Most contractors have partners from all different sorts of businesses. From realtors to mortgage agents to distributors to insurance agents, they help you and you help them whether it is referring business back and forth, working together to solve mutual problems, or putting them in contact with other people in the field. You value that relationship, even if it only helps you out a little. But, of all the other businesses that your company works and partners with, your subcontractors are among the most valuable, and not just because they make it possible to get your projects done. Despite being so valuable, subcontractors tend to be overlooked as partners, which is a big missed opportunity for both of you.
Why are subcontractors overlooked so frequently? Because they are familiar. They are in the industry, know the ins-and-outs, and sometimes can feel a little more like competition than a partnership, even when you do work together. So how do you overcome that? You build the relationship!
We know what you’re thinking, more work? With people we already work with? But that is the key, it won’t be as much work as you think because you already work with them! Think about it: when you meet a realtor or insurance agent at a networking event you have to put in the time to get to know the person and their business, and then you get to work out how you can help each other. With your subcontractors, you already know their business pretty well, and you may even know the person a little (or a lot, who knows!), which means you’ve already done the hardest part of developing a relationship without even realizing it. Use that relationship to find ways that you can help each other beyond just subcontracting; they are in the industry too, so they might have tips and tricks you hadn’t found yet. Plus, chances are, if you already do work on the same projects there is some overlap in your client base that can be an excellent referral network for you both.
The point is, the subcontractors you work with know you and your business, and you know them and their business, and there is no point in the relationship staying just as a transactional work for work one. Get to know them, use them, and see how you can work together to bring in more business for both of you!