It is not a surprising fact that many general contractors delegate a part of their tasks to individual specialists. Subcontracting narrow-direction experts is a common practice in Europe and the USA. Some subs are professional carpenters, insulators, roofers, etc. They will come in handy to complete the project timely and bring the most excellent result to the client. Today, there are many subcontractors to hire and cooperate with.
Additionally, there are many skilled specialists who are ready to become subs in the construction sector. They are potential subcontractors in the niche with high-level competence in their area and the ambitions to run their own small profitable business. More and more general contractors switch to attracting individual specialists and have such a budget item when it comes to project costs. All the costs required for subcontracting are added to the construction cost estimating software for accurate financial forecasts.
Speaking about GCs opportunities, they are quite positive. There are many willing subs for transparent cooperation. It is quite challenging to get orders if you are a newcomer in subcontracting. New individual specialists in the market have no reputation, or proven experience with clients’ reviews. A poor portfolio is also among the main reasons why a potential sub is not chosen by general contractors. How to become a subcontractor and get more orders? Let’s dive into the topic together.
Subcontracting: Ready, Steady, Go
As automation and digitization for general contractors is going to become a trend in 2023 together with robotics, construction bidding software, BIM, and other e-tools, subcontracting and performing as a subcontractor in the construction sector is on-demand as well. To become a sub, it is necessary to meet the following requirements and norms:
- Profile education (a certificate, diploma, or other documents that prove the fact – you have competence in the niche).
- Documentations on the subcontracting specialty concerning degree courses and other supplementary information about the niche profession.
- Optionally but ideally – a portfolio that proves your experience. Satisfied customers with their thankful reviews also can become your trump card when it comes to rivals and competitiveness in the local markets.
Note that most countries including European and the US states require subcontractors to pass special-purpose exams to get a license. It is not obliged to perform as an individual specialist in the construction sector without permits and certification documents.
Your Risks and Challenges as a Subcontractor
Remember that subcontracting is not about profitable orders, enlarged networks and client bases, and more opportunities as a qualified expert. There is a range of challenges and risks to take into consideration. For example, a well-paid subcontractor can face the following issues at any stage of his/her work:
- Weather extremes for exterior construction specialists (exterior painting, roofing, etc.). You can handle your general contractor’s tasks while it is raining, snowing, storming, and so on.
- Illnesses and traumas on the site – any construction object is a dangerous place where injuries and various accidents can take place.
- Low-level communication – sometimes, it is quite difficult to find a common word with the GC and other parties in the building processes.
Nevertheless, the sharpest question for subcontractors who have just started their professional way is difficulties with finding work and orders. So, where to start?
How to Find Subcontracting Work: Helpful Tips for Result-Driven Subs
It goes without saying that you need to spread the word about your professional activities. Start with your standing clients. If you have just started your subcontracting, it is better to join outreach websites and ones with the government programs, tenders, etc. Here, you can use low rates to get the first customers.
Additionally, increase your networking through various meetings, conferences, and social media campaigns. Join niche forums on the Internet, and visit construction local events (seminars, exhibitions, presentations, lectures, etc.).
Finally, use only a comprehensive approach. Do not be limited only to government programs. Do networking and be active on the outreach platforms at once. Three activities in one is a good idea if you are interested in more subcontracting work.