While many businesses believe it is solely up to the contractor to deliver amazing results, there are in fact some things we can do to positively influence our distributed team – or should I say, things we should not do?
Here are 7 things almost all contractors hate when working with clients.
1. Poor briefings
Too long, too short, too many details, not enough details – it really is a thin line between a good and a bad briefing. But it does make all the difference.
Contractors must receive the information and references they need to be able to do a good job. If the briefing for a job is insufficient, how can the outcome of the brief be any better?
Clients need to take responsibility and invest time and effort into creating relevant briefings to help guide their freelancers towards their desired outcome.
2. Tight deadlines
As a contractor, you are used to working under time pressure and being flexible when it comes to short-term projects and tight deadlines. But some deadlines are just ridiculous.
Try to provide a reasonable deadline to your contractors. Also, keep work on weekends and holidays to an absolute minimum. While sometimes there is no way around it, you should still make sure to acknowledge the extra amount of work, maybe even financially.
3. Long response times
Waiting for responses can be extremely exhausting – especially when coupled with tight deadlines. Contractors work to complete a task, send it to their clients and then wait for feedback or for decisions to be made. This is often met with hour- if not days-long silence and a growing frustration on the contractor’s end.
That is why clients should aim to respond to emails and phone calls within a timely manner. If you are still waiting for other input as well, send a quick status update to your remote team. Keeping everyone informed with the current situation helps reduce frustration.
4. Late payments
This is every independent contractor’s worst nightmare: Late payments. Realising your invoice hasn’t been paid even after the deadline on the bill is not just annoying but can even be business threatening in some cases. Contractors have to pay other bills, too, and if payments are repeatedly late, this can potentially trap them in a deadly cycle of late payments and overdue bills.
Paying invoices on time as a client is therefore absolutely crucial, especially when wanting to create a long-term working relationship with your contractors.
If your business has certain payment restrictions, only paying bills once a month for example, open communication with your global team once again is key. Once they know when to expect a payment, they can adapt their invoice timing accordingly and not wonder where their money is.
5. No feedback
There is not much that is more unsatisfying than working for hours and hours, finally presenting the finished product and then receiving absolutely no feedback on it whatsoever.
Contractors need feedback to know if they are meeting the client’s expectations. And clients need to take the time and let their contractors know what they think about their job. This makes working together more efficient, especially over an extended period of time.
6. No creative freedom
The client is always right – or at least he thinks he is always right. But working with a remote team and leaving no room for a bit of creative freedom is in fact a very common mistake.
Especially in creative industries, it can make a big difference to not just rely on contractors to fulfill a pre-determined task, but to actually listen to their input and allow them to add their own twist to the job. After all, a fresh set of eyes and a unique perspective can add some valuable assets to a project.
7. Revisions, revisions, revisions
Input and feedback are welcome and even necessary for open and successful collaborations. But if the actual revisions are lost in detail and end up taking more time than the initial task, your contractors will not be very happy with you.
This situation can lead to higher prices or worst case, to the contractor not wanting to work with you anymore.
So, keep your revisions to the necessary minimum. A good briefing as well as precise and honest feedback are a good beginning.