So you’re having trouble with contractors, it’s probably your fault

My friend Angie asked freelancers/business owners what their biggest struggle was. One of the issues that came up a few times was finding reliable contractors for projects.

I get it, I’ve struggled with contractors as well which has been a solid portion my own poor management.

The fact that someone got on your team who should never have been allowed in the building is your fault. – EntreLeadership

Let’s say that you have the management portion under control. What do you look for in a contractor?

Of course you need someone that can do the job required but is that all they can do?

What is a technician?

In The E-Myth Revisited Michael Gerber talks about the 3 different business personalities and calls them:

  1. Entrepreneur
  2. Manager
  3. Technician

The person that has the hardest time running a successful business is the technician. They focus on the present problem (like that intense/awesome bit of code) and not on the long term.

They disappear for days or weeks as they get 100% focused on the problem at hand. You don’t hear from them and they often miss deadlines because they just want to solve the problem.

Everything else be damned.

I try not to hire technicians for contract work. Sure they can accomplish the task but maybe not on time and maybe not on budget and you can expect them to go in to ‘mole mode’ for days.

They’re often not thinking about the budget or the time at all as they focus on the problem.

That’s a recipe for having a bad experience with a contractor.

What makes a good business owner?

A good business owner is a ‘manager’ and ‘entrepreneur’. They step back and learn to manage properly, not only their employees but their own time.

The think about the long term benefits of a ‘workable’ solution delivered on time instead of a ‘technically perfect’ solution delivered when it’s done.

They’re focused on delivering ROI to the clients not just working on some technical challenge because it’s cool.

They have processes for communication with clients and you hear from them regularly.

Who did you hire

So if you hired a technician how much management do you think you need to do? Probably a lot.

If you hired a strong manager or entrepreneur then you have to do less project level management with them.

I try to hire people who run an awesome business and have great customer service skills before being an awesome technician.

Sure one might technically write better code, but the client will still be left unsatisfied with the experience and I’ll have to do way more management.

Which one are you?

So which one are you?

If you’re just starting out it’s likely you fall more towards a technician. You can do the craft so you think you can run a business.

Start taking some steps back and learning how to be a good manager and entrepreneur.

Your business will run better for it.

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