Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
There comes a time in the development of a business where you have to bring in outside help. This might be an irregular thing such as bringing in legal help as needed, it might be annual with hiring an accountant to handle the business taxes, or it might be a regular, ongoing partnership. Regardless of how often, there are three tips to help make sure the partnership is long-lasting and beneficial for your business.
- Let The Experts Be The Experts: A decade ago, many business owners wanted their business website to stand out. It became a joke in the web design world, as experts added flashing text and trailing mouse pointers onto a website. They knew these things would irritate customers, but the business owners insisted they were necessary. The principle applies as much today as it did then: you don’t know better. The reason you’re bringing in outside help, be it for website design, a marketing agency or a customer service company is because you need them. They know this, it’s their key area of business. If they tell you something, don’t just ride roughshod over them – listen, ask and research. You have to be willing to be flexible and acknowledge your ideas are not always the gold standard.
- Have A Strong Vision: With all of the above said, you should keep in mind what you want to achieve from working with another business. With marketing, perhaps you want to increase your exposure. For web design, you want something that is going to be easy to navigate from a smartphone. Before you employ any company, write down a list of things you expect from the interaction. You can keep this to yourself or share it with them. Be prepared to be flexible in the face of contradictory advice, but don’t lose the whole reason you went down this route to begin with.
- Treat Them As You Would Want To Be Treated: When you are protective over your business, you expect everyone else to feel the same. This can lead to clients harassing outside agencies, with expectations that go far beyond reasonable. In every interaction you have, think about how you would feel if you were on the receiving end of that behavior. There is nothing wrong with being assertive and expecting deadlines to be met, but be realistic. No company you hire is going to have the same ruthless dedication to your business as you do, so don’t expect that. Be content to let them do their job without expecting them to become over-invested.