With the increasing complexity of communication and technology, more businesses are turning to agency partners to fill niche roles. Relying on just one partner isn’t enough to cover all of the bases, though. Companies benefit most from hiring several different agency partners. The question is, how can you successfully manage multiple partner relationships?
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to develop positive, long lasting rapports that benefit everyone involved. Let’s explore.
Establish a Communication Process
You can’t expect communication to be a priority if you don’t set expectations from the get go. Consider the working styles of your agency partners and how communication can be streamlined. Before starting a project, send out an email with everyone’s contact information. Don’t forget to clearly define the goals of the project. This reminds the team that they are all working toward the same results.
Be Flexible and Accommodating
As important as it is to set expectations and guidelines for your team to follow, flexibility is still a must. Client projects are unique, so it can halt efficiency and creativity if you use a strict cookie-cutter strategy. Instead, be willing to adjust your approach to fit the different needs of your clients. Your partners should also be accommodating and understand how the creative and branding process works.
Include Partners in the Planning Phase
As the planning process takes place, be sure to include your agency partners. Too often, we see companies fail to do this because they think their partners are only experienced in their respective niches. However, your partners need to be familiar with the scope of the project, not just their specialized areas. Understanding the bigger picture leads to improved results that meet the end needs of your project.
Create a Project Governance
Another way to effectively collaborate with agency partners is to establish a project governance. Don’t wait until your knee-deep in the project to do this, otherwise you’ll struggle to get everyone on the same page. The best way to establish a project governance is to create a chart that outlines which parts of the project require input from higher level executives and which decisions can be made without approval.
Share the Appropriate Resources
Some projects fail because resources are not allocated properly. In order for you and your partners to deliver consistent, quality work, everyone must have access to the same resources, including data, content, road maps, plans, and more. Fortunately, you can devise shared documents in programs like Google Docs for everyone to access and manage.
Transparency is one of the greatest gifts you have. Not only does it keep everyone feeling confident about their roles, but also it allows people to speak up at the right times. When you’ve spent months on a project, the last thing you want to hear is that it needs major revisions. Transparency avoids these situations so that you can deliver a successful end project.
Agency partners can help your business be more competitive and accept projects that you may not have the in-house staff for. As you introduce more agency partners into your projects, be sure to follow the tips above for effective collaboration.