This past Sunday I was enjoying some chinese takeout by myself watching the worst movie ever on the SyFy channel, when I heard a “crack” and felt a pop. Then I swallowed something that tasted really funny. I spit out a whole peanut and pieces of an off white hardened object, pieces of my tooth. Then I realized I swallowed the other parts that broke off. Rather than get upset I simply set the pieces aside to check on my tooth. Sure enough there was a huge chunk missing. It didn’t hurt really bad, but as the day progressed it got worse. My wife took a look at it and said she thought it looked as if the tooth had a cavity in it, which would have weakened it. The dental assistant I saw the next day confirmed it was a cavity. So to prevent it from becoming a fracture I getting a crown on Wednesday. I got to say I’d rather deal with a crown than with a fractured tooth.
While I was driving away from the dental office I started to think about a guy I used to work with in Topeka. He was eating some macadamia nuts, chipped his tooth and then got the company whose name was on the cannister to pay for all of his dental work. For split second I thought about going to the restaurant and having them pay for what I needed done. But then I considered the fact that if I had taken better care of my teeth to prevent the cavity, the tooth might not have chipped. Why should the restaurant pay for my neglect? Then I wondered about the guy I used to work with. Did he have a cavity that caused his tooth to chip? I don’t know, but I wonder had the macadamia nut company known if he did would they still have paid for his dental work?
Umm peanuts and lawsuits…so what?
By now some might be wondering what do peanuts and chipped teeth have to do with due diligence. In my opinion if you haven’t done anything to prevent possible damage to your teeth you shouldn’t have any right to get compensation from another party for your lack of hygiene. It is this same thought that makes me wonder how much preventative measures businesses take when hiring outside agencies. If a business hires an agency that is well known for unethical practices should all the fault be placed on the hired agency? So what can a business do to filter out the shady agencies from the quality ones? I’ve put together a short list of three things I think businesses should do before hiring an outside agency:
Businesses need to educate themselves
If a business is looking to hire an outside agency for whatever work (SEO, construction, whatever) and they aren’t educated in that particular field, someone needs to be appointed to learn about it. When I worked for Mercy & Truth it was my job to take a crash course in any project we needed done and go ask the dumb questions. As ridiculous as it may seem I found this actually helped me decipher the good companies who would educate from the sleaze balls who would lie. I think it comes down to how badly the company wants to succeed at the particular project. The more effort exerted, the better the results will be. Lesser effort will get poor results.
Businesses need to ask around
Unless there is some reason businesses think the competition would give them bad advice, ask others in your network what they have heard. If they don’t want to, then they should see if can find if the agencies in question have a list of customers to reach out to. The goal is to speak with someone who has done business with the company in question and get feedback.
Businesses should make a list of their expectations
This should only be done after businesses have educated themselves on the particular subject. Then they need to sit down and figure out their expectations in regards to:
- Decision timeline
- Project timeline
- Any other important factors
Why have a list of expectations? When businesses have clear, educated goals the final decision will be easier to make.
These are just a few precautions I think can help the decision process. But I have a few questions for you the reader:
If a business doesn’t do their due diligence how much fault can they point at the hired agency?
What other precautions should businesses take when hiring an agency?
Thanks for reading!