Are you having problems outsourcing?
Does it feel like you can’t seem to find the right outsourcing vendor? They’re only good at the beginning but months or weeks along the line problems start to rise and you have no choice but to end the relationship?
These experiences are normal when outsourcing. Some relationships simply don’t work. But if it seems like all your outsourcing efforts end up like this, could it be that you’re unintentionally sabotaging your partnership.
But why would anyone sabotage a relationship that helps businesses grow and save money?
Expectation of Perfection
There are some business owners who expect perfection from their outsourcing vendors right off the bat. If they hire a search engine optimization expert, they expect to see results right away. That SEO virtual assistant is not allowed to make any mistakes because being an experienced professional means you know what you’re doing.
Yes, being a professional means you’re supposed to know what you’re doing. But being in an outsourcing partnership also means it may take some time to fully understand each other’s goals and expectations. For the most part, mistakes done are unintended. And errors due to miscommunication is common during the early stages of the relationship.
Mistakes happen. And giving your outsourcing vendor some leeway to make mistakes in the beginning is a great way to start a relationship. Once you and your partner have a clear understanding of what you expect from each other, then it’s perfectly reasonable to be more exacting with what you want in the future.
Making a Mind Reader
Professional outsourcing companies are not psychics. Just because you got their social media management packages or local search engine optimization strategy doesn’t mean they automatically know exactly what you want to happen. If your business’ social media accounts to focus more on certain products and services, you have to tell your provider that. If you want your SEO provider to modify their strategy a bit to reach a more affluent market, you have to tell them that too.
It’s dangerous to assume that your outsourcing vendor “gets it” simply because they’ve been doing this for years with other people. Each business is unique. Just because they’ve done this before doesn’t automatically mean they know exactly what you want and need. Outsourcing vendors are there to help you achieve your business goals. And for that to happen, you need to be clear about what your expectations are.
Being on top of every aspect of your business is essential in making sure that everything runs smoothly. When you know everything thats happening with your company, you’re able to anticipate problems and resolve them even before they cause any serious damage.
Problems come in when entrepreneurs mistake micromanagement with running a business. And when they outsource, they carry over this practice to their partnerships.
There’s nothing wrong with asking your outsourcing vendor to keep you in the loop. But if you feel the need to control and change their processes, that’s micromanagement.
Outsourcing companies have their own processes and systems which allows them to be more efficient. It may not make much sense to you but it makes sense to them, their employees, and how they deal with work from other clients. Insisting on changes that would greatly affect how they operate is bad for your business in the long run because it makes them less efficient.
Think about it this way, as long as they keep you informed and they’re able to deliver quality work in a timely fashion, how they do their jobs shouldn’t matter. Don’t give yourself the added burden of how they do their work, focus on running your business instead.
The Importance of Give And Take
You can’t create something out of nothing. In the same way that outsourcing companies can’t conjure results out of thin air. An offshore search engine optimization agency can’t do SEO effectively if you refuse to install analytics on your website. A social media virtual assistant can’t run ads if you refuse to spend money on it. And a graphic designer can’t create a great design if the only guide you can give him her is to ‘make it look nice’.
Outsourcing vendors are professionals, not magicians. You have to give feedback and the resources your partner needs if you want to get things done. If you can’t (or won’t), it might be better to just do things yourself.
All criticism, no compliments
People need positive feedback. They thrive when given compliments. It’s human nature. And it’s the same with outsourcing.
When all you notice are mistakes and every feedback is filled with criticism, it can be discouraging. And when you don’t tell your outsourcing vendor what they’re doingright, how will they know what works for you?
Breaking Bad Habits
So what can you do to stop sabotaging what could be a profitable and productive relationship?
Start with having realistic expectations. It’s never going to be perfect but with some effort you can keep mistakes at a minimum. Recognize that it’s a relationship so you need to communicate, give and take, and help each other grow by supporting each other.
Last but not the least, just relax and let your outsourcing vendor do what they’re being paid to do. Outsourcing is supposed to make things easier. Just let it happen and watch your business grow.