Smart Money Podcast: Building the Right Team


Welcome to NerdWallet’s Smart Money podcast, where we answer your real-world money questions.

This week, we talk with a business owner about how she launched her IT consulting business, the way she learned to choose the right partners and what her exit strategy is.

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Our take

Mariyah Saifuddin grew up working in her parents’ computer repair business. Now, she and her husband own a family business of their own: Innovative Solution Partners. ISP specializes in consulting for large companies that use a particular software package, SAP. Their focus has allowed them to stay nimble; they recruit contractors one project at a time, evaluate vendors and consultants carefully and work remotely with clients across the country.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced some of ISP’s client companies to close temporarily, Saifuddin used the lull to zero in on the company’s mission, vision and strategy. She worked with a business coach, redefined the company’s mission and vision and found the right marketing firm. Now, she feels they’re on solid footing as they look ahead. Their most likely exit strategy is to eventually sell the business, Saifuddin says.

As a business owner, your team includes more than just your employees: it’s your contractors, vendors, consultants and coaches, too. Choosing the right people and companies for those roles can help you maintain a high-quality product or service and level up your business at critical moments.

Our tips

  1. Network: Join affinity groups, such as the National Association of Women Business Owners, to learn about how other business owners do things.

  2. Find the right partners: Seek out vendors and consultants who really understand your business. The cheapest option might not be the best one.

  3. Let your company evolve: As your business grows, your mission statement and value proposition might evolve. A mentor or business coach may be able to help you with this process.

Have a money question? Text or call us at 901-730-6373. Or you can email us at [email protected]. To hear previous episodes, go to the podcast homepage.

Episode transcript

Sean Pyles: Welcome to the NerdWallet Smart Money podcast,…

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