Managing Independent Contractors At Your Business

Small Business Independent Contractor Management
Reading Time: 2 minutes

At some point in your career, you’ll bring aboard an independent contractor.

This is a wise decision. You will have need of expertise from outside, and failing that, a fresh perspective. No one can run a small business forever using just your own skills and those of your employees. It’s impossible. You need to bring in someone who can help you complete that major project, handle that re-model and just be a darn good independent contractor.

So now that you know you’re bringing in a contractor, how can you ensure that they will be a good fit for your business and will give you the help you need? The urge to micromanage the contractor may be overwhelming, but I’m going to explain to you why that ultimately does a lot more harm than good.

Tips For Managing Independent Contractors

Give Them Latitude

Nothing ensures a project will be derailed faster than micromanagement. Give the contractor an outline of what you’re looking for and enough materials to ensure they can nail your company’s spirit, particularly if it’s a website or something similar. The Oatmeal offers up a useful example of what happens when the client (you) decides to bring your force of personality and complete lack of expertise to bear.

Set A Firm Deadline

As awesome a creature as the noble badger truly is, you don’t want to morph into one. If you need a project done in a month, make it extremely clear to the contractor that a month is what they have. Any longer than that and they’ll forfeit something, which you should put into any contract you work up or sign. At that point, you should be solid.

The important thing here is that you should set the deadline, check in occasionally and let them work. Nothing is less motivational and more grating than the client who won’t stop asking about a project, worrying about a project and calling up a contractor late at night to play some Taylor Swift and wonder aloud when it’s going to be finished. Whatever you may think, you’re not going to get the project in your hands any faster if you’re chewing up valuable time daily or even weekly emulating the badger.

Do Your Homework

It’s in the best interest of every contractor to present you with testimonials and materials championing their expertise and strong work ethic. You should take those into consideration, but rarely do they present the full picture.

Instead, talk to others who have used the contractor, both that you know personally and on online forums. Is there a history of unfinished or late projects? Is the contractor abrasive once they’re out of the sales phase of the process? These are t hings you must know before you bring them aboard, and you won’t get them directly from the contractor.

For more tips, be sure to check out this awesome article from Inc. Let us know how you manage your independent contractors!


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