When you bring in vendors and consultants to help grow your business, they will need access to many of the online services you use. Keeping track of who has access to what account and when the password changed last can be like playing Jenga with spaghetti.
This is your ship, be the captain and take charge of your accounts. Don’t let any vendors or consultants drive your wheel for you. The best way to do this is to make sure you’re managing the passwords.
Here are a few reasons why it’s time to set sail:
You may switch vendors
Vendors don’t always stick around. They may move in a different direction or your business may decide you need to work with another company or consultant. If either of these scenarios take place, the last thing you want is for your accounts to have been set up with their email. What if your relationship didn’t end amicably? Nothing says, “wow this is awkward,” quite like calling up your ex and asking them for your stuff back. It’s entirely likely that you could lose some of the data on your Google Analytics or maybe you need to rebuild an entire complicated Facebook ad campaign.
Be proactive and setup all accounts with emails you own, and keep track of the passwords with a password manager (cough TeamPassword cough). That way, it’s easy to remove access for your current vendor and grant access to your new team. That’s what we, in the biz, call a clean break.
Ride out employee turnover at the vendor
Say you stay with the same vendor. Great! However, their employees are likely going to come and go over time. You don’t want your accounts getting caught up in a potential mess if the former employee is disgruntled. If you have ownership of all of your accounts, and you know which ones that employee had access to, it’s easy to avoid the mess and quickly change the necessary passwords.
Effectively and easily communicate password changes
Because you’re a pro at this, you’re going to be updating your passwords on a regular basis. Easily give a head’s up to the team so they have access to all important accounts. We learned in Passwords 101 that passwords should not be sent via email; keeping them organized in an app makes life easier.
Mitigate the risk of what your vendors or consultants do in their free time
You may not personally know your vendor employees. They may be moonlighting for your competitor, or maybe they think PASSWORD123 is a good idea. (It’s not Mr. Vendor Employee, if that is your real name…). You can quickly change any passwords that these people have access to, just in case.
Easily add or change the services shared with the vendor
There may be tools that the vendor needs from you in the beginning of your relationship, but not as time goes by. For example, you could move your social media in-house or, perhaps you might add more tools over time as your business becomes more sophisticated. If you don’t have a good system in place for managing those passwords, your vendor might not even use a new service, because they can’t find the password. Keep passwords organized in one place so that you can quickly add or remove access as you add or remove services.
By Brian Sierakowski, Founder and CEO of TeamPassword