Friday, March 31, 2017

Subcontractors: Who Knows Your Clients Best?

A big fear computer consultants have when developing partnerships and relationships with subcontractors is “How do I keep the subcontractors from stealing my clients?”

Contracts Are Only Part of The Equation

Should you implement a non-compete form from the onset of the relationship?  Absolutely. But never put a piece of paper ahead of your gut feelings.

This type of business is not as cut and dry as just having clients sign your service agreement and subcontractors signing your independent contractor agreement.

What Are the Subcontractors' Intentions?

Some people sign things in bad faith.  Some people sign things in good faith. A lot of it is sizing up the relationship and being a good judge of character.

You should definitely have your service contract reviewed by your attorney to make sure it’s legally binding and enforceable, but no amount of clauses, no amount of sign-offs is going to protect you from someone determined to make your life miserable.

Don't Allow Subcontractors Steal Your Clients and Vice Versa

Another interesting idea that’s worked is to put something in the clients' service agreement that your clients are not allowed to steal your employees and your subcontractors.

All these things are just deterrents. If someone is really determined to get around your contracts, they’re going to figure out a way to do it.

Make Sure Your Clients Know Who You Are

Know your clients. Look to have some kind of balance between people that are on your staff and payroll so that there is a certain amount of continuity to the existing client relationships.

Those should be the people that your clients get to know best. If your subcontractors are known the best, then who really owns the relationship?

Don't Be a Stranger To Your Client

Make sure that if you take on a client where they’re starting to see your subcontractors a lot, that you’re supplementing those visits. Accompany your subcontractors on a project management level, do a lot of follow-ups between visits, or have your junior techs tag along and do some work so they get a little bit of cross-training as you go along.

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