Advantages of Independent Contractors

Perhaps your company already uses some independent contractors. If not, it is something to consider. In my last article Full Time or Part Time? I discussed the benefits you may experience by using part-time employees or contractors. Here I want to focus specifically on the advantages of independent contractors.

They’re Not Your Rank and File

At first it may seem to be a disadvantage to have people working for you that are not your own employees. That occurs because you may have a sense of loss of control. There is a grain of truth to that, but think a little further. If you are not happy with the quality and quantity of their work, you are free to make a change. There is certainly no rule that says you have to put up with sub-par performance. You wouldn’t do that with employees, and you shouldn’t do so with independent contractors.

That said, remember that as independent contractors they do have some leeway as to how they accomplish their tasks. But the reality is, most contract workers want you to be happy with their performance, so they generally try to get clarity as to what you really want. After all, you’re their customer, and the best way to do business is to get repeat business from existing customers, Meeting or even better exceeding your expectations is one way to do that. You may find that they are more likely to meet your wishes than employees. Why? Simply because they know that in order to keep you as a customer they have to keep you happy. Employees, on the other hand, generally have a little more wiggle room.

They Have Expertise

Another of the key advantages of independent contractors is that they frequently have the expertise that your employees may lack or that you would have to pay too much for to hire an employee with that kind of skill. I can think of two strong reasons this is the case. One, independent contractors, by virtue of working with multiple clients, often are exposed to situations that develop their skills. Secondly, they make it a point to learn new things and stay up-to-date on their existing skills. In my own situations, I take continuing education courses in diverse areas of business, and each year I get up to speed on things like the latest QuickBooks release.

Politics, Politics, Politics

In the vein of “they’re not your rank and file”, independent contractors are far less likely to get caught up in office politics. This is largely because the time they are with you is limited, thus reducing the temptations to succumb to office politics. Besides, they really don’t want to get involved as it tends to reduce their sense of independence and diminishes their effectiveness and efficiency.

These are just a few of the advantages of independent contractors. Think about these and then I encourage you to consider whether this is an arrangement that will work to your advantage. For small businesses in particular, this is an opportunity to get professional performance for less than the cost of an employee.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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