In this video I’ll cover:

  • Communication and what’s acceptable
  • The importance of meeting deadlines
  • Quality work is key to your success

Watch the video: 

Time Freedom Video Transcript – Top 3 Traits of a Good Contractor

(Click here to download a copy of the transcript of this video)

It’s Melissa Ingold from and I want to share a few traits of a good contractor.

Communication…how long?

When you’re out there looking to hire a VA for the first time, one of the things that you should notice right away that can tell you whether or not you’re going to want to work with this person or even take that next step and get in touch with them after the initial contact is how long it takes them to get back to you with an answer. If you’re sending them an email or you’re filling out their contact form on their website, or you’re leaving a message on their voicemail, how long does it take for them to get back to you?

If it’s taking a week or more for you to even hear back from them, I don’t think I would even bother. For me, by that time I would be moved on to the next person. You want someone who is going to be able to answer you promptly. That doesn’t mean that you expect the VA to jump and do every single task that you’re going to require immediately, because that’s just not reasonable.

I think communication should be high on the list of traits that a good contractor will have. That is replying within at least one or two business days. If you were to email Friday evening, you can’t really expect a response until Monday, because not all VAs are working over the weekend. That’s one of things; communication. How long does it actually take for them to get back to you?

melissaingold-beachCan they meet deadlines?

Another trait of a good contractor is once you get working with them, are they meeting deadlines? Do they keep coming to you with excuse after excuse? Trust me, I’ve worked with those kinds of contractors; you assign them work, you give them a reasonable deadline, and every other day you’re getting a note, “It’s going to take me this much longer, I had this happen, that happened,” and on and on with the excuses.

That’s not a good contractor, that’s not someone you’re going to be able to rely on long term. If that’s happening when you just start working with someone, cut them loose now and move on because that’s just the way they’re always going to be. It’s not a very good first impression.

So another trait of a good contractor is that they always meet deadlines. Sometimes they even meet your deadline early. They may submit work a few days to a week in advance of their actual deadline.

Quality is so important

Then, of course, another quality of a good contractor is the quality of their actual work. There are VAs and any type of contractor who will rush through the job, submit it, and it’s really kind of crap, it’s not done the way you had specified that you wanted it to be done, they just rushed through it. That’s not what you want.

If it takes two weeks, take the full two weeks to make sure it’s done right, that it’s quality work, that it’s done the way that you specify. If they cannot do that the first time around, then I suggest first finding out what’s going on. Maybe your instructions weren’t quite clear. Sometimes there is a breakdown in communication, so first I would find out what’s going on and if your instructions were not clear. If everything seems fine and they just still weren’t living up to your expectations, then I would cut them loose and move on.

I don’t want you to hold onto a VA or a writer or anyone just for the sake of having someone, because it’s not going to benefit your business in the long run. It’s just going to be a big pain in the ass. It’s going to be so many headaches it’s just not even going to be worth it.

Those are three really important things; meeting deadlines, communication, and quality work. If you find a contractor who gives you all of those, you hold onto that contractor for dear life. You give them lots of work and you remain loyal to them, and they will loyalty to you. It works both ways; they’re good to you, you have to be good to them. That’s just as simple as when they submit some work saying, “Thank you so much, I appreciate your hard work on this project.” Easy as that.

If you get working with them for a long time – I’ve had some people on my team for years and years – maybe sending them some flowers on their birthday or Christmas bonuses, extra little things just to say thank you and show your appreciation to them. All it really takes is just a few kind words to them so they know that you really appreciate the hard work that they’re doing for you and you’re not taking advantage of that.

Those are some traits of a good contractor that you’re going to want to look for. Like I said, with communication you get a good feel for that right off the bat. It should not take over a week for someone to get back to you, unless maybe they’re gone on holidays or whatever. You be the judge of that, you’ll kind of have a gut feeling about it.

Then you’ll want to know if they’re meeting deadlines and is the work quality, or is it they keep missing instructions and they’re just not doing everything the way you want it. Again, find out what’s going on, there could be a breakdown in communication, which is why I recommend using something like Basecamp because email is not always reliable.

Those are the three main things, the three really important things that you’re going to want to keep in mind. That’s all from me. Bye.