Have you ever hired an outside contractor? Have you been satisfied with the results? Hiring a outside contractor can provide a high level of expertise in a specific area without having to employ a full-time person. While this may seem obvious, here’s something people often fail to recognize. The value that your contractor can provide is directly tied to your ability to find an equilibrium between bringing their talents forward and the degree in which you provide your own ideas on the project.
It’s important that the person you hired has an understanding of the history your company relative to the type of project they were hired to do. It’s in your best interest to coordinate a comprehensive overview of any materials, statistics and information prior to hiring your contractor. Also, be aware of what you felt was successful and what was not and why. Having this understanding will help you and your contractor to move forward with less time (and money) wasted.
When you’re in the trenches, it’s easy to assume you know everything there is to know about your business. It’s essential that you have a clear understanding of what you hope to accomplish by hiring an outside consultant. These expectations should be provided to the contractor prior to beginning any project.
You also should have a keen awareness of who you are and how you function as a person. Are you the type if person who likes to micro-manage and have a say in all aspects of your business? If so, how will you feel to let go a bit and rely on someone else’s expertise? Will you try to influence the contractor to implement your ideas and therefore, limit the development new approaches, thus, the contractor value and benefits of your monies spent. While your feedback is a critical part of the success, it can also hinder opportunities if you are so tied to your ideas that you close the door on your contractor’s input. By influencing the process too much, you hinder what might have been provided. Make sure you’re not creating a robot (someone who’s just executing your ideas) but rather bringing their expertise and value to the table. Remember, their expertise is their core competency so don’t overlook it by trying to push your ideas through. That’s why you hired this person to begin with because if you could have done it on your own, as well, you would have.
If your super happy with the work, is it because they did what you told them to do by overwhelming the contractor with your opinion or because they truly provided the specialty you were originally looking for? In fact I would I argue that pushing the envelop with contractor to explore the mist innovative concepts will yield the greatest results (provided you hired the best contractor for your needs).