For every business, and every business owner or leader, there comes a time when internal limitations slow things down, stop us or even make things go backwards. Capacity, knowledge, or expertise within the organization (or even the individual) can become an obstacle in the way. Hiring and upskilling are great options, and also looking outside the business can be an option to give us the ability to grow faster provided we get it right too.
As a seasoned business coach, I have seen firsthand how external contractors and engagements can make or break a business. And unfortunately, I have also seen many business owners fall victim to common mistakes that lead to failed partnerships and wasted resources.
In this article, I want to shed light on the reasons why business owners fail with external contractors and engagements, and provide three essential steps to make sure your external engagements are successful.
Step 1: Define Your Expectations Clearly
One of the most common reasons for failed partnerships is a lack of clarity around expectations. It is vital to have an explicit agreement with your external contractors that outlines what you expect from them and what they can expect from you.
This agreement should include details about the scope of work, timelines, deliverables, communication protocols, and payment terms. By setting clear expectations, you can avoid misunderstandings and ensure that everyone is on the same page from the start.
A good framework is The Entourage Growth Services’s “Move Business Faster Framework” to address the overall impact on the business of a project or plan, and what other considerations need to be weighed up. Know what needs to happen before a project, and the flow on effect, to lessen the chance of any interference in your expectations and outcomes.
Step 2: Choose the Right Partner
Choosing the right partner for your external engagement is critical to its success. When selecting a contractor, it is essential to look beyond their portfolio and consider their communication style, work ethic, and cultural fit.
Often we have no choice but to rely on Google, choosing the partner that has spent the most on marketing or SEO, as opposed to the right fit for us at our stage of business.
Make sure to ask for references and speak to their previous clients to get a sense of their professionalism and reliability. You want to partner with someone who is committed to your project's success and can work collaboratively with your team.
Knowing where to turn to find trusted and vetted partners is something that a business community can provide, but also something at your fingertips with The Entourage Growth Services team. We’ve gone through the implementation and seen the results many times. By looking at projects and partnerships holistically, we can look for any gaps that a more myopic approach could miss and this can lead to a better delivery of the overall return on investment.
Step 3: Foster Open Communication
Effective communication is the foundation of any successful partnership, particularly with external contractors. Establish regular check-ins to discuss progress, address concerns, and make any necessary adjustments.
It is also essential to be transparent and open with your contractor about any changes or challenges that may arise throughout the engagement. By fostering a culture of open communication, you can build trust and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.
At The Entourage Growth Services, we’re all about collaboration and communication. As a key partner for all our providers, we’re checking in regularly to keep on the front foot with effective delivery of services and roll out of projects. It’s the unfortunate yet realistic truth of business, that sometimes smaller clients can be neglected by providers - and this is a challenge we negate by pooling the collective buying power behind our name and experience in the business community.
Engaging with external contractors can be a valuable asset to your business, but it requires careful planning and execution. By defining your expectations clearly, choosing the right partner, and fostering open communication, you can set your external engagements up for success. Remember, a successful partnership is a win-win for both parties, and it all starts with the right approach.
Book a free session with a Growth Services Business Advisor to help look at the right decision and the right time, and unlock your best next steps in finding the right partner to move your business forward faster.
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