Home – New Forums Starting your journey Do Customers Care About Subcontractors Doing The Work?

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  • #982011
    GSanders12
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    Hey guys, I am launching an outdoors home service company targeting higher income households and will be focusing on getting subs to do the work. Does it matter if a company gets subs to do the work with a different company uniform rather then the original company they hired to do the work?

    I am hiring subs but will it matter to a customer if a person from another company is doing the work under my company as a contractor?

    Thanks and hope to hear your responses and any experiences you’ve had with working with subbies.

    Cheers

    #1134236
    The Copy Chick
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    As long as you make it obvious that you intend to use subbies, then most people probably wouldn’t mind. But if they’re expecting someone to show up in your company’s uniform and get another company turn up, they may be confused and annoyed.

    It’s all about transparency and communication.

    #1134237
    JacquiPryor
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    I agree with Anna – so long as I know when I contact you that you’ll be sending out contractors from other businesses it would probably be fine. I’d like to then see though, in your initial web information or flyers etc some sort of assurance/information that you will still look after me if there’s any problem etc with the work done.

    I wouldn’t be happy to contract your company, then you send out subs and then if I have a problem be told it’s not your problem and that I need to chase the sub etc…

    #1134238
    csundberg
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    As The Copy Chick said, as long as it’s made aware to the customer that you’ll be using sub contractors, I think it’s fine. And also that the quality of work carried out by the sub contractors is consistent with one another.
    I guess it depends on what work they will be doing, and if you’ll have multiple contractors doing the same jobs etc.

    #1134239
    themobilebillboardco
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    I think everybody that has replied has mentioned that clear communication is the key.

    I wouldn’t think you’d need to hide the fact the work is being done by sub contractors, but i don’t think you need to advertise it either.

    We’re all pretty savvy here on FlyingSolo so we’d know straight away work was being subbed out and perhaps the model you’ve chosen is to skim a bit off the top too (But it makes sense – you’re more of a “project manager” and you deserve this cream off the top if you’re organizing everything).

    Everybody who has ever built a house, or had renovations done – knows that builders use sub contractors all the time.

    A lot of this goes on in other industries too.

    But my main issue would be making sure you’re accountable.

    They’re have been many, many legal disputes where work has been subcontracted… and the contractor who has sub’d the work out – has not taking responsibility for it.

    It means that at the end of the day YOU have to be responsible for someone you’ve appointed to ensure they are insured and carry the work out as required

    #1134240
    Lindz
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    .
    It might be good to ask your friends and relatives, who perhaps aren’t familiar with the idea of subcontractors, whether they would have any concerns if they were your customer.

    All best,

    Lindsay

    #1134241
    CindyK
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    Hi,

    Another thing you might come accross, as it has happened many times before, is that your subcontractors may get follow up work from the client, not billed to you.

    If they have something that represents that they work for themselves or another business, often in the minds of consumers – you are a third wheel. This can happen alot with repeat customers, but would also be likely if they particularly liked the work of one contractor.

    Is it possible to have them in plain attire or write legal clauses in to protect your business? You can’t restrict much in terms of contractors legally but you could at least indicate to them that you find those practices unacceptable.

    Think about how that looks overall to your customers. They won’t mind when the work is performed well, but it could impact their idea of your business and brand.

    #1134242
    bluepenguin
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    I think it’s important that you are able to provide a service that your clients are unable to attain themselves – even if the added value is just perceived by the way you communicate it:

    If they can simply find a local tradie in the paper and that will do the exact same job for the exact same price as your subbies – there’s no benefit. But if you can grant your client access to your trusted network of experienced subcontractors, without them having to lift a finger – that’s valuable.

    #1134243
    Divert To Mobile
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    CindyK, post: 152833 wrote:
    Hi,

    Another thing you might come accross, as it has happened many times before, is that your subcontractors may get follow up work from the client, not billed to you.

    This may be especially true dealing with the “higher end of town”.
    Chances are if your giving the subbie 65% of what your charging they will happily take 85% and go direct.
    Likewise if the customer is paying you 100% of what your charging, they will happily pay 85% to the subbie and cut you out.
    Win win for everyone, exept for you.

    Steve

    #1134244
    mattl
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    No I don’t think so.
    The main thing you need to keep in mind is that you are providing a quality service. If it is done on time and good quality and you have a good rapport with the customer then there is no reason for them to go elsewhere.
    What you have to be careful about is that the subcontractor is actually just that and not regarded as an employee. It will open up a whole new can of worms that the ATO is cracking down on at the moment. I know!

    #1134245
    GSanders12
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    Thank you for all of the extremely informative and educational posts/suggestions.

    1) How does this sound? Creating some sort of legal agreement in the subcontractor agreement that states the subcontractor can’t do business with my client for a year a bit similar to a non-compete agreement however only for the customer that they are serving. Wouldn’t this prevent any subs from stealing clients/work?

    2) Also, a sub will most likely show up with their company vehicle and uniform. So doesn’t this mean I should let the customer know that we “hire the best companies” to do the best job that they specialise in for each specific service? (BluePenguin: I think your suggestion of giving them my network of experienced tradesmen is very appealing and similar to what I was going to do.)

    In fact, I am actually going to be marketing a full maintenance weekly annual outdoors service compromised of many different outdoor services designed to maintain and beautify the exterior of a home. So this means I will most likely be getting the same sub to go to a customer’s property every week/service. The customer will notice the different company logo and vehicle so wouldn’t it be more appealing to let them know we hire the best and proven people to do the job?

    3) However, the customer cutting me out as the middle man of the operation seems possible. Which might put a problem with subs if a customer receives the full maintenance weekly annual service? What do you guys think?

    Cheers.

    #1134246
    GSanders12
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    Bump ^

    #1134247
    CindyK
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    Hi Again,

    In regard to your legal agreement you need to see a solicitor or lawyer. You will not be able to restrict that length of time (a year) and to be legally valid as far as I am aware, you will need advice about contract law.

    While you can try to protect your business as much as possible, the law does not allow you to unfairly disadvantage other people. For example, in the industry I am in, we have been advised by our associations that any such contract with a sub-contractor will only be reasonable for around 3 months and around 20-30klms of our area. Outside of that, the have the right to market their services. I am not saying that is right for everyone or that every legal eagle will agree, but I am advising you to not write a contract like that without professional advice.

    Also….

    I did think of another aspect, if you are going with the ‘network of professionals’ then make transacting with you super easy for the client. Make it an easy booking system, easy complaint process and most of all and easy payment system. Try to make sure that the service they get by using your overall company excels for them.

    :)

    #1134248
    GSanders12
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    I will definitely go to a lawyer for this.

    Thanks for that tip! I do believe if we connect the buyer with the company, I will have to provide more value then simply connecting them. I am providing a log in account for managing cash transactions, instant online chat support, and call centre availability for them to call along with also a booking system online.

    #1134249
    GSanders12
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    What type of SYSTESM & PROCESSES do you recommend I set in place to make sure a subcontractor doesn’t steal work in a scenario in which they go to provide quoting for the client at the property?

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