Your business is only as strong as your weakest subcontractor. And while it's easy to put the blame on your subcontractors when something goes wrong.
The fact remains that you could be setting your business up for failure if you're not managing your subcontractors responsibly and giving them the tools and resources they need to be successful.
Avoiding Missed Deadlines
One of the most common problems people run into when it comes to working with contractors is that they miss deadlines. This results in angry customers and the potential development of a bad reputation within the community.
One of the best ways to avoid this issue with your subcontractors is to request regular project updates--perhaps every couple of days. After all, it's ultimately your responsibility to ensure that a project is on-track to be completed on time. In your project specifications, you should also go out of your way to emphasize the project deadline in bold or CAPITAL letters--and make sure it's towards the top of the specs page.
Choosing Subcontractors Who Can Make Wise Decisions
Another common pitfall you may run into when hiring subcontractors is that of hiring people who can't seem to make even the most simple of decisions without your help. This can be very frustrating for you, but can also waste your time and your company's money. This is another situation, however, in which the blame could actually be on you.
Generally, subcontractors who feel the need to defer to their managers to make decisions simply haven't been given enough responsibilities or haven't been adequately trained on the company's beliefs and goals. An effective way to deal with this all-too-common issue is training your subcontractors on how to deal with these situations and establishing strict rules that will guide them towards the right choice.
Furthermore, making clear the separation between your responsibilities and your subcontractors' responsibilities/powers can go a long way.
Finding an Honest Subcontractor
Finally, any time you hire a new subcontractor, make sure you go through all the necessary steps. This includes running background checks, checking references, reviewing one's membership in professional organizations, and verifying any licenses and certifications. These days, you can never be too careful when it comes to selecting the subcontractors who will work for you. Go with your gut instinct; only hire people who have the experience and know-how in addition to a trustworthy personality.
Avoid setting your subcontractors up for failure by following this advice, and you'll find that your job as a manager becomes that much more enjoyable in the process. Not to mention, your business could also benefit.