If you want to really scale your snow operations, the best kept “secret” is to utilize subcontractors.  But there is a right way and a wrong way to accomplish this task.  Instead of spending tens of thousands on equipment and pointlessly trying to hire more labor, let me share with you how to subcontract your problems away and still profit this season. 

The first key to subcontracting is to stop thinking of subcontractors as subcontractors.  We like to think of them as “service partners” because companies are most successful when they work together toward a common goal.  The term “subcontractors” has a negative connotation that implies these companies do not provide quality work, are not as intelligent, or simply exist to work for a lower rate.  This absolutely isn’t the case.

There are many reasons why a company would want to be a service partner with another.  For one, being able to make a route more dense means that profitability across all jobs increases.  Second, utilizing equipment that would otherwise sit dormant can help them manage the payments year-round.  And finally, many companies find that being a service partner takes the hassle out of account management, service documentation, and invoicing because of dedicated account managers and automated smartphone apps that larger companies often provide.  Companies which choose any of these very valid business reasons for being a service partner should be celebrated.

The second key to having success with service partners is to educate them well.  Most companies fail at subcontracting because they simply don’t share enough information with the companies they hire.  When it comes to education, service partners may need even more training than in-house employees on customer expectations, contractual obligations, and industry best practices.  It can never be assumed that a subcontracted firm knows and executes all the best practices for snow and ice management.

If you manage service partners, keeping on top of this education can be difficult, especially as you hire them at different times of the season.  To help with this, we’ve created a course you can send to your service partners that will teach them all the basics of contracts, insurance, storm management, and communication on our sister site GrowTheBench.com.  You’ll have the ability to view their progress through our admin panel. Get a leg up on success for your winter operations — without breaking the bank. Check out the course here and start to have subcontracting success today!

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