If you are not a freelancer, you’ve probably heard the word being thrown around more often in recent years.
Basically, freelancers are free agents. You hire them to do a job, pay for it, and that’s it. No commitments.
With advances in technology, it has become easier for people to work remotely and be more selective on projects they engage in. Tons of people in various fields are setting up successful freelance businesses, creating a new kind of labor force.
And as the freelance community continues to grow, it creates a large pool of specialist subcontractors you could use.
As a business owner, you may need to subcontract large projects and those that require specific expertise, not at your disposal.
Subcontracting has its perks in terms of efficiency, cost, and quality, and here are some ways you can capitalize on it to grow your business.
- Get an Expert
Subcontractors are usually hired to offer special expertise not available within the employee pool.
The right subcontractor for your business should be someone with the skills and experience you are looking for.
Don’t slip up by hiring a subcontractor without properly scrutinizing their portfolio and previous projects of similar nature. Doing that may hurt the project you’re working on if the individual is incompetent.
When hiring, it’s best to seek the services of a subcontractor mediator who will guide you through the hiring process and refer you to an expert who has already passed the qualification tests.
Getting a reliable and flexible subcontractor will add much-needed value to your team.
- Onboarding is a Necessity
Many businesses ignore the onboarding process when dealing with subcontractors as they consider the engagement short-term.
However, getting specialized expertise does not mean the output will be ideal for your business.
The same way you may put in place an onboarding process for your employees, you need to do the same for your subcontractors for maximum value.
You need your subcontractors to be aware of the finer details and background of the project. The goal is to get the service you desire, which may not happen if the subcontractor isn’t fully equipped.
Orienting the subcontractor protects your business against subpar output and reinforces the existing way of working.
- Own Quality Control
Subcontracting is not as easy as handing down instructions to your employees and delivering the final product unchecked.
The subcontractor is usually on a short-term contract. But you will need to defend your work to the client afterwards.
It’s, therefore, crucial to put quality control measures in place at different stages to ensure your project is done accurately.
You may need to supervise your contractor’s work and review their project from start to finish. Through the review process, finer details required by the client can be noted. This collaboration also ensures high quality and a complete understanding of the work you’ve subcontracted.
If dealing with complex projects, you can introduce the subcontractor (as part of your team) to the clients. The client can then ask questions and get accurate facts regarding the project from the subcontractor.
- Put Things in Writing
A handshake is not enough in any business dealing.
Subcontracting is not any different. Start by establishing a clear contract with your freelancers to avoid future conflicts.
You want your contract document to be clear on things like:
- Subcontractor’s responsibilities
- Payment dates and rate
- Project deliverables
- Deadlines and drafts needed
- Non-compete clause (especially if meeting the client is necessary)
- Terms for terminating the agreement
Note that these terms of the contract will depend on the type of business you run and operational policies set in place.
5. Pay on Time
Cash flow risks have a way of ruining good relationships.
Terms of payment should be given special consideration when working with subcontractors. You don’t want the subcontractor lagging with work because of delayed payment.
The close relationship between subcontractors also means that your reputation depends on how well you handle payment issues.
Make sure your clients regularly pay sto avoid delaying funds owed to your subcontractors. You can also negotiate for deposits to pay subcontractors for “pay on completion” projects.
Subcontracting is the future of business growth, whether you are doing it to get specific skills or get through a busy period.
Finding the right experts, having an onboarding process, and ensuring you get your money’s worth of service will help protect your business goals.
You also need a good contract and to pay on time to get quality work.