Subcontracting – How it can help a small business

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
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