We shot ourselves in the foot over the last 20 years, riding on the coat-tails of the union training programs.  I say that generalizing of course.

In 1990, I remember making a transition from a full employee company to hiring independent workers. I did it because at that time, the workflow had tremendous highs and lows, and I found I could concentrate on sales and administration more if there were responsible tradesmen in the field.

There are MANY responsible employees out there, but I was referring to having field personnel (sub-contractors) that were totally responsible for: keeping the schedule, material procurement, quality of the assembly, satisfying MY clients, as well as their weekly budget needs.


Now,,,, having said that,,,,,this really raises the bar in the way that you package a project. You had better comb through the details and make sure that everything is in there, or word your specs and contracts such that it is the workers responsibility to bring up un-specified items before the estimate is presented to the client. A package includes good/pertinent project pictures, accurate scaled floor plans and adequate elevations, and most of all specifications that tie your project together.


What a concept! It really works, and your clients like their total package and the trades like what they are using for a basis for their bids.


In closing,,,if you are going to enlarge your labor pool with the use of experienced professionals, do check references, and put them into their first project with you where your established people can report back on how they fit. Be as careful about a new trade sub coming into your mix, as you would be hiring a new W-2 employee. Just make sure that you stay legal and require that they work for at least 2 other contractors.  Also, that the majority of your workforce moves towards independent tradesmen, as you grow the size of your business.  Otherwise they might be viewed as employees under the law.