Small business owners must accomplish what large business owners do, but often with much less manpower. Sometimes there simply isn’t an option to hire another full-time employee based on the financial bottom line of the company, but you still need the extra help. Hiring a contractor is an easy way to get more done, and be able to afford it based on the hours you can pay. With all of the different contractor job sites out there, finding the right one is also pretty convenient.
There are some things to keep in mind, though, when you decide to open up your small business to contract work. In order to strike a balanced, fair partnership with a contractor, you should keep these suggestions in mind:
Start small. Just as there is a learning curve for every new employee, the same is true of contractors. Prioritize the tasks that you need completed and then hire accordingly, leaving some time between the hires to be sure each contractor is set up properly.
Check references. Considering how easily people can manipulate things digitally, be sure to actually make some phone calls and check up on any contractors you plan to bring into the mix. You want to be sure that the people you are sharing your small business details with are hardworking, trustworthy and basically who they say they are on paper. Depending on the type of business you run, background checks may also be needed.
Be specific on payment terms. Make it standard practice to put in writing whatever payment amounts are agreed upon, and include the terms of those (deadlines, date of services, expectations). Don’t open yourself up to a lawsuit by not having a document that explains pay clearly – one that the contractor signs and acknowledges that he or she has received.
Communicate often. Treat small business contractors like part of your in-house team. Keep in contact with them on a daily basis and have an agreed-upon time to receive project updates. If you send out a company-wide email, include them on it. A contractor will feel more loyalty towards your team if he or she feels included and valued. This will translate into a higher quality of work that you receive from your contractors.
Ask for input. Contractors are usually some of the best at what they do and also have the advantage of working with several different companies if they so desire. While most will be bound by non-disclosure agreements, you can still glean a lot of information about where your own business stands in your industry through feedback from contractors. Ask for ways certain tasks can be accomplished more efficiently or if there is anything your small business should be doing, but isn’t. A smart contractor will help you take your business to the next level because it means more work security for him or her, too.
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This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: 5 Best Practices When Hiring Contractors for your Small Business
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