One of the things I enjoy most about supporting businesses the way I do is contributing to the bigger goals for their business and being able to take some of the hassle out of finding out how to go about achieving what they want. Making things happen in the background while they focus on making it all real.
This can only happen if I know what’s coming up, what’s the focus over the coming weeks, months, year ahead. What’s in their thinking and what they’d like to achieve.
Why this is important
When you work with someone else in your business, be that a VA, coach, accountant, or marketing agency, it should be really important that they understand you and your business, in order that they can tailor what they do to the way you work and your business. That way, you get the best service and make the most of the opportunities that they offer to really help you move your business forward.
If you work in ‘boxes’ and on a functional level, chances are that you won’t be maximising your relationship with the people you choose to work with.
Making your relationships better
I totally get that some businesses want to work on a functional level for various reasons, but I would still recommend that you explore who you work with and how they may be able to help you that you’re just not seeing!
Here’s a few ways you can find out what you’re missing….
Do some research – when was the last time you had a look at their website? You probably had a look around before you decided to work together but have you done it recently? You may find they have added new services that you’re unaware of.
Working with others – what do they do for other clients they work with? Have a look at case studies they may have on their website, or testimonials. Does something jump out that you would like help with too?
Ask – take the time to talk to who you work with, and ask what else they can help you with. It may feel like you’re in touch all the time, but do you really know what they do outside of what they do for you? Perhaps explain what you’re looking to do and where you’d like to take your business. If they can’t support you, chances are they can recommend someone who can.
Make a plan!
You’ve taken time to find if you’re really maximising your relationships with those you work with, and you have identified areas that they can help you on that you hadn’t realised, which is great!
You already know them, you work well together, and you now want to get on and put some of this in place. But how do you plan for their support to fit in with the bigger plan for your business? You may not need it straight away, but how do you know when?
First you need your own plan! You may already have one, but you will need to document it in a way that works for you, what you’re wanting to do and what you need to make that happen. You’ll also need timescales too so you’re able to let others know when you may need their help (and for keeping you on track too).
It’s so easy to let the timescales and deadlines we set for ourselves to slip, but if you plan it out formally and include others, you are more likely to stick to it. A hidden benefit of working with others in your business!
You’ll then need to share your thinking in more detail with those you want to work with, giving approximate timescales, so they know that you may be coming to them for their help and expertise, or you envisage needing more help from them in future.
I can hear some of you saying that this sounds edgy, you feel like this is making a commitment and what if things change. Yep, things might change, but if you never commit to making your business the best it can be, you’ll not get to where you want to. Just make sure that you keep everyone up to date.
So, who can you talk to today so see if they can help you more in your business?