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Of Business Relationships and Independent Contractors

by: Sarah Joson

Wednesday, May 30, 2012 | Outsourcing News |

5 Ways to Establish Fruitful Outsourcing Relationships

Different services are now being offered by service providers around the world. Even freelance workers outsource work, creating an ecosystem that connects all types of industries.

Freelancers now play an important role not only for small businesses but also for large established ones that are recovering from the economic slump. But since freelancers and third party service providers are not actually part of the core group, some business executives have no idea just how to treat or nurture them as an integral part of the team.

Nellie Akalp, CEO of online legal document filing service CorpNet.com, shares five ways on how a rewarding outsourcing relationship can be established between a contractor and a client.

1. Treat your contractors as part of the business.
They bring not just tangible products to the company, but new ideas and capabilities that can help a business grow as well. Foster a more personal working environment for them by including them in simple office functions and even events that are not directly related to work. If you are looking to work with them for a long period of time, it is also ideal to inform them of your long-term goals by sending them basic company emails.

2. Start managing them early on.
Investing time and effort to your contractors may not be such a bad thing if you intend to keep them for future or extended projects. Some of the things you can start with are: the way you want your brand to be presented, nature of the business, basic processes, and many more.

3. You will get what you give.

Since you want to coexist and build a sound relationship with your provider, give back and be appreciative of what they do for your business. Of course, we are not talking about monetary incentives but just by appreciating the work and time they put in to your project can work wonders for your partnership. If you are difficult to deal with, they are likely to become less interested and motivated in giving you the results you were hoping for.

4. Do not push your luck during negotiations.
Although it is customary to ask for discounts or waived fees, keep in mind that your contractors still need to earn money. If contractors feel that you are low-balling them, they might give you low quality services in return. If you have no idea what the going rate is, you can easily browse websites or ask several contractors so you can compare it with the budget you’ve prepared for the contractor.

5. Be transparent at all times.
If the client provides a comprehensive introduction to the contractors during the first few steps of the process, they will at least have a starting point to work on. This is crucial to companies that contract providers which are in different locations and have a different culture. They should also be able to share all the information needed for a project, even good and bad news, because this would mean they would have to deal with the problems and find solutions as a team.

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