January 19, 2017
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 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 an IC 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.
Assistance With a Large Project
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 help you make sure that you have 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.
Managing an Extensive Workload
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 that you found, but can’t work on yourself, consider taking a percentage-based “finder’s fee” if you’re outsourcing a project to a trusted colleague.
Try an IC Admin
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.
Supplementing Your Skillset
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, partner with an IC 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 friendship.