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Practical Tips for Retaining Dependable Contractors
These days, you’d be hard-pressed to find a small business that doesn’t regularly enlist the aid of contractors.
Depending on your financial situation, contractors are liable to serve as a cost-effective alternative to both full-time employees and part-time help.
However, as is the case when dealing with regular employees, you’ll need to treat contractors well if you want to keep them coming back.
Small business owners looking for effective ways to hang on to their most dependable contractors should consider the following pointers for the retaining dependable contractors.
Retaining Dependable Contractors: Prompt Compensation for Services Rendered
Few things repel freelancers like late payments.
Unlike full-time employees, contractors’ income fluctuates from month to month, and they generally can’t depend on regular paychecks.
As such, it’s important to submit their payments in a timely manner.
By completing their work on schedule, contractors uphold their end of the agreement, and it’s only natural that they would expect clients to return the courtesy.
So if there’s an agreed-upon payment date, you’d be wise to honor it.
While many freelancers are likely to forgive the occasional delay in payment, you’ll have a hard time hanging on to them if this becomes a habit.
Many late payments can be traced back to invoices being misplaced or submitted late.
If this has proven to be a problem for your business, consider investing in reliable invoice management software.
The right software will take the grunt work out of managing invoices and make late payments a thing of the past.
Willingness to Allow Telecommuting
Allowing contractors to telecommute can make your business a very appealing client.
Since freelancers often take on multiple clients at once, having to consistently work onsite can prove inconvenient to their schedules and hurt their financial bottom line.
This isn’t to say that you should never meet with your freelancers.
Expecting them to drop by for the occasional meeting or consultation is perfectly reasonable.
Furthermore, depending on the nature of the job, some freelancers may need to do the bulk of their work onsite.
However, if a contractor can do their work just as effectively and efficiently from the comfort of home, there’s no reason to prohibit them from telecommuting.
After all, if you’re not going to provide them with the same benefits enjoyed by full-time employees, they shouldn’t be beholden to the same expectations.
Clearly Outlined Expectations
As is the case with any type of employee, clarity is important when dealing with freelancers.
In the absence of clearly outlined directions, some contractors are liable to approach projects in a manner you find disagreeable.
Unsurprisingly, this can lead to conflict and result in work that falls well below expectations.
In virtually any business situation, the occasional miscommunication is unavoidable, and clashing communication styles can result in massive misunderstandings.
With this in mind, make a point of being as clear and concise as possible when outlining expectations and encourage freelancers to reach out whenever they have questions.
Opportunities for Advancement
Many members of the workforce need to feel as if they’re working towards something tangible in order to stay motivated – and freelancers are no exception.
Although some people work as freelancers by choice, many contractors seek the security of gainful full-time employment.
That being the case, you should consider offering your most dedicated contractors the opportunity to join the team full-time.
If there’s room in your budget and you have a consistent need for the services of these individuals, bringing them on full-time is the best possible way to show them how much they’re valued.
As an added bonus, knowing that full-time opportunities are on the table can effectively keep newer freelancers motivated and loyal to your enterprise.
It’s easy to see why so many small businesses employ contractors. They’re efficient, they’re cost-effective and they don’t require the same level of commitment as full-time employees.
For example, if a contractor isn’t a good fit for your business, you can simply stop enlisting their services, whereas letting a regular team member go can be considerably trickier.
Of course, this isn’t to say that contractors shouldn’t be held in high esteem at your company.
Many enterprises depend on the efforts of dedicated freelancers, and if your business is among them, you’d be wise to utilize the previously discussed tips.