Being a subcontractor poses many challenges since you act as your own boss while following orders from your general contractor. Unfortunately, maneuvering these challenges can be difficult.
Here are some tips and tricks that can help you avoid such sticky situations.
1. Develop detailed contracts
General contractors and subcontractors often face disputes about the execution of projects and details in the original contract. However, creating detailed contracts ensures there is no room for miscommunication and debates, eliminating conflicts.
Furthermore, a detailed contract saves time, avoids ambiguity, and improves efficiency.
2. Go above and beyond
Your best bet at growing your client base is improving customer relations. Whether you want to gain new customers or retain those you have, it’s vital to go above and beyond to satisfy them. For example, when working on a project, use subcontractor management software to assign daily reports, and assign contractors.
Doing more than expected not only shows your general contractor you value the ongoing project but also places you in a better position to get more projects in the future.
3. Know your limit
A common mistake subcontractors make is taking on every project thrown their way. But, this can lead to burnout, and it wastes a lot of time and resources. Instead, it’s wise to be methodical and strategic about selecting projects to find the best fit.
Working on a few essential projects ensures you deliver quality work that can be recognized by general contractors. You can use construction technology to estimate and determine which projects are reasonable to take on.
4. Understand your rights and responsibilities
As a subcontractor, you’re responsible for:
• The safety of your employees
• Obtaining proper insurance
• The scope of work for your staff
Additionally, you need to be aware of rights that protect you against unfair practices by your general contractor.
5. Market your business
Advertising your business is vital in increasing your brand awareness and boosting sales. Therefore, it’s wise to set aside a percentage of your profits to market and promote your brand. There are several ways you can promote your business, e.g., email marketing where you send out emails and thank you notes to clients.
Although marketing is expensive, it can grow your business when appropriately leveraged. Developing your brand is also part of advertising your business. For example, you need to build a brand identity and create a memorable logo.
Building your brand identity helps customers distinguish you from your competitors, increasing your brand awareness.
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6. Maintain consistent cash flow
Most subcontractors fail because of insufficient funds to complete projects. Since you’re required to complete projects out-of-pocket- for reimbursement later, you need to maintain consistent cash flow. Stable cash flow will help you cover expenses such as labor, travel, and materials, upfront.
To get on top of your cash flow, keep a record of all your expenses. And, always budget beforehand to know how much a project will cost you.
Using these tips and being methodical and organized will help you become a better subcontractor.