Advice from Umbrella Companies: How to Fit In

Posted on in Umbrella Company.

Even though contractors get the opportunity to work independently as respected specialists, they still share one important responsibility with employees:  fitting in culturally with the new company.

It’s not always easy to fit in, especially at organisations which have radically different cultures, but contractors can give themselves the best chance of fitting in by following these steps:

1.  Ask as Many Questions as Possible

Contractors who allow clients and other contacts at their organisation to talk about themselves often get started on the right foot.  Not only are clients flattered with the opportunity to talk about themselves, but contractors can learn how to mesh their personalities with those of their clients. 

2.  Challenge All Client Assumptions

Contractors are brought in because they have specialised knowledge or expertise the client doesn’t currently have.  Clients, as a result, are expecting to hear that not everything they think is necessarily the truth.  An occasional client does believe they are the expert, but most hire contractors looking to learn. 

3. Have a Sense of Humor

Even contractors who don’t believe they have a strong sense of humor can benefit from learning how to joke and jest at least a little.  This helps ease initial client tensions.  Ways to interject humor into client relationships can easily be researched on the internet.  Contractors, however, shouldn’t force humor or use it too often.

4.  Respond Quickly

Most contractors aim to respond to client inquiries within 24-48 hours, so contractors who respond even faster than that set themselves apart from the competition.   Proactive client contact also makes for a great impression.  If a contractor knows the client is delaying or taking too long in providing the contractor with what he or she needs, a quick question on the status, instead of waiting to hear from the client, goes a long way in building trust. 

5. Organised Approach

Clients view contractors as experts, so the more organised and coherent a contractor appears, the more credibility that is built with the client.    

Although these steps sound simple and straightforward, many clients don’t experience them with the contractors they hire.  They are willing to tolerate a certain degree of error, but the more a contractor enacts these principles in their approach, the stronger the relationship they build with each client.  Umbrella companies, who act as outsourced payroll solutions for contractors, see this happening with regularity and know what separates a typical contractor from a stellar one.

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