Hiring a Subcontractor Should Be Easy – Right?
When companies get overwhelmed, either with time constraints, budget limitations, or just a lack of subject knowledge, they often turn to subcontractors to help them get the job done. Subcontractors can be a small business’ best friend if properly managed, but this dream can quickly turn into a nightmare if the proper contracts are not in place.
Whether you use a subcontractor or not, your company is ultimately responsible for the final item that is delivered to your client, whether that’s a software program, a website design, or IT infrastructure. Unfortunately the excuse of “Well, my subcontractor messed that up so it’s not our fault” doesn’t really fly, so how can you protect yourself when using subcontractors?
Using a clearly defined contract before bringing them on to complete a job is usually your safest bet. Your agreement with the subcontractor should include all of the following, plus any other items you feel are pertinent to a good working relationship.
- Statement of Work – Essentially outlining what the subcontractor is responsible for delivering.
- Rates & Payment Terms – How much will you be paying your subcontractor? Put it in writing.
- Timelines & Due Dates – If you do not make this clear, you might never see the project delivered.
- Non-Disclosure/Intellectual Property Rights – Make sure your subcontractor doesn’t use the information gathered while completing your project, against you.
These are just a few ideas on how to maintain adequate control when working with subcontractors. But just because you, as a businessman, must always assume and prepare for the worst in all situations, doesn’t mean that you cannot effectively use contractors as a vital part of your service delivery. Click the following link for more information on working with subcontractors.
About the Author: Aaron Garcia is a project manager for MorePro Marketing, an SEO firm in Phoenix, AZ. He regularly works with contractors to complete tasks and understands the risks associated with hiring contractors and how to manage them.