Of all the ways to maximize our business relationships, one strategy often goes overlooked. We hire a vendor to fix a problem, pay the invoice, and never look back. Yet the knowledge and expertise these professionals offer should not be seen as a one-time solution, but instead as an ongoing tactical support system.
Take, for example, search engine optimization (SEO). The SEO professional increases your online visibility and the amount of business you receive by ensuring that it’s your website that pops up when a user searches for your product or service. You don’t want to invest a lot of your resources in what seems like a one-time solution, so you request a short-term contract. Then a year later, Google significantly changes its algorithm and your phone stops ringing. This is when that ongoing business relationship is a much better use of your marketing dollars than what previously seemed like a less-expensive quick fix.
Another benefit of investing in the contractors we hire is enhanced communication and understanding. As business operators, we cannot expect someone to fully grasp our needs over a few emails. Face-to-face conversations encourage cohesiveness through body language communication, increase the number of important questions asked, and lend a greater sense of connection, which leads to motivation to do the job well.
While we contemplate the new year, let’s try to shift how we view our resources. Time is always precious, but so is maximizing the wealth of knowledge of those around us and limiting the number of mistakes made by ourselves and our vendors.