5 Service Values to Look for in a Funding Provider

5 Service Values to Look for in a Funding Provider

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Not all funding providers are the same. As in any industry, there are good companies and there are not-so good companies. It’s imperative for a staffing business that’s in a funding relationship—or considering entering one—to discern the difference.  
 

It’s easy to just look at price when choosing a funding provider. Funding providers all offer the same “products”: funding for accounts receivables/payroll funding. Some also offer back office support or front-end software. But price alone will not give you a full picture of the relationship.  
 
The difference between funding providers becomes more apparent when you break down how those “products” are delivered (meaning the level of service you receive). Service is an aspect of the relationship that can be difficult to measure, but can have a large impact on your staffing business.  
 
Service can encompass many things—from returning phone calls quickly, to the level of industry knowledge, to understanding where your money goes. I’ve broken this service concept down into five core values:
 

1. Commitment

 
Commitment goes beyond a contract that details the services, pricing and timeframe of the relationship. A funding provider’s level of commitment is evidenced through several factors, including maintaining the staff, the systems and the expertise needed to excel at fulfilling both the contract and client expectations. You can evaluate this level of commitment by looking at the staff’s level of expertise and experience in the staffing industry, including staff turnover. Also ask if they have a Disaster Recovery Site. In the event of the unforeseen, this allows your funding provider to deliver uninterrupted service to your staffing business. Having systems like a Disaster Recovery Site in place demonstrates an overall culture of commitment.  
 

2. Problem Solving

 
Ultimately you hope the relationship with your funding provider is problem-free, however issues can arise. How your funding provider handles these issues is vital to the on-going success of the relationship. Be wary of providers that fear conflict, avoid addressing problems, or offer “stuff” like new equipment instead of solutions. Good funding providers proactively search for resolutions and put systems in place to correct future issues from occurring. When dealing with something as important as your staffing company’s finances, it’s important that any and all issues are dealt with as soon as they’re discovered to avoid compounding the problem.  
 

3. Accountability

 
Problem solving ultimately leads to accountability. Ask about any systems a funding provider uses to ensure they’re doing their jobs correctly. Such practices include monthly tie-outs of accounts and audits of their work. Not only does this uncover any errors before they cause problems, it also helps guarantee that you’re receiving all the money to which you’re entitled. 
 

4. Attention To Detail

 
Oftentimes the difference between funding providers is in the details. It’s the little things they do that add up to make a big difference to your business. In this age of voicemail and email, having someone answer the phone when you call, or having a dedicated team member returning calls within a designated timeframe, can save you precious time. Ultimately it’s attention to detail that helps prevent errors from occurring. Attention to detail also involves proactively staying on top of issues that can impact your staffing business such as changes to taxes, regulations or the economy.  
 

5. Trust

 
The final aspect of evaluating a funding provider comes down to trust. When you ask a question, you are confident the information you receive in response is both true and accurate. You feel they have your company’s best interests in mind. Your funding provider is truly a partner. In some cases this can take time to develop. In others, the relationship “clicks” more quickly. 
 
If you evaluate your provider based on these five core values and find them lacking, address your concerns with them. Ultimately, you may find that another provider offers the level of service you’re looking for. While it’s easier to assess a funding provider when you have an established relationship, you can also use these standards when you’re looking to start a new affiliation. In those cases it can be helpful to ask some of the key questions we addressed above and to speak with some of their current clients.  
 
Service can often mean the difference between feeling like you’re working with a resource instead of a vendor. A vendor is someone who sells you a product or service and is more interested in protecting his or her own interests. A true partner is someone who establishes a relationship and looks out for what’s best for you and your business.
 
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