It can be a daunting experience to start working with someone on your business, when to date it’s been you and you alone…where previously you had full and only creative input, you may now find there are other (professional!) voices and opinions in the mix.
It can be hard to let go and what happens if something actually goes wrong?
It’s important to remember that – assuming you’ve done your hiring job well – the inputs now involved are experienced and professional; it’s YOUR choice to seek input and support. It’s now ok to let go of the reins just a little, to allow the professionals you’ve hired to do their job 😉
You can help yourself to feel more comfortable letting go and trusting by following the practices below to prevent issues from arising in the first place…
Clarity on your ‘why’
Be super clear on what support you need; one of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen clients of my own tech support desk make is assuming we’ll operate in a project manager’s capacity too, when we expressly state that we don’t.
As the CEO and COO of your business, YOU still need to direct operations and ensure you’re the one on-point with the high level overview of what’s happening.
Be aware of the following:
- How much project management support do you need vs. pure tech support?
- How much strategic advice/input do you need vs. pure implementation?
- What kind of response times are you looking for?
- How much input into what vs. how do you need?
Communicate your expectations
When you’re clear about your expectations and hopes for your working relationship with a provider, communicate these. We’re not mind-readers and if you have specific expectations of how you want something done, tell us!
Doing this upfront, right at the start of your relationship will help iron out any misunderstanding, miscommunications and mismatched expectations.
Set targets, deadlines and milestones
Never, ever assume that your service provider knows your targets, deadlines and milestones; they may work with numerous clients and while you may have briefly mentioned a specific target/deadline, be explicit and clear about your expectations around this if it’s important and/or business critical.
Failure to communicate and hit deadlines is the #1 cause of most frustrated clients, even though they dropped the ball in communicating the deadline in the first place.
Always keep written records
Even if you communicate by voice (phone/Skype), always keep a written record of your communications. If you do speak, then follow up with a written confirmation of what was spoken about/agreed with an email/other recordable form of text communication.
Try using HipChat or Slack if you need frequent back and forth communication and don’t want to clog up your inbox. communicate.
Have contingency plans and back-ups
No matter how much you trust your service provider(s), always ensure you have a contingency plan in place should your working relationship break down/stop. This means:
- Ensuring you always have the latest login details for your key services/tools; use LastPass to manage and share your details securely so no-one but you actually sees your password.
- Even if you’re reliant on a particular provider for critical parts of your business, always have a backup option you could turn to if needed in an emergency.
- If you stop working with a provider, ensure you revoke and remove ALL their previous accesses.
While you may be lucky and find a crack team you trust, ALWAYS cover yourself should anything not go so smoothly in the future. And if all else fails, revert to your contract – you did sign one, didn’t you? – and see if you can work things out in a professional manner.
BONUS: If you’d like a low-risk trial of what it feels like to get support, let us do a trial task for you and see how much better it feels! Click here to email us your task, and we’ll be in touch to get started working on it for you.