Subcontracting is very common in the snow removal industry. It allows you to grow your brand, and minimize overhead while maintaining this growth. Of course, there are also risks to contracting out work; if they do a bad job, then that falls back on you. When hiring a snow removal subcontractor you need someone risk-free and efficient. You need to know that you can rely on them to get the work done. Many factors go into picking the right subcontractor for your snow removal business. There are also many ways to ensure that they continue to do good work for you.
Look Before the Season Starts
The last thing you want is little to no options when choosing your snow removal subcontractors. That is why you have to start looking in September, long before the winter months start. This guarantees that you can extend offers to the best contractors in your region. You want your business to produce it’s best work possible. You don’t want to be stuck with someone with poor ratings.
When it comes to finding and hiring good snow removal subcontractors, the best way is word of mouth. You can ask your colleagues and employees. Look for people who have a background in snow and ice removal. You can also look for people in lawn care that are looking to go into snow removal. This way, you can guarantee that you are hiring someone outstanding for the job. While subcontracting is helpful, it’s not worth the risk by hiring someone you don’t trust.
When finding a snow removal subcontractor, there are a couple of places you can look. Shop around before you make your decision on who to hire. Use job sites like:
It is also helpful to check your local business groups. You can put advertisements out on job sites and social media, to widen your pool of applicants.
When hiring a snow removal subcontractor, make sure the signed contract is clear. Both parties need to be aware of exactly what needs to happen. Some things that need to be included and clear are:
- if the price is fixed for the season or based on snowfall
- the amount of time and the time of day you expect them to be working
- if the cost of salt is included
- snowfall threshold
- if there is an extra charge for larger snow storms
- any other potential charges
- how the agreement can be terminated if need be.
It is important to have everything in writing so that they can be held accountable if need be. Quality control falls on the shoulders of the business owner, even with subcontractors. Be transparent and communicative with them.
Always check with your subcontractor about insurance. You need to find out if they have it BEFORE they start working. If they do not, this will leave your business fully open for liability, and that is not a risk you want to take. They should provide you with a current certificate of coverage to guarantee your protection. As shown in the article above, your business should have snow plow insurance on all your vehicles. If a subcontractor is using their own vehicle, they will need to provide their own. They will also need to provide their own if they are not under employee contract and insurance with your business. This is best to protect your business and your customers from any incidents.
Collect Data Quickly
Finding a way to collect data while your subcontractors are out in the field is very important. It is how your business will make money. For the majority of snow removal businesses, the time it takes to get data from their subcontractors significantly slows down their billing process. If you’re not billing, then you’re not getting paid. Having software that tracks your subcontractors will help a lot. Your business should have a system like this in place for your full-time employees. Adding your subcontractors to it won’t be difficult. When you can gather their information in real-time through routes, you will be able to get paid much quicker.
Pay Subcontractors Faster
While you should never pay your subcontractors upfront or in cash, you should pay them as fast as you can. Your subcontractors should be paid just like a regular employee. This ensures they work to a high standard. If you need to, have your subcontractors validate their work and send it to you. This way, you won’t forget to pay them on time. To ensure your subcontractors are representing your business well, treat them well.