Whether your small business is swamped or you want to free up time to run your business, subcontracting others to work for you can help you get more work done.
A subcontractor takes on all or part of a project that you have agreed to do for a client. You, in turn, manage the subcontractor and deliver the final project to the client. Subcontracting can help you run a more efficient business, if you go about it right.
- Identify where you need help. Examine your business operations and determine which projects you need a hand with. You may need a subcontractor for seasonal work — such as tax time help if you’re an accountant — or you may need ongoing help with a particular client or project.
- Search for qualified subcontractors. Post a job ad or probe your social networks to find candidates with experience in your industry. Entrepreneur.com advises using craigslist, Indeed.com or LinkedIn to find suitable applicants.
- Interview candidates to find the right one – or ones – to suit your business’ needs. You may want to conduct phone or in-person interviews, depending on your resources. Look for qualifications that are necessary for the projects you need help with, as well as positive personality characteristics such as reliability and timeliness.
- Sign an agreement with your subcontractor. Subcontractor agreements can prevent your subcontractor from taking a job with one of your clients, as well as protect your business’ intellectual property. Agreement forms also can clarify that your subcontractor is responsible for paying her own taxes — one of the many benefits hiring a subcontractor entails. Have a lawyer or business consultant help you draft up an agreement form.
- Manage your subcontractors throughout their projects. Maintain ongoing communications with your subcontractors to advise each other of project updates, progress and deadlines. Perform a quality control assessment of each subcontractor’s work before delivering projects to your clients.
- Maintain open communication with your clients. Discuss the initial plans with your clients and notify them of project updates. Deliver the subcontractors’ work to your clients after you perform a quality control inspection