How many contractors do you work with on an annual basis? Everyone who helps you with your business and gets paid for their services is a contractor. Think about the list. You might have transcriptionists, ghostwriters, bookkeepers, graphic designers, website developers and coders, and hopefully you have a virtual assistant or two. Thatís a lot of people to organize.
Keeping your contractors organized doesnít mean youíre telling them how to do their jobs. On the contrary youíre keeping everything organized to help make business easier for you. If at any given time you donít know what your contractors are working on and when to expect delivery, it means things have gotten out of control. Here are a few tips and ideas to help organize and manage your contractors.
Project Management Software/Systems
One of the most effective ways to keep everyone on your team organized and on the same page so to speak is to invest in project management. There are online sites that charge a monthly membership fee like Zoho and Basecamp. These systems allow you to give everyone on your team an account. You can assign access to specific projects, upload and store documents and files, and communicate via email or a ticket based system.
Additionally, you can set milestones and deadlines with reminders so you and your contractors all stay on schedule. This type of system provides you with a single point solution. You only have to visit one website to check on all of your projects. And the milestone calendar system helps you see whatís going on today, this week, and this month. Itís all readily accessible.
There are a few downsides. Itís online so if your internet goes down, you cannot access anyone or anything. Additionally, thereís usually a monthly fee. Some of the basic systems do have a free version so if youíre only working with one or two contractors that can work for you.
Another option to keep everything and everyone organized, including yourself, is to hire a project manager. This person is like the king or queen of your contractors. They keep everyone organized, on time, and informed. This system can be expensive but itís also a great way to create single point of contact for you. You only have to communicate with one person. If you have many contractors and projects you might actually combine a project management software with your project manager. This gives you access to all of the projects but you only have to communicate with one person instead of dozens.
Working with contractors is supposed to make your life easier. However, when you start working with more than one or two, it can quickly become time consuming to communicate with them and keep things organized. A simple project management system and a project manager can help you save the time and energy you need so you can focus on building your business, not managing contractors.