Companies seeking a reliable tech partner to fulfil their business requirements should consider a few other essential aspects as well except the experience and skills. Being a sales manager in a Software Consulting firm for years, I have realized how tough it is for clients to hire a technical partner that truly meets their needs, especially when they have less knowledge of the industry and its important functions. 

As per my experience, one of the common mistakes people make while choosing a partner for their business is not considering the Intangible attributes. They look for tangible assets like technical skill set, experience, and testimonials but miss out on the Intangible attributes like brand value and goodwill. Here, I am sharing the top Intangible attributes they should look at in their partner companies to get maximum value out of their collaboration:

Before we move forward let’s see what does Tangible Assets mean?

Unlike tangible assets, Intangible assets don’t have a physical character and are usually difficult to measure. These assets are invisible but essential. As we are shifting to a knowledge-based economy, intangible assets become more valuable to gain a competitive advantage and foster profitability, growth and survival. Some of the examples of Intangible assets are goodwill, trust, and brand value and all of them play a vital role in the development of an organization.

Let’s explore some of the top Intangible attributes:

1. Hire one who is interested in knowing the real needs

Client Interest

Let’s understand it with an example – suppose you have a requirement of a mobile-first design pattern-based website and to complete it you’re interviewing the agencies or individual freelancers who are qualifying your initial criteria. Did you notice a few things like how many of them have really shown interest to know WHY you need a mobile-first website, WHAT is the current situation of your business and existing website, How it will help to improve your sales/business etc? If anyone is really asking these questions then there are chances he/she will address the root causes associated with the existing system. 

If anyone is self-indulgent and only tells how best fit he /she is then there are chances that they will be able to develop the generic features but not be able to add the values and nonfunctional requirements to fully serve the end purpose of the application. Select the one who understands your views and requirements and proactively provides solutions.

2. Hire the one who has the willingness to go the extra mile and keeps your best interests at the forefront

Technical Partner who understands client's needs to serve them better

As a business owner you should keep an eye on your competitors but if your technical partner is also able to identify the gaps, can suggest the solutions, and improve the processes then it is really the icing on the cake. Identifying the loopholes of a Business, suggesting the solutions and improving the processes accordingly is only possible when you and your technical partner understand the business and competition. By evaluating the above context, you can clearly identify whether your technical partner is able to care for the business, customers, and competitors or not.

3. Respect Your Time & Honour their Commitments

Another essential intangible asset is trust that can be checked on basis of the following things

Who are able to deliver what has been agreed, on time.

One of the qualities of a reliable & trusted partner is they always tend to complete the job within deadlines. As a stakeholder you would trust your technical partner who does the right things at the right time on the project. However there are always some scenarios which affect the deadlines but a team of professionals always keep their client updated and it sounds to be natural as the requirements change with the customer needs.

Who are Professional and Disciplined

Treating anyone equally without prejudice is a basic quality of human beings. In business mutual respect and trust plays a great role in nurturing the relationship, so it is recommended to work with someone who falls in these criteria. Anyone who is willing to be respected and trusted must behave ethically. It is very easy to say but what exactly does it mean? Ethical people know differences and understand the standards that govern their own behaviour so, keep judging on the basis of this. You can simply judge the disciplined people. One who frequently changes the meeting indicates that either he is very busy on other stuff or not willing to give you proper attention. So if you feel that your technical partner/developer is not following these basic rules, you can take a course of correct actions.

Who are known for brand value and customer loyalty

Before you select a partner for your business, It is important to check what value that company has in the market and how well it maintains customer relationships. Business recognition and loyal customer base show the overall goodwill of that firm and make it a credible choice for partnership. Collaborating with such a firm could be a win-win for both sides.

4. Stand with you in urgent service needs beyond the regular time limit

During the different phases of software development, there could be times where you need immediate assistance from your tech partner beyond their fixed working hours. Let’s suppose during your peak business hours if your web app fails due to any reason and you want this to be taken care of as soon as possible but your technical partner is not liable to assist immediately due to odd time zones/ availability or he/she can make excuses for the response time mentioned in SLAs.  But if he/she assists you immediately in your tough time he will win your trust. Keeping it professional you can appreciate your tech partner for the immediate availability and valuable efforts.

5. Have passion for their work

Passion to work, passion to learn and passion to improve the skills are the qualities which help any person to succeed. So if anyone is passionate about serving and learning he/she is definitely delivering the best results. As a client you should consider this quality while hiring a tech partner.

6. Have the ability to think creatively

Creative thinking is just one piece of the puzzle. It is like generating new, cost-feasible innovative ideas and possible solutions to a problem. Creative thinkers can generate new ideas, concepts, and alternate solutions while working on any complex business project. To judge this capability of your tech partner you may ask questions and give them a challenging task. So, it is always recommended to work with creative thinkers.

Though selecting a best fit technical partner is not a child’s game also It’s not necessary to have all the qualities in any technical partner, and it is also true that technical skills & experience is unbeatable but those who succeed in judging the intangible qualities mentioned above along with tangible qualities while hiring, their business relationship flourish without any hiccups. A true trusted partner can be an asset for any business owner so take your decision wisely and I hope these intangible qualities will definitely help for making the right selection.