When you decide to outsource to others using contractors, you must understand how to find good ones and keep them before you get started. Nothing is worse than finally deciding to pay someone else to do something and making a bad choice.
- Know What You Want – If you don’t know exactly what you need, it’ll be hard to hire the right person or team to help you. If you cannot write a detailed job or project description highlighting the expected deliverables and timetable, and budget, you are not ready to find a contractor.
- One Thing Per Contractor – When it comes to your small home business, you don’t want to hire one person to be in charge of an entire project because it can cause problems. For example, if you hire one writer to write, edit, format, and do every part of a project for you and they get sick, you may end up without a project. But if you hire someone just to do the writing, someone else to do the editing, and yet someone else to make it pretty, you’re more likely to get a better product in the end. Plus, it’s a lot easier to replace someone only responsible for editing since each skillset is specific.
- Know Your Budget – You need to know the range you’re willing to pay for the projects you’re trying to outsource. To generate the number, you need to find out what the going rate is for that particular expertise. Don’t try to get a rocket scientist on a minimum wage budget.
- Check References – Even if your friend recommends a person or company for your project, always check up on them to be sure they are who they say they are. You’d do this if you were hiring someone to come to your storefront, do it when you are going to work with someone in your company every single time.
- Start Small – When you first work with someone, don’t hire them for a long-term project. Instead, hire them for a short-term project with a faster turn around time so that you can find out if they are right for you for future or more critical projects.
- Respect the Laws – When you hire a contractor, they are not your employee. How they produce your deliverables is not any of your concern. The important part is to answer the question: Did they deliver the results you paid for? You don’t control their time because they are not your employee. For this reason, pay by project or task and not hourly.
- Use a Project Management System – Some independent contractors have their own system and want you to sign up for their project management system. This is important because it helps establish that they are not employees. But if they don’t use their own, set up a system for them to use with you as it’ll keep everything more organized and on task.
- Communicate Regularly and Quickly – When your contractors have a question, get back to them as quickly as possible with the answers. They have their own timeline, and if you’re not fast with responses, you can end up being really hard to work with.
- Pay on Time – Don’t mess with someone’s pay. If you promise to pay them a certain amount of money for the work, then pay them when you said you would. Don’t hire people if you don’t have the funds to pay at that moment.
Remember that the old saying that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Always check up on anyone you plan to work with, whether you are going to pay them, share private information with them, or have them associated with your business name in any way. There are lots of great people who want to work virtually as a contractor, so if you know what you want and do your due diligence, you will find them.