If you have an important job that needs to be done—but you don’t have the manpower to do it—then it may be best to contract out a contractor. Contractors are great options since they tend to have expertise in a certain task, and they are responsible for their own taxes and benefits. In other words, they are often a cheaper option for running certain projects. However, getting the wrong contractor for the job can be a big, pricy mistake. Here are several ways you can ensure that you are getting the right contractor for the job.
Know What You Need
It is difficult to know who should do the job if you don’t even know what the job entails. Before spending big bucks on a new worker, make sure you know the ‘ins and outs’ of the job and what expertise you will need from your contractor. Organize the task so that, once you do find a contractor for the job, you will be able to maximize the contractor’s effectiveness and efficiency.
Depending on the job, you will want to find a contracted worker with the right credentials. Credentials and licensure are essential for ensuring quality work, especially for complicated services. When a contractor has a license, it demonstrates that they have received expertise through training, work experience, and exams. For instance, HVAC companies have certain licensing requirements that certify that they know what they are doing. Other examples of jobs that require licensure include painters, auctioneers, designers, and different types of agents.
Other informal credentials you will want to be looking for in a contractor include years of experience and online ratings, as well as soft skills like reputation, work ethic, etc. Make sure you do your research beforehand so you don’t end up regretting having to pay for low quality work.
Before contracting out a worker, make sure that you look at the contractor’s online reviews. That way, you can get an idea of the contractor’s ethics and quality, as well as experience and impressions on other clients. Just keep in mind that reviews tend to attract more extreme or biased opinions rather than always reflecting reality. For this reason, it would be a good idea to contact those you trust who have used the contractor’s services and ask them for their honest opinion.
Meet With Them
Before contracting with a contractor, it is important to actually meet with them. After all, some people are better at presenting themselves on paper rather than actually getting done quality work. Ask questions about their experience—like an impromptu, informal interview. Show them the space they will be working with and monitor how well they connect with the team and the setting. Don’t be afraid to listen to gut feelings on whether or not the contractor will be right for your company and a good fit for the intended job.
You will not only want to meet with the contractor, but you will also want to meet the team and subcontractors—the people who will actually be completing the job. How well do they work together? How well do they communicate with each other? How well are they treated by their superiors? These are all things you should look for to ensure that you not only have the right contractor, but also the right team for the job.
Obtain Multiple Quotes and Estimates
In most cases, there are probably multiple contractors that could be a good fit for your intended job. In order to further filter out your options, make sure that you obtain multiple quotes or estimates. Don’t just go for the cheapest option—you may be compromising quality for less expense. Doing so will ensure that you actually get what you pay for.
Furthermore, use multiple quotes as leverage for a bargain. For example, if your number one contractor for the job is a little pricier compared to other contractors, you can compare prices with that contractor and discuss a compromise. There is a good chance that your favorite contractor will do the job for cheaper as long as you can prove that other contractors would be a less expensive choice.
Review the Contract
Before your contractor begins a job, ensure that you have analyzed and settled on an agreed contract. As part of the contract, discuss the projected start and completion dates, as well as a payment schedule. Make sure that you create a detailed description of the task that is to be completed by the contractor and write out any items of nondisclosure or guarantee. Have someone re-read the contract before you and the contractor sign the contract. This extra precaution will ensure that your business will be protected from any potential problems. If the contractor refuses to abide by certain principles of the contract, then you will know right away that they are not the right contractor for you.
Request to See Past Work
A great way to review a contractor’s quality is to look at their past work. Doing so will ensure that, in the case that the contractor may have been extra charming in person or on paper, you will get a third testimony to their work ethic and ability. If possible, speak with past clients and ask them if they would be willing to show them the contractor’s past work. Many contracting companies offer a trial item or service—so be sure that you request some sort of trial work from your potential contractor. Do what you can to get a good idea of the work you will be receiving.
Contractors are wonderful options for tasks that require greater expertise or manpower—all without the hassle of hiring a new employee. But before you contract with a contractor, be sure you do everything in your power to get to know the contractor and ensure that they will be a good fit for the job. In writing, spell out any and all agreements you make with such a contractor to ensure that your business will receive the quality and protection it deserves.
If you’re a contractor, a great way to help people find you is by having your own website. We can help you make one! Contact us to get started.