Understanding subcontracting and how to score the jobs

Working for yourself as a subcontractor offers a great amount of freedom and flexibility when it comes to taking on different jobs. Our guide goes through some of the basics of understanding what subcontracting involves and importantly how you can land those all important jobs to keep your business going.

What is subcontracting work?

Subcontracting involves working independently for different individual clients on a job by job basis. You have the choice to choose what kind of clients you work for, the frequency and how many projects that you may be working on at one time. For some subcontractors they may be focusing on one major project or take on multiple different projects to work on at the same time.

As a subcontractor you operate as a self-employed/sole-trader business, accepting projects from companies that cannot complete the work internally. Examples of some of the common types of contractors include freelancers, vendors, auditors, consultants, tradies and independent contractors.

How to find contractor jobs?

There’re a few steps you can take to help build your contractor business and get your name out there. Being consistent, organised and professional with your approach will help to keep the clients filling your books for the days ahead!

1. Website and social media

If you don’t already have a website set up and social media accounts for your subcontracting business, now is the time to jump on it. Most people these days will search online for the professional services they need- be it dog grooming, marketing consultants or a handyman. Establishing an online presence creates a gold mine of opportunities for clients to connect with your business and see what you do.

2. Search online

Spend some time searching online looking for companies and clients that may be advertising for specific contract work. It is good to become familiar with which avenues advertise these contracts, what kind of work is going, how much they are willing to pay and to get a general feel for the market.

3. Contact directly

Don’t wait for your clients to come to you, get proactive and contact them. This involves networking with both new and existing clients you may have had contact with in the past. Touching base, sussing out what projects are currently going or upcoming are ways you can keep your finger on the pulse and be involved with any potential future projects.

4. Go local

Let local businesses know your open for business by having a chat with them directly, advertising in the local paper or getting involved with organisations like the local business commerce group. Local businesses are prone to looking out for each other and create a tight network within themselves. Word of mouth is invaluable and something many local businesses are good at sharing when people ask about recommendations for things like tradie services and professional advice.

5. Share your knowledge

Whatever your profession may be, sharing your experience and top tips on topics within your occupation can help to boost trust and connectivity with your business. An example of this is an electrician for who may share a video on the top ways to start saving power around your house by changing to certain lightbulbs. Another may be a tax agent who shares their top tips for small business owners to stay organised at tax time.

The possibilities are endless but with the help of websites and social media platforms you can create anything from short and snappy video clips to extensive blog articles on topics that you are an expert in. Sharing your knowledge will build respect not only with potential clients but your peers within your industry as well.

Insuring your subcontractor business

Now that you’ve got a good understanding on how to start driving some activity to your business, you need to also consider how to protect your business and what kind of business insurances may be a requirement as a contractor.

If you work closely with contracts you may often find that a specific amount of cover for things like Professional Indemnity insurance or Public Liability insurance* may be required. Having your own insurance policies in place before you even start working on a contract are common, so make sure you know what minimum of cover is required and any other specifications which may be required with your cover.

Other forms of business insurance for contractors that you may need to consider are things like Portable Equipment cover* to insure things like your tools of trade and other valuable business assets for when you’re out and about doing your work.

Personal Accident and Illness insurance* is another type of business insurance to consider providing protection for your business’ most precious asset-you.

Regardless if you’re after insurance for your tradesman business or sole trader business, BizCover is there to provide insurance options to help safeguard your business. Give us a call or jump online today and experience insurance without the hassles and dramas, providing quotes in minutes.

*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
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