I own a multi-media direct marketing agency and have a practice of hiring outside contractors to work on specific projects. Most vendors come to me by recommendation, networking or word of mouth.
Here’s a case study on how an independent contract should not behave.
In November I started a new project in television media and I asked around in the community for a person to provide post production services for me. It involves transposing the raw recorded footage and editing it, under my direction, to create a 29 minute show for TV, YouTube and QuickTime.
I contacted this person, agreed on his price per hour without negotiating, and we began. The work is arduous and time consuming, but we made each session pleasant. I brought lunch and he supplied coffee. The goal is to finish each show at the end of a multi-hour session. Then I accept delivery in 3 formats and I pay for the services as provided. In a 2 month time period, I paid over $800 to this vendor and brought lunch for us to share.
As time went along, the quality of the work got worse in small increments. I pointed out specific items to fix. The vendor fixed them, his error, and then told me I have to pay for his extra time. I learned that after many years of working with this software, he didn’t know how to use the technology and had no knowledge of how to treat a customer. Then he only wanted cash instead of my check for tax reasons.
When the biggest mistake occurred that cost me time, money and embarrassment, and I called it to his attention, he sent me a text that he quit and told me not to call him again. I said that I paid for the project and he has to fix it and deliver it. Then he went to a few people and started trash talking about me, the good paying and pleasant customer.
Does this make sense? Absolutely not. Did he appreciate and properly service his client? Absolutely not. Will he make any more money from my progressively growing account or get referrals? Absolutely not.
So, there are certain people that should not be in business, because they have no quality standards, they don’t want to learn, and will leave a long line of unsatisfied customers. My lesson learned is pre-screen a vendor carefully, get referrals, seek out a few resources, and hire carefully. With that diligent process you will end up satisfied and have a vendor that will help you to be successful.