As an independent contractor, you do it all—from running errands and scheduling meetings to engaging with new clients and attending networking events. All of these responsibilities can quickly overshadow your work-life balance.
To avoid burnout, stay on top of your workload, and keep your clients happy, consider teaming up with another independent contractor. Working with another professional is a great way to help grow your business and share the burden of larger projects.
Here are four instances where partnerships can be helpful.
Yes, taking on a big project can be a great way to build client rapport and add experience to your resume, but you don’t want to risk overextending yourself.
Bringing a partner onboard can provide you with an extra set of hands to meet critical deadlines. A partner can offer a second set of eyes, check your work, and may bring a new perspective or fresh ideas. With this additional support, you can continue dedicating time to your ongoing projects, and feel comfortable taking on more work.
Maintaining a steady workload is key if you’re independently employed, so turning down a project can be difficult—even if your schedule is already full. Rather than saying no, outsource some of your work to an independent contractor in your field. A helping hand can alleviate pressure so you don’t fall behind on your work, or risk delaying client deliverables.
If you’re unsure how to charge for a project you found, but can’t take on yourself, consider taking a percentage-based “finder’s fee” if you’re outsourcing to a trusted colleague.
Bringing on a personal assistant is another way to ease your workload. An assistant—ideally an independent professional like yourself— can help run errands like mailing, getting lunch, screening calls, and scheduling meetings to give you time to focus on the most important part of your job—the work.
Many young professionals would be excited to have the opportunity to learn from an experienced, successful IC, and once you build report and trust an assistant can even attend conferences and events to take notes and market your services. You can even consider a virtual assistant if you don’t need someone in your office daily.
While you probably have a particular area of focus in your field, pulling in another contractor can be helpful when you need specific expertise on a project or topic that isn’t your forte. For example, you may be an organizational change management guru, but not completely equipped for the internal training your client needs once your consulting analysis wraps up. In this instance, partnering with an independent contractor who has a background in training to help fill this gap.
Maintaining positive client relationships is essential to your business, so don’t put yourself in a situation where you feel overworked, lose track of tasks, or miss deadlines. Teaming up with another contractor is not only a great way to network, but it’s also an opportunity to welcome a new perspective, put yourself in a learning situation, and build a friendship.
MBO can help your partnership flourish by handling the relationship from a contractual standpoint. For more information on teaming up, contact us today.
Once you've decided to team up with another independent professional, follow these three tips to build a successful working relationship.
Three networking tips to grow your independent business by building and maintaining relationships with valuable business contacts.