The key to working well with contractors is to keep the workflow moving smoothly. Over the years, we have partnered with a number of contractors that we trust, allowing us to offer a wide range of services for our clients.
We have talked before about the strategies we employ to effectively work with them, but today we want to really focus in on the workflow. Keeping projects moving forward is not only the point of working with a contractor, letting us continue to provide quality work for our clients, but also keeps the contractor happy with their relationship with us. We are able to attract and retain amazing talent because our contractors know how the process works.
Clearly Defined Expectations
It’s important to have honest and thorough conversations from the beginning. Explain to the contractor what you and/or the client needs and what kind of timelines are reasonable. We have found the best contractors come back with enlightening and engaging questions. Be ready to really talk through what you need from them so they know how they can step up and provide.
Putting Paperwork in Place
It’s easy to skip this step, allowing for a casual relationship or a quick one-off project, but the paperwork is so helpful. Not only does it provide legal framework, but it also sets those expectations again. Be clear what you are getting for your money – and what they are providing. This also helps with the last recommendation which is…
Follow Up and Follow Through
Don’t hesitate to check in regularly. This is more than a reminder. It’s a chance to ensure that the contractor has the information they need to complete the project. And it’s a chance for you to see how things are progressing and gauge how the relationship is working. We’ve done this in three ways.
You can schedule these at regular intervals so that you both know you’ll have the other’s ear to see how things are going and to ask questions. If more information is needed or specific details are missing, this is a good time for clarity.
- Email Check Ins
This is a more casual or sporadic option, but still a good way to gauge progress and just see how things are going. To stay consistent, you can plan to send email check ins throughout the project or periodically, such as once a week or month.
- Project Management Systems
We’ve engaged with different systems for ongoing or complex projects with contractors and have found them very useful. We have used Trello, Teamwork and other systems to keep various members of the team aware of progress and to automatically let them know when next steps need to be taken.
Working with contractors can be very beneficial to your company – and a great way to expand your services and participate in the modern flexible economy. Putting systems in place to keep the work flowing can help ensure that that contractor relationship is a positive one for everyone involved.
Want to see some of the work we’ve been able to do with our amazing team and list of trusted contractors? Check out this page.