You worked hard to grow your service business and feel proud of your success.
The time has come for you to make an important choice. You can either keep your business from growing further, or outsource some projects to subcontractors and add more people to your virtual assistant team.
It can be a difficult decision to go ahead and bring in subcontractors or keep the same routine of doing everything alone. After all, you’ve poured yourself into the business and you really don’t want to take a chance on someone else messing it up.
In some ways businesses can be compared to kids. They don’t stay little forever. Eventually, they’re going to go to school, get invited over for sleepovers and generally get taken care of by other people.
Likewise, you’ll need to learn to let go and outsource to a virtual assistant mentor or add people to your virtual assistant team. Let them handle some of the tasks in your business, including some of your client work. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should hire the first subcontractor you see and expect her to be a perfect fit for you.
10 Smart Ways to Subcontract
1. Understand that building a subcontractor relationship takes time. You need to get to know your subcontractor and she needs to get to know you to determine if you can work with each other.
2. Ask your colleagues or contact a virtual VA firm for recommendations before you hire anyone. A great recommendation will go a long way towards insuring that you’re hiring someone who adds value to your business.
3. Don’t be tempted to hire a subcontractor because they’re cheap. It may cost more but someone with a good reputation and expertise in the areas you need will benefit you in the long run.
4. References will give you lots of information about a person you’re thinking of hiring. If you find great reviews, you’re ready for the next step. If the references are less than ideal, you may want to find out why.
5. Check the potential subcontractor’s portfolio and website. If her own site isn’t up to your standards and doesn’t look professional, chances are, her work won’t be either.
6. Offering a trial project is one good way to tell if a subcontractor is trustworthy. Contract her to do one small project and see how she handles it. If it takes her several weeks to finish it, she may not be a good fit. It’s a good sign if she returns 30 minutes later and has really improved the article.
7. It’s very important that you both sign a contract. Include the amount she will be paid, allowances for increases in rates later on, a point at which the contract will be re-evaluated and specific instructions on what will happen if either one of you wants out of the contract. The contract should include detailed information on what happens if either one of you breaches the contract. Also, include a confidentiality clause. The contract should only be signed after consulting with an attorney.
8. Excellent communication is necessary for a good business relationship. Make sure that you provide clear instructions and that your subcontractor or multi-VA team understands your expectations. If a mistake does happen or there is a miscommunication, review the situation with your subcontractor so that both of you understand what went wrong.
9. You should evaluate all of the subcontractor’s work. The only way you’ll be able to ensure your company’s quality is to review the work yourself (unless, you’ve hired someone to work as a project manager and that person knows exactly what you’re looking for).
10. Always follow the instructions in the contract for termination. Sometimes a subcontractor doesn’t work out for a variety of reasons. Don’t take it personally, don’t insult her, but do give constructive feedback if she wants it. Also, don’t let one bad experience turn you away from subcontracting.
Follow these ten tips and you can grow your business from a single entrepreneurship to a company that runs well with teamwork and handles several clients and many projects effortlessly.
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