Relationships, it’s all about chemistry.
And we all know that chemistry isn’t necessarily about attractiveness. It’s about compatibility. It’s about finding someone who gets you. It’s that moment where you find someone who is easy to talk to and feels the same way.
Does chemistry exist in business relationships? Definitely!
But unlike romantic relationships, chemistry in a professional sense doesn’t happen overnight. Good chemistry in working relationships happens over time. Good chemistry is a result of good communication and empathy.
And when you’re in an outsourcing relationship, you need a lot of chemistry. Why? Because chemistry determines how well you work together. If you can work well together, you get more things done and produce better outcomes.
How would you know if you and your outsourcing vendor have good chemistry? Good chemistry comes in when there is good communication involved. It happens when you start to become invested in each other’s success.
Here are 5 signs that you and your outsourcing partner have great working chemistry.
#1 You have the similar business philosophies and values.
When you have similar business philosophies and values, you’ll find it easier to relate with one another. You understand each other’s processes and goals. So when you start working together on a project, more often than not you’ll see that you and your partner would be looking in the same direction and have similar goals.
#2 You gain a working knowledge about each other’s industries
Even if you and your outsourcing vendor start out completely different, over time you’ll start to understand and appreciate the work that they do. Once you have a better understanding of how your different businesses work, you’re able to work better together. Even better, you’ll start to develop processes better suited for each other’s business.
Let’s say you’re outsourcing to a search engine optimization expert. When you start outsourcing you may have little or no knowledge of how SEO works. But the more you work together, your SEO virtual assistant will start showing you more on how SEO works. Then you’ll get a better idea of how to make SEO work in your business and you’ll have more input in the process.
At the same time, your SEO virtual assistant would have a better understanding of how your business works. Over time, he’ll start to tailor his strategy to fit your business needs more, rather than just follow what most people recommend.
#3 Your outsourcing vendor’s skills and knowledge complements your business
When you’re in a good relationship, you do what you can to make your relationship work. It’s the same with outsourcing. If you take care and support your outsourcing partner, they will do the same for you. To take care of you and your business, your outsourcing partner would gain more knowledge and skills that would help your business grow.
It doesn’t matter what you’re outsourcing; whether it’s to a general virtual assistant or to a search engine optimization agency. When you work together long enough, a great outsourcing vendor will find ways to help you. They might create custom packages for you or refer you to another vetted outsourcing firm. Your outsourcing partner will do this because their success is dependent on your success. So getting you the best help possible would be their top priority.
#4 You develop a communication system that makes it easier to talk to one another.
One of the biggest problems most business owners have when they hire a virtual assistant or when they outsource is how to accurately express what they need. Communication is a skill you need to practice and communicating with a person or a specific group of people takes time to master. But if you’re patient enough and you’re willing to do the work, it does happen.
But the thing is, there’s no single system that works for everyone. We all communicate differently with different people. If you have a good relationship with your outsourcing vendor, you might be surprised to find that you don’t communicate with them the same way with your other partners.
For you, email and chat messages might be enough. For other people, the occasional face-to-face meeting over Skype might be necessary. The tools might vary but one thing all these different communication styles have in common is they all have a system. It’s a system that thrives on regular communication. And the information exchange is in a format that both parties understand.
So how do you develop a communication system that works for you and your outsourcing partner? You have to try everything at least once and quickly assess which works. It’s a lot of work in the beginning but getting a system out of the way will make it easier for you and your vendor to get things done in the future.
#5 Has your business improved since you started working with your outsourcing partner?
The best indicator of business chemistry are the results. Has business been better since you started outsourcing? Have you made more money? Are you more relaxed? Is your business growing in a rate you’re happy with?
Why is this indicator important? It’s important because it’s easy to lose sight of your goals if you’re not clear about what you want or expect from an outsourcing relationship. We’ve seen businesses who feel like they have a great relationship with their outsourced team but they’re confused as to why they’re not getting good results. So they become disillusioned and give up on outsourcing all together.
But the real issue here is whether they were clear on their goals to begin with. Were their outsourcing goals complementing their business goals? Did they look for outsourcing vendors with a clear idea of how these vendors can contribute to business growth? Were they so focused on micromanaging every aspect of the outsourcing process that they lost the bigger picture of how the product would actually benefit the company?
For example, let’s say you outsourced social media optimization services. And when you met a vendor you liked, you told them everything you want done for your social media. You want it to look cool and hip. You want it to be better than your competitors do.
These are reasonable goals but how do these goals help your business? Do you just want social media accounts that look pretty or do you want accounts that support your brand?
It might have been better if the goals were more specific. Like you want to strengthen your customer service arm through social media, so you want your outsourcing vendor to respond, track and create a system for responding to customer comments.
This is when businesses get the full benefits of outsourcing. When you outsource tasks with a clear vision of how it’s supposed to work within your business model, it becomes easier for you to communicate what you want. And when you’re able to communicate effectively what you have in mind, your outsourcing partner would be in a better position to give you what you need.
When you have clear and realistic expectations from your outsourcing team, it’s easier for them to deliver the kind of results that you want for your business. That’s when true chemistry sets in, when you both get exactly what you want from a working relationship.