Entrepreneurs and small business owners may like to believe they can handle just about anything. But there are issues — a leaky roof, a cracked sidewalk in front of your store or a bad head gasket on the company vehicle — that may test this belief.
While you might have the skills to handle some of these jobs, they will still draw your focus away from the all-important task of managing your business. As a result, it’s good to have some real service professionals on standby.
So here are 10 service professionals your small business should keep on speed dial.
Welcome to the Service Professionals Hotline
Please dial …
1 for a Roofer
A leaking or failing roof on your business can lead to a lot of very expensive problems. Once a leak starts, so does property damage. And the longer the roof issue is left unaddressed, the more serious the damage becomes. It’s not only a threat to your building’s integrity — a leaky roof can quickly lead to ceiling and wall damage or electrical problems — but also to your company’s valuable merchandise or materials.
Sure, they may be expensive, but your time is far too valuable to find yourself on top of your building trying to do things yourself. Call a roofer instead.
2 for a Plumber
If you’ve ever tried to handle a plumbing project at home and it turned into a weekend nightmare that ended with you showering somewhere else, you already know the importance of keeping the name and number of a good plumber handy.
Again, anything involving water problems should prompt a quick call to a service pro. This is not an issue you want to leave unaddressed for long. Your business and assets may be at risk.
3 for an Electrician
Focusing on the many ins and outs involved in managing and growing your business probably hasn’t afforded you the time to stay up on current building codes. This is one area that a reputable electrician can help. If you need anything wired or re-wired or need repairs or changes made to an electrical outlet or a switch, this is probably not the time for a DIY approach. Contact a professional instead.
4 for a General Handyman
A plumber is the right person to call when you have a leak. And an electrician is the best choice when your wiring needs to be replaced. But neither will be much of a help when you need a new front door hung or a window casing cut into a wall.
A general handyman or contractor will get these jobs done and save you time and the frustration of trying to handle it yourself.
5 for an Auto Mechanic
When you hear a loud and disturbing sound comping from the engine every time you take out the company vehicle or worse yet it leaves you stranded on the side of the side of the road, it’s time to call a mechanic. But which mechanic will depend upon the experiences you and your company have had in the past. Call on someone you or your company has trusted to do this work before — with good results.
Always get estimates — and do your homework to make sure you’re not getting ripped off. Only pay for work that’s needed, of course.
If your vehicle goes down, it could bring your business to a halt, so make sure the garage you have on speed dial can get your work done on the double!
6 for an IT Technician
If this isn’t an in-house position, there’s likely an independent army of IT pros in close proximity to your small business.
When you’re looking for someone to handle this work, do some research before problems pop up with your company’s technology.
Contact a few IT pros and have them get familiar with how your company operates and the equipment you use. This will save time in the future — when a problem actually does occur — because the person you pick will already be familiar with your company’s set-up.
7 for an Internet Provider
For more and more businesses today, the internet is an absolute necessity for survival. So when he internet goes down, contact your provider immediately to determine whether the problem is widespread or confined to your connection — or for that matter whether the trouble might be in your internal system.
Getting in touch with your provider will tell you whether the problem is with the IP or might be resulting from a problem with the modem for your WiFi network — or even some problem with your computer itself.
Have a MiFi or other hotspot you can use until internet service is restored. And if internet problems persist, investigate whether other internet providers are available in your area. Even if costs are higher, it may be worth the added expense for more consistent service.
8 for a Lawyer
If there’s one area where you definitely can’t afford to go it alone, it’s probably in a courtroom.
It’s likely you already have your company’s attorney on speed dial. But given the twists and turns your business may take, it might also be a good idea to have contact with legal professionals in a variety of specialties both civil and criminal, should the need arise.
9 for a Doctor
It may also be a good idea to have a company physician who is on speed dial especially if you have numerous employees working at your place of business.
For example, you may have a doctor you recommend for work related injuries. Depending which state your business is located in, your employees may or may not need to go to the doctor you recommend but you may need to have a physician available all the same.
Depending on the kind of business you run, you may also consider hiring an occupational health physician to help mitigate health risks in the workplace.
This speed dial list shows that some of the most important people to your small business and its success aren’t seen on a daily, weekly, or even a monthly basis. You’ll likely only call on these people when you need them but without reliable and trustworthy service pros, it could spell disaster for your company.