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Contractor Management Made Easy

An article from SitePoint.com

On the face of it, outsourcing seems simple enough. You work out what skills you need, search elance or place a job ad in the local paper, and contract the talent for a specific job.

For the small or solo business person who wants to expand without the burden (and risk!) of increased overheads, outsourcing can be ideal. Not only does it provide the business with greater flexibility and extended capabilities, it can help land contracts you wouldn’t otherwise have been able to win.

But is outsourcing really that simple? Of course not! In fact, it can be fraught with danger.

The Problems

SitePoint Community member hstraf recently faced this issue. As his business grew, he took on two freelancers, and this expansion allowed him to focus on researching and pursuing new clients and segments of the market.

Yet he wasn’t entirely comfortable with the situation. hstraf listed his concerns:

“Fear of the contractor deciding to "run away" with my client. We had one situation recently where the client paid almost $20,000 for a project. After the project was finished, one of the graphic contractors (a guy whom I had hired several times before without any problem) decided to contact my client directly and offer his services to do some extra work. He told my client that he was the one who’d done the work, and that he could provide additional design services without needing to involve my company!

"Worry that the contractor might accidentally use their own email address when communicating with the client, thus showing my client that the person creating their Website is independent [of my company]. Sometimes the contractor's Website will even have [their] rates posted, and I've had two occasions when a client of mine went and found out that I was charging them a 25% markup.

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"How is it best to manage the communication with the client? Is it better to be the "sole contact" with the client and act as a "go between" for the contractor? Or is it best to let the client deal directly with the contractor?

"How can I manage having eight different projects on the go at once?”

The SitePoint Community pooled their experience to come up with tips for hstraf. In the process, they developed a list of tecnhiques that any small business could better handle the outsourcing of Web work.

Author - By SitePoint Community, September 29th 2003

Link to full article: http://www.sitepoint.com/article/1222/1

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