If you are a growing business, you know that you need a way to scale your business. Hiring more employees isn’t in the cards for you right now so you look to subcontractors. While this is a great idea, how do you know who to trust? Better yet, how can you protect yourself when you are using subcontractors to do web development? If they mess up, this could be a major problem with your clients, and no one wants that.
While you want to grow your business, merely the thought of going through the stack of unqualified applicants in your email makes you want to cringe. You’d rather sort your email into their proper folders than do that.
Don’t despair. There are things that you can do to protect yourself when you are using these subcontractors and we going to talk about those things now.
1. Ask Your Network For Referrals
Why go anywhere else when you can go to the people that you trust the most? If you can get a good referral from a friend or business colleague that might mean that you never have to sort through those dreaded emails.
If you pose the question on social media, you are likely to get even more interaction. Your friend’s friends are going to see it and might refer a friend of theirs. Make sure you do it in a classy manner. No one likes when people tag them in posts that have no relevance to them or what they need or want.
Colleagues and associates who work in the digital space should be on the top of your list. If you can get a good referral relationship going on, you might be well supplied with talent well into the future.
2. Review Candidates Carefully
While it is easy to quickly hire someone from a job board because you are in a rush, make sure that you take the time to vet each of the candidates. If you don’t, you will regret it. While not all of them are going to have something go awry with their work, you can’t be confident in their work because you really aren’t sure what they are capable of. Taking the extra time out to go through their portfolio, do a live interview with them and even ask them to do a simple project beforehand can save you a lot of hassle.
3. Set a Specific Trial Period
There is nothing wrong with setting up a trial period of 2-3 weeks, or whatever time frame you see fit. If you let them know that there is a probation period, they understand that if their work isn’t up to par, they won’t be able to stay on with the project and fear can be a great motivator for good work.
4. Write a Contract
No one needs a contract until they need a contract. This means that as long as everything is going good, no one thinks about the contract. However, if things go wrong you may wish you had a contract. If you aren’t sure how to write up a strong and binding contract you can go on a site like LegalZoom and draw something up. Having a contract will keep both sides honest and allow everyone to have peace of mind that they won’t get swindled.
In the contract, you need to make sure that you own all of the intellectual property and that the sub-contractor cannot repurpose any of it for any reason. You can allow them to display the work on their portfolio as long as they credit your firm. Specify all deliverables. Put down timelines and deadlines as best as possible. Include the number of revision periods and the agreed upon charge in advance. You also need to include a clause that dictates whether or not there will be any compensation in case of contract termination.
5. Pay Them When You Get Paid
There is always a question about the pay structure. The best way to make sure that you don’t overextend yourself is to pay the subcontractor whenever you get paid. Everything should move and progress together in case there are any changes with the client. You don’t need to do anything confusing or set up any
differing structure for payment as this could just cause confusion.
Before you hand anything over to the sub-contractor, make sure that you have backups. You can use one of the best backup plugins for WordPress to make sure that you have any files in case of a problem with the sub-contractor or some sort of error with the site. Even if you expect the sub-contractor to do backups, it is wise to do your own as well. It could save you from hundreds or even thousands of dollars in time.
Once you have your plan in place to make sure that you are protected when using a subcontractor, it is time for the fun part of growing your business. The more clients that you take on, the more help you are going to need so even if you find someone good you are working with, keep in contact with other developers that you found throughout the process that you liked. You never know who big you are going to be able to grow so make sure that you don’t lose track with any high quality talent.
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