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How to pick the professional service vendors for your startup. Lawyers, accountants, banks, etc.

Professional services are those services which you do not have a degree or a license or certification or registration. They aren’t your core skill set and you don’t perform them daily. Like flying a airplane.

The secret to finding the best professional service providers is to find the provider with customers that you want to do business, either now or later. Its all about leveraging your vendors relationships.

For example banking. More specifically Start up banking.

The bank I would use is SiliconValley Bank as they are early lenders to cash flow positive enterprises. They have a huge phone book of both companies and investors. And they are active in lending/investing before other banks.

It’s best if you have an introduction to them from someone they respect. Their customers or professional service provider whose clients bank with them.

As with all your professional service vendors, you should pick the ones which have relationships with those types of companies and individuals you want to associate with as your company grows.

A friend started a food blog. He hired an expensive west coast law firm. I wondered why he did it. He was smarter then I. When there started to be consolidation in the online space his company was purchased by a major media company. His unfair advantage was that this major law firm client was the company acquiring his.

The best networking isn’t always your friends but their friends. First you learn who is really a friend. And who is a frenemy. Those who help are friends, those who don’t are too worried about how your relationship will change if you move up the food chain.

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