Tips for Doing Business Well

Speaking from over 25 years of experience as a contractor and business owner who has recruited and hired, written scope of work/contracts, worked for business owners, had business owners who worked for me, read contracts and worked with small/medium/Fortune 500 firms – some thoughts on doing business in today’s marketplace:

Scenario: You may be looking at contracts with small/medium businesses who are actually working  with a larger firm.  The larger firm often has a contract with the actual end customer ((government, hospitals, payor etc.). Keep in mind that it’s the end customer who drives the final actual work – whether it’s less or more work than originally planned, when the actual work starts, when the work is demanded, and all the little details required.

To get a sense of what work you may actually get, see if you can determine the actual chain of business. What are the goals of the end customer? What is the target, need, driving reason for spending the money on the project? You may not get all the details, but you might get some sense of the scope of work and the players.

It’s easy to get excited when a job is described. Remember, it’s the job of the recruiter to excite you. They are also excited and want to do a good job for you and their business.

The best thing you can do for yourself is manage your own expectations. Although everyone means well, the end customer is often a mega business with their own needs and pressures, and that can very quickly change the business landscape.

Some tips to help you grow as a person in business:

  • Get things in writing, but understand that a contract is only an understanding between parties, and goes only as far as the other party understands the job themselves.
  • Build trust with the businesses recruiting you.
  • Build a positive working relationship.
  • Build on the understanding that everyone wants to win-win.
  • Complaining might get you a few points, but no lasting satisfaction.
  • Learn who will follow through, or who will at least be honest with you.
  • Give room to those who can’t/don’t follow through. They can bring you good jobs or referrals down the road.
  • Don’t let dishonesty discourage you.
  • Don’t take things personally. Everyone has pressures and self-interests. If you have self-interest, so do they. When it works to service everyone’s self-interest, everyone wins.
  • Sometimes – give a little or let things go. It can win you a lot in the long run. If nothing else, you win your own sense of strength, giving, understanding, respect, and peace of mind in a today’s tumultuous world. And, you’ll find like-minded folks to team up with.
  • Keep moving.
  • Find the positives in the negatives.
  • Celebrate with everyone.

Shirley Moy, MBA
Owner and CEO of Swiftaudit