Building a team of contractors is about taking some of the workload off of you. It’s also about hiring specialists and people who are exceptional at what they do. However, with every team there needs to be some sort of accountability. There has to be a way that your contractors are supported to get their tasks accomplished so you don’t have to spend your precious time managing them.
One of the simplest ways to hold contractors and outsourced providers accountable is to create a system using milestones. There are many free and low cost systems you can use. You establish the milestone and use technology to send an email reminder a few days before the milestone is due. This lets you relax a little knowing that the time-frame for delivery has been established.
Your contractors can check in with you, or other team members, on milestone day to let you know where the project stands. It’s a simple system, yet it’s highly effective. It works a little better than simply setting a deadline for the delivery of the project because it requires smaller steps along the way. You have more certainty that a project will be delivered on time.
Payment for Milestones
Another option is to tie the payment of the project’s fees into milestone completion. This certainly motivates hourly contractors to complete the project by the milestone. And if you’re working with a contractor that requires a deposit, this is a more reliable way of ensuring you get your money’s worth. Instead of paying a 50% deposit, you might negotiate a smaller deposit and payment for milestones.
Responsibility for the Outcome
This isn’t always possible, however when it is it can be an effective tactic. If your contractor has something at stake in the outcome of the project, they will undoubtedly give it their 110%. For example, if a copywriter is promised a percentage of each sale then they’ll work extra hard to make sure it’s a good sales page.
Brag About Your Team
Another option is to go public with your team. Rave about how great your virtual assistant is. Place their photo and a short bio about them on your website’s “About” page. If you have a writer or two on your team, do the same thing. Talk about them on social media and connect with them. If they feel like part of your team, they’ll step up.
The key to establishing accountability with your team is to make it as simple as possible. Use milestones to help each team member hold themselves accountable. Make them part of your team and tie payment for projects and tasks into deadlines and milestones. When possible, include them into the outcome of the project. Work with your team to create systems where they feel supported, organized, and able to hold themselves accountable so you don’t have to.