Not a day goes by that I don’t hear a contractor express concern that he is not in control of his business. “My subs will never do it that way. They won’t submit their bids to me through an online system. They can barely return e-mails.”
Too many remodelers that use outside contractors get only one bid per trade. It is my belief that while your “favorite sub” probably provides great service, you could be paying more than you need to, or you could get better service from someone else. It might surprise you to know that there are other subs out there, that have as good of workmanship, yet are 10-30% less expensive?? Could this be costing you work? Could your service improve with more timely estimates? Would you possibly get better pricing if you told your sub of 10 years that he was about 20% higher than another bidder?
How will you ever know until you try. I remember as I was 10 years into the business, a mature contractor offered to share his subs with me. He knew they were professional and would help my business grow. But boy, I will have to admit, I was totally scared! New people? How could I have 2 or 3 plumbers and electricians?
Having run a remodeling company for 38 years, I fully understand how our sub-contractors can play off of a secure relationship. It is the same with your suppliers.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I value loyal tradesmen and suppliers, but we all have businesses to run and part of a successful business is keeping our costs low so we can markup our projects, make a profit, yet still get/win the business!
If you are suspect that your subs might be getting the best of you, it might be worth a listen about a system for setting up projects with “fool proof pricing”.