be sources of ongoing referrals for each other.
I make introductions all the time to our trusted services providers, for others in my network who I feel will benefit from their services. It doesn’t take much time to make an email intro to connect two parties, if you feel a relationship between them could be beneficial. Choose your service provider as the ‘to’ email, and CC the person you’re making the connection to.
Here’s a sample of the format I think works best:
I want you to ‘meet’ Sarah Sample (CC’d.) Sarah – meet John Smith.
Sarah is an ambitious young entrepreneur who runs a fantastic new clothing label called Sample, aimed at young mums. She is looking to sign an agreement with an overseas supplier, and may be in need of some good legal advice.
Sarah, John runs his own small firm called John’s Law, and has been our lawyer for several years. He is a fantastic operator with great experience in international trade. He is always quick to respond to emails, and I think could be of great assistance to you.
I’ll leave it you both to be in touch directly.
Don’t ask to be CC’d back in to correspondence between the two, which just ties up your inbox. Follow up a few days/weeks later to see how they both went.
Remember, when you’re introducing two parties, you’re putting our reputation on the line and effectively vouching for both parties. If you don’t know one of them so well, don’t be afraid to mention that in a separate email to the other party, or indeed ask them first if they’re happy for you to put a new contact in touch with them.
Sharing is caring.