Running a business takes a lot of work. Coming to the realization you need and want to outsource is a game changer. Handing off tasks can help you save and make more money, have more time, and create a team. When you attract the right business partners the results can be magical, but sometimes things don’t work out.
Disengaging from a partnership can be dicey. No one loves conflict and sometimes backing out of an arrangement can be uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are professional and courteous ways to end a working relationship without having a blow up. Here are some important steps to take when it’s just not working out.
Step 1. Get clear on what’s not working- When things aren’t working out it’s important to get clear on why. Determine where the breakdown is happening. Be certain you aren’t responsible or contributing to what isn’t working before you cast blame.
Step 2. Communicate- From the moment you sense something isn’t quite right, communicate. Don’t let time go by without addressing what’s not working and approaching the situation with a solution-focused attitude. It’s easier to fix protocols or solve problems early rather than let things slide until you are frustrated or emotional.
Step 3. Give constructive feedback- When things are not working out, offer feedback and ask questions. It may be that there is a breakdown in communication, or something needs to be put into place to prevent problems or make things better. Do what you can to solve any problems and improve workflow.
Step 4. Make important decisions- If it becomes clear that things aren’t working out, make the important decisions to protect your business interests and prepare for a smooth transition away from your outsourcing provider. Consider any contracts in place or agreements made regarding notice to end services. If there are no formal termination agreements, consider how you intend to terminate services.
Step 5. Resist the urge to explain- It can feel uncomfortable ending a business relationship. The human factor gets in the way and can cause emotions to flare. Resist offering an explanation if things just aren’t working out. If your business partner asks directly for feedback, consider framing your thoughts in polite but professional examples that can help them improve their services in the future, but leave out any intense emotions because they can cloud the message.
Step 6. Don’t burn your bridges- Whenever possible, end a business partnership on a positive note. Avoid burning bridges or allowing emotions to override professionalism. Parting on a good note is always preferable. Keep things as positive as possible and don’t dwell on what went wrong. Once the relationship has ended, use your energy to focus on finding a new provider and let any negativity go.
Step 7. Focus on solutions rather than problems- As you find a new solution for outsourcing, be sure to stay focused on what you want rather than what you don’t. As in all relationships, it’s important not to take any baggage with you into a new partnership. When connecting with a new provider, focus on what you need and don’t speak negatively about anyone. Keep a professional attitude and use any lessons you learned to build a better, more positive business partnership the next time.
Sometimes things just don’t work out. It’s not the end of the world and it doesn’t mean outsourcing isn’t a magical part of running a business. Don’t take it personal when things don’t work. Instead, learn from any mistakes and use what you’ve learned to build bigger and better relationships moving forward.
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