You rely on others to help you with your business... are you giving that person the tools and environment to succeed? Or have you tied his hands behind his back, made his life difficult, demanded unreasonable things and been unsure of what you want?
Good business works both ways. Approach being a client with the same level of excellence you would leading your team, and you’ll get better results.
A few key areas to focus on:
Clarity -What are you hoping this project will do for you?
Tell your service provider what you hope to see happen from this project. Give him an understanding of how this meets your goals so he can partner with you on that. What are you assuming? Be over-explicit in your directions. Are you sure? Don’t constantly change your mind in the middle of the project. Be sure of your decisions and give him changes all at once.
Support- To accomplish your project, you won’t be able to completely let go and forget about it. You'll need to support and encourage the outcome. Be available for questions and ask how you can help with the project. A partner approach will keep you on track and moving in the right direction.
Expertise- Be available, but also willing to let go of the controls. Sure you took a class on accounting and maybe have a working knowledge of the field, but do you really think you know more than your CPA who spent years in school? Have some respect for his expertise and give him the space to do his work well.
Checkpoints- All projects need course correction. Even if you love his previous work he'll probably get off track at some point just because he can’t see inside your mind. So set up consistent check points to review what’s been done so far and what pivots need to be made. This will ensure you get what you actually want and you'll save yourself resources and frustration. Have those meetings with the expressed purpose of making changes. When it’s part of the process, your service provider won’t feel that he’s failed when you make necessary changes.
Feedback- To ensure even better service next time, provide project feedback. This will teach you how to give credit where it’s earned and constructive criticism where it’s needed.
- Here’s what went well
- Here’s what could be improved upon
- For next time, it would be so much better if…
Promotion- Your service provider did a good job right? So you should promote him and share his work. Offer to write a recommendation and send a few referrals. You want to see him be successful and make sure he’s still in business when you need something else!
If you put a little thought into how you work with those who make you successful, you’ll find yourself with service “partners” who support your business and care almost as much as you do to see it thrive.