The early stages of any new business require a lot of hands-on work from stakeholders. Entrepreneurs must roll up their sleeves and tackle decisions about services, pricing, marketing, and design – at least at first. As a business grows, however, many opt to outsource tasks to other professionals. After all, it’s challenging enough to manage the daily operations of a business. It makes sense to delegate tasks and assign projects to experts.
Many business owners feel hesitant to outsource such vital aspects of their work to outsiders. After months or years of tireless work, it can be difficult to hand over your baby to a stranger. Even when they come highly recommended, outsourced partners carry some degree of risk. Surrendering control of a particular aspect of your business can feel a lot like loss. This is especially true of one-man operations where an owner has poured countless hours of blood, sweat, and tears into their business.
While outsourcing isn’t always necessary, it typically makes the lives of busy entrepreneurs and businesses easier. After working tirelessly to find success, it makes sense to grow your network of trusted allies and delegate instead of doing everything yourself. If you’re eager to maintain your brand image while reclaiming a healthier work/life balance, follow these four tips:
Understand Your Brand
It’s impossible to educate others about your goals if you don’t first have a thorough understanding of them yourself. Your brand image should be tied directly to the core values that drive your business. It takes time to develop these values, and even more time to fully explore them. Spend some time with your company’s mission statement, philosophy, and five-year plan to really get a handle on your brand.
Once you’ve got a better understanding of your brand, you’ll be ready to share your findings with outsourced partners. Create a branding guide to share with the virtual receptionists, graphic designers, web developers and other professional contacts with whom you’re working. Outline specific preferences you have about the way your company name and logo are used, how you want your brand voice portrayed, and come up with some content guidelines specific to your company. By sharing your goals and overall philosophy with partners, you’ll accomplish specific tasks like this more easily.
Develop an Approval Process
As much as you’d like to sign off on every decision that’s made about your company, there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do so. When a business grows, there’s even less time to dedicate to the kinds of choices that outsourced partners are making. You’ve got accounts to manage and new clients to woo – the last thing you need on your desk is a growing stack of website copy to approve.
Developing an approval process for the projects you outsource can help make creative partnerships easier. As your team grows, you won’t want to call every shot. Set up an approval process that protects your image but operates largely hands-free. Use collaboration tools to knock to-do items off your list, and create a committee to handle big decisions.
Find Reliable, Credible Partners
Business owners can be incredibly selective when searching for outsourcing partners. Unfortunately, though, if they’re not sure what you’re looking for, the search can be fruitless. Before you go looking for a company to manage your brand, outline your requirements and preferences. It may take some time to find the perfect match, but choosing a reliable, credible partner is much easier when you’ve got a road map to guide your search. And don’t forget, references and recommendations from others are always a great way to start.
Maintain an Authentic Voice
Every business owner fears the loss of control that comes with scaling up. Thankfully, there are ways to maintain the same authentic brand persona with which you started. Custom scripting for virtual receptionists, for example, can ensure that every phone call is handled the same way you would if you had the time!
The way you speak to customers should match the manner in which you share information on Facebook or via email. Customers are savvier than ever, and can easily see through the smoke and mirrors that some brands use to drive sales. By maintaining a voice across platforms and channels, you’ll foster real relationships with your clients. Consistency is key. Not matter who you’re asking to support your goals, it’s important to get them on the same page.
At MAP, we work hard to ensure your unique branding and identity are reflected in your customer service offerings. We believe that regardless of who picks up your calls, customers should be greeted and cared for in an authentic manner that is true to your brand image. It’s why our virtual receptionists, call center representatives and answering service agents all work from customized phone scripts that fit your business perfectly. Interested in learning more? Sign up for our free trial now!