Do you own an agency that operates in a particular niche? What happens when your clients are planning expansion and ask for more services? Should you hurriedly panic and worry that you will lose the client? At times, agencies end up promising services which are out of their areas of expertise just for the sake of retaining clients.
What happens then?
They deliver those services horribly, disappoint the clients, and ultimately end up losing them.
So, what should you do?
Outsourcing is one great option in such scenarios. It has now become quite a common practice. Agencies can tie up with outsourcing resource partners.
Are you new to this? That’s completely alright! At Clientjoy Agency Summit, Steven Slotow associated with us in a session powered by Apploye and Startup Around to compile a full proof guide on practices for working with an outsourced resource partner.
Resource partners essentially help you in scaling and supporting your agency, it is more about collaboration and sharing efforts to achieve something, rather than just about handing over your responsibilities to another company. Hence, both companies share the benefits and risks involved in the process by default.
Three key aspects to focus on while choosing an outsourced resource partner:
When you get together with a resource partner, you are essentially onboarding someone new to look after a part of your work. You and your resource partner, both will have to adhere to:
When you delegate to your outsourced resource partners, you do not pass on the responsibility for the outcomes. You share those. When the job is conveyed to an outsourcing partner, it becomes your responsibility to clearly communicate the desired outcomes to them.
Your Process And Standards
Apart from the work that agencies do, they are known for the processes and standards of work that sets them apart.
Have you ever seen a wonderful ad and thought this must be by Ogilvy?
Lately, have you seen exceptional social media posts by Netflix? Yes! every organisation/agency sets certain standards in the industry. Those standards are met by adhering to the processes that distinguish them from others.
When you work with an outsourced resource partner, you need to sit with them and discuss the processes and standards. It is important that the same is reflected in the work they do for you and ultimately your clients.
Maintaining Brand Promise
When you get clients onboard, you make a promise. A promise of the deliverables, a promise that builds faith. It is very important that you convey these promises to your outsource resource partner because now, you both are bound to keep and maintain that promise to your client.
Resource partners essentially help you in scaling and supporting your agency, it is more about collaboration and sharing efforts to achieve something, rather than just about handing over your responsibilities to another company. Hence, both companies share the benefits and risks involved in the process by default. It is essential to build a good relationship with your resource partner. How do you do that?
Agencies must not consider resource partners as a switch-on-in-need solution but an extension to their own team. The stronger the relationship, the better the outcome will be. Ensuring this also helps in aligning the processes and standards of your agency with your resource partner.
While it might be important to share certain information for working on the same project, it is also necessary to build a borderline and decide how much access is permitted. You and your resource partner both have different companies & clients to work with, make sure you maintain the confidentiality of critical business assets that can’t be compromised.
Key Performance Indicators are performance metrics that measure specific goals for businesses. Clearly define your KPI’s to the resource partners so that both of you are on the same page and this will also help you to evaluate their performance. When there is a clarity regarding the KPI’s, it helps in maintaining the brand promise to your client.
Delegate Tasks, Not The Outcome
What is somebody told you that you are expected to get straight A’s but didn’t tell you what books/classes you would need to do so?
Clueless, Right? And that certainly won’t help anybody. Therefore, when you start working on a project with your resource partner, tell them where you plan to reach and more importantly how you plan to do that. Help them out by clearing what all tasks are expected from them.
3. Ask Questions:
In order to gain utmost clarity with your outsource resource partner, it is very important that both of you are clear about the processes involved, the people involved and the outcomes expected. All of this, will be achieved only when you have an honest and open conversation before onboarding a resource partner. Here’s what you should keep in mind and ask them:
Will My Data Be Safe?
You’ll be handing out your & your clients’ database to your resource partner, make sure to ask them how are they going to keep your information safe & what legal resources do they have.
Who The Hell Are You?
Do your homework well, know your resource partner well before onboarding them. Learning about their previous clients/work & their team upfront will save you from several agonies at a later stage.
Do You Care About My Outcomes?
Make sure that your resource partners are working with the best intentions to help you achieve the outcomes for your clients. Because if not, you are going to let your clients down.
What are your turnaround times?
Get specifics from your resource partner about the turnaround time for blogs, for reporting, for website. It will help you better optimise you calendars & set expectations with your clients about the outcomes.
Do you offer customer support?
If your resource partner is from a country with a different time zone, the ticketing system will help allow you to better manage the relationship with your partner in times of escalation or when things go wrong.
What Is Your Pricing? And Why?
According to the budget allocated by your client, you will need to manage finances of the project. It is always better to clear out the same with your resource partners and understand what their pricing structures look like. Ask them to give justifications for their pricing and know if they flexible and willing to scale.
Steven began his career as the Tech & Motoring Editor for FHM Magazine South Africa in 2003 before starting his own copywriting and digital solutions agency in 2013. In 2016, Steven teamed up with Damian Papworth to provide copywriting and graphic design solutions to Globital’s audience of supported agencies.
As the COO, Steven now heads up and oversees the operations of the Globital teams throughout the world and supports a growing number of international digital agencies as a resource partner with world-class, outsourced, white label and wholesale digital marketing solutions.
Have questions? Check out the full video of the session: