Working with a contractor is similar to working with any employee or business partner. You need to establish a strong and collaborative relationship with them to make sure that you get the most out of that partnership. A contractor could be anyone from a virtual assistant, web designer, social media manager, content writer, and other service providers. Developing a great relationship with them is vital to the success of your outsourcing venture. Over the past weeks, we have been looking at the ins and outs of outsourcing. We’ve also looked at the dynamics of working with a Filipino VA. Today, we’ll delve into how you can build a thriving relationship with your contractor. We’re giving you specific steps to help you ease your way into this business collaboration.
Change in mindset.
Most business owners view contractors in the same level as their supplier of office chairs or their cable guy. What they don’t realize is that they’re outsourcing talent. These contractors come to you with an arsenal of expertise, skill, and experience. You need to approach this relationship in such a way that you’re fully aware that you’ll be working with a professional. Your mindset will dictate the way you deal with your contractor. It’s a multi-dimensional relationship that involves respect, trust, and accountability. Contractors know if they are being undermined by their employer. Keep in mind that you’re not the only one in need of your contractor’s services. The global workforce is so lucrative that contractors even have the leisure of choosing the best employer out there.
Go for calculated bargaining.
It’s obvious that one of the main reasons why you will outsource is to lower your costs. However, you need to be mindful of how you bargain for the services of your contractor. In any service, we know the general rule that the more money you spend, the more value you’ll get. There’s a reason why this contractor is more expensive than the previous one you interviewed. You might be talking with an efficient project manager who can do much more than social media monitoring. Meanwhile, there’s a cheaper contractor who can only upload social media posts and paste a generic reply to comments. You may be better off with the project manager who can help you strategize and customize your posts although it will cost you a bit more. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. There’s a reason why cheap labor is coined as such. Bargaining too low is not a good precedent in this kind of working relationship.
Apply the Law of Inclusion.
Contractors need to know your business so they can accurately produce the output you require. Once you’ve chosen your provider, you need to walk them through your brand identity, product line, business processes, goals, and even marketing direction if need be. Make them feel they’re part of the company by including them in company-wide email blasts and including them in bonuses (no matter how small the amount may be). Treat them like a full-time employee who’s simply assigned overseas. That way, they will feel more motivated to give their best because you’re developing a sense of ownership in them by including them in your circle. When you do this, it will also be easier for your contractor to align his or her output to your business direction.
Communicate clearly and regularly.
Communication is always two-way. You don’t get to say the last word all the time. Good communication involves a fair amount of talking and listening. You need to communicate your expectations and contractor’s job description clearly. Specify the systems you need your contractor to use. Deadlines should be set with enough lead time to ensure optimal results. Give feedback regularly by praising them for excellent work and relaying constructive criticism. Showing appreciation will help build your relationship with your contractor. You also need to be open to suggestions. Sometimes, your contractor will give professional opinions. It’s beneficial to pay attention to them because having fresh eyes in your company allows you to see certain business flaws that you never saw before. Set the tone early by encouraging questions and collaborations to show how valuable communication is for you.
To establish a long-standing partnership with your contractor, you need to find that perfect balance between nurturing the relationship and applying smart management. You can’t be too laid back and let your contractors do their thing. You can’t be too stiff and pull back the reins every single time. As a business owner, you need to know when to intervene and when to let your contractor do their work. Trust is gained when you and your contractor are able to deliver on what you promised. Respect is earned when you treat each other professionally over the course of your partnership. Accountability is established when you’re both able to admit and address your shortcomings. Your contractor is part of your support network, aiding your company’s success in the capacity you allow them to contribute. Having a great relationship with them allows for excellent contractor performance and high quality output. That alone is more than enough motivation to make this partnership work.
About Pepper Virtual Assistants
Pepper Virtual Assistant Services is a business solutions firm that specializes on administrative assistance, customer support, CRM, copywriting, and personal virtual assistance. We take pride in our reliable service and responsive client handling which embodies our team’s optimal performance.