Everyone who has experience hiring contractors knows that even with a strong and dedicated team, your dependence on contractors can grow quickly. Each consecutive product release makes the contractor more unsettlingly indispensable, and you can only hope they won’t find a reason to end development and throw a wrench into your productivity. Even with a team of highly competent workers ready to replace contractors, the time lag and costs associated with a transition can only leave you crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.
After managing and outsourcing teams for more than 10 years, I can offer you unique insight on how to avoid losing influence over time. Outsourced clients may believe that when it comes to contractors, money does the talking. This is true, but it is certainly not the whole picture. Contractors are there to earn more than they can locally, but are you necessarily willing to spend more? Even if a contractor is worth the cost, are you really happy paying more? And even if you can increase the hourly rates - can you provide the volume to outbid others in your industry?
Here are 6 steps you can follow to do away with these issues:
Step 1: Be reliable and regular with payments
The outsourcing market is highly flexible and dynamic, and for this reason it is important to be reliable in your payments to contractors. This, while also ensuring that your payments are regular, solidifies your job as a stable source of revenue for outsourced workers, which begins to snowball as new resources are tied into your dependency and the project continues to grow.
Step 2: “Who shouts the loudest gets the most”
One thing we’ve learned over the years is that the person who shouts the loudest gets the most attention. We dealt with this popular mentality for a while until we re-prioritised, tinkering with the ABC client analysis to free ourselves from it. Unfortunately for many, this remains a prevalent issue that companies find it difficult to contend and grapple with.
Step 3: Develop personal bond
On a different note, never underestimate the value of forming a personal bond. While more money may attract a larger audience, broadening your focus to include your rapport with outsourced workers can earn you quality service and long-term working partnerships. We have been working with some customers for 8 years, a lifetime for these types of relationships. Outsourcing is a bumpy road to travel together, but offers a unique opportunity to build strong bonds and interpersonal relationships which then grow naturally into seamless communication and intimate personal investment.
Step 4: Increase your share in your outsourcing partner portfolio of projects
A simple way to begin building a relationship with your contractor is to increase your share of their workload. Becoming and remaining a large, critical part of their output begins to develop their stake in your project. Once invested, ensure that you are not fragmenting your contractor’s work, which will only dilute your share of their time and consequently challenge their dependence on your project.
Step 5: Go for cutting edge ideas
When it comes to task content, be sure to offer challenges that invite creativity and outside-the-box thinking. The advantage of an outsourcing service is low cost, allowing you to accomplish tasks which you could never afford otherwise. Therefore, with cost no longer a concern, you are limited only by technology and availability of talent. This opens up a wealth of opportunities for your project, positioning you to make compelling choices and attempt challenging ideas. Outsourcing gives you the financial peace of mind you need to simply go for it. For the outsourcing company, this offers high-flying stars and company talent a moment to shine and demonstrate their full potential, driving creatively minded professionals to achieve your most ambitious goals. Your offer of interesting and engaging projects puts you above of the ocean of well-paying clients, and naturally increases your appeal and attention.
Step 6: Share your plans on what may come next
When you employ these important practices and invest in your contractors, you are all but guaranteed long and fruitful collaboration. Personally, I can easily recall projects which received higher priority due to the possibility of a future with more potential clients. While not all came to fruition, the general rule holds true. If you can offer a contractor additional stable work in the future, let them know. You might be surprised to find this increases your viability, dramatically cutting down on project completion time.