Have you ever had a relationship that was really great in the beginning that just fizzled out in the end? Do you sometimes wonder if there was something you could have done to keep that relationship going? Do you ever wonder how some people are able to keep a good relationship going for years?

Romantic relationships are great analogies for outsourcing partnerships because they have many similarities. This is especially true when it comes to keeping and maintaining a good relationship.

Great business outsourcing relationships, like any relationship, requires maintenance. You have to nurture it to make it last and help it grow. If you take care of your outsourcing partner, you can be confident that they’ll do everything they can to take care of your business. And when you have someone reliable to take care of your business, this gives you the freedom to bring your company to new heights or explore new business opportunities.

So how do you take care of your working relationship with an outsourcing company? Fortunately, some of the best advice for couples work just as well. Here are the top 5 romance tips you can use that also work surprisingly well with outsourcing relationships.

  1. Don’t take your partner for granted. Appreciate one another 

Everyone can use a bit of appreciation, even your outsourcing vendor. Showing your appreciation for your partner isn’t just about flattering their ego. Positive feedback reinforces positive action.

When you tell your vendor that the social media optimization services they provided was really effective for your business, you’re letting them know what works in your partnership. They’ll keep doing with what they know works. They’ll strive to improve their other services so they’ll get the same positive feedback. They’ll make the extra effort for you because they know you appreciate the work that they do.

We all crave for validation and we’re pretty much willing to do anything to keep receiving it. So if you want your outsourced team to stay motivated, give them a steady supply of honest positive feedback. Compliments won’t break the bank and will help keep your relationship strong for years to come.

  1. Don’t let yourself go, work on continuously improving as individuals and as a unit.

 You know how women’s magazines talk about how you shouldn’t let yourself go and keep improving yourself even when you’re in a relationship. It’s the same thing with outsourcing. A business process outsourcing firm can help save your company time and money. But what you do with those savings is completely up to you.

Are you making use of that free time to improve yourself and your business? Are you investing that extra money to make yourself and your business better or are you just wasting it? Is your company capable of handling the change and growth that outsourcing can bring? Or are you going to keep your business stagnant?

When the parties in a business relationship fails to improve, the relationship also inevitably fails. For example, let’s say your offshore SEO virtual assistant does a great job in keeping your website high in search engine rankings. What are you doing with all that extra traffic? Are you converting more of them as customers or are you just letting your search engine optimization expert do all the heavy lifting?

And it goes both ways. Let’s say you hired a great virtual assistant agency that was able to get you plenty of qualified leads. You were able to use those leads, your business is growing and you want to outsource more work. Wouldn’t you be frustrated if your outsourcing partner can’t deal with more work that can bring them more profits?

  1. Don’t assume your partner understand you completely. Keep communication channels alive. 

Ever notice how some long terms couples seem to be able to read each other’s minds? How odd it is that they seem to be able to anticipate each other’s needs even before they say anything?

It’s not because these people developed telepathy. They still actively communicate with each other. As a result they’ve become more sensitive to each other’s needs and have become better at reading non-verbal cues.

The problem with outsourcing is that non-verbal cues are practically non-existent. So you really have to make an effort to keep communication channels alive and active. Pay attention to the emails, calls, chat exchanges, ask questions and make note of any changes. Mistakes happen when people assume that the message is automatically received and understood. Make sure that all messages are received correctly, documented, and understood accurately.

  1. Don’t expect perfection and lose your head on small mistakes. 

Nagging about every mistake destroys a relationship. It creates unnecessary tension and stress. It makes both parties defensive and closed off to communication.

It’s understandable that as a business owner, you expect to get what you’re paying for. But it’s also human nature to make mistakes. I’m not saying deal breakers should be tolerated. But it might be better for your business partnership in the long run to let small mistakes go.

As long the issue is something that can be resolved quickly and your outsourcing partner is making sure that those errors don’t happen again, there’s no need to fixate on it. Mistakes happen. You save time, money and experience less stress when you focus on fixing problems than nitpicking them.

  1. Don’t expect your partner will stay exactly the same but expect things to get better 

You know you’re in a good relationship when you become a better person because of it. If things don’t change at all and they don’t change for the better, that’s not a good sign.

With outsourcing, both you and your vendor should be doing better as your relationship grows. If nothing is changing even with all the work being done or if neither of your businesses are doing better as a result of your partnership, then there’s something seriously wrong.

Change and growth can be a scary time for businesses. It often means more work needs to be done and you need more resources. But it’s something you should embrace because it means your outsourcing relationship is working as it should.

The strength and quality of relationships are determined by the obstacles they overcome. And the best relationships often come out better because of those challenges. Great outsourcing partnerships continuously improve because of the challenges they overcome. With hard work, communication, and a bit of luck, everyone involved comes out bigger and better because of it.