One of the most critical relationships with small businesses is its relationship with its independent contractors, and whatever your views on outsourcing, it has become a very essential part of the whole genesis of a small business developing into a large one. While statistics show that in certain pockets of industry that freelancers are making up almost half of new jobs, it means that the relationship you nurture with them is far more important than it used to be. The freelancer or outsourced company was viewed as a pariah, and there to do their task before being shooed away. The outsourced company or person is far more important now than it was before. So you need to make sure you are treating them right, and here’s what you can do.
Whether you are speaking to a freelance member of staff or outsourcing to an IT support company, you need to communicate honestly what you need from the proceedings. A company that manages your tech processes needs to know exactly what you require, so you don’t waste their time and yours. Regular updates and check-ins is a simple thing to keep the communication channels open, and it is something both sides appreciate. There is nothing worse than a lack of communication; it wastes a lot of time and money. Communicating helps any relationship, and this is none truer than when you need to get your business to operate at a high-functioning level. Communicate yourself properly, and keep your intentions clear and everyone will be all the better for it.
Invest In Them From The Start
From the freelancer’s point of view, they can feel like the third wheel or a spare part when they are drafted into an already established operation. This can cause a sensation of uneasiness, or they will never feel truly integrated into the business. It is up to you to make sure that you are investing them in a way to make them feel that they are officially part of the team for that short period of time. Depending on the task at hand, they could be with you for a long time, and if you treat them like a spare part, they will show no allegiance to you and will most likely jump ship if something else comes their way, leaving you in a very difficult situation. If you show them that you are interested and invested in their welfare, they will stick with you for the long-haul. Treat them the same as everyone else, it’s the best way.
It may be an obvious thing, but a lack of “please” and “thank you” can easily make you the client they don’t like to work for, and that will have serious repercussions down the line. You’re not running the old style manufacturing business where you can just yell your commands and expect them done with no questions asked, you need to be nice and speak to your outsourced help as you would like to be spoken to!