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Subcontracting question

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by michigangrass, Apr 27, 2003.

  1. michigangrass

    michigangrass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    On my latest set of cards, besides listing all of our services, I decided to add "ask about our subcontractors" for decks, gazebos, etc. Well, its actually generated quite a bit of interest with customers.

    My question is...what kind of referral fee or % should I request for the referral? I don't want to find out a year from now that I was getting about half of what I should have or asking too much and having subs tell me to take a walk.
  2. MacLawnCo

    MacLawnCo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,847

    How about instead of turning over the client to your subs, you have the sub do the work for you at a reduced cost and mark it up a bit, all the while all the paperwork goes through you. If they dont give you a price break, still mark it up...people like one stop shopping
  3. michigangrass

    michigangrass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    I thought about that but wasn't sure if I'd be required to have a general contractors license when it came to building and subing. I did have one builder tell me exactly that...so I thought I'd run it by you guys.
  4. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Posts: 776

    I would suggest that you just hand the jobs right over to your subs. Keep a book with a bunch of subs' cards in them. ONLY reputable people, or guys who you are friends with. If somebody asks about their type of work "here, this company is the one you want to talk to, here's their card" Like that, if something happens down the road you can't be sued. If the client doesn't pay, or gives somebody trouble... you're not in the middle of it all.
    I like to be on the system that; you wash my back, I wash yours. I turn jobs that I can't do over to other people "here, call this person" and when they get jobs that they can't do, that I do... they hand them to me. I feel it drives people to be nice to one another, and for you to do quality work. Money is only money, relationships are worth WAY more than money.
  5. MattW

    MattW LawnSite Member
    from NH
    Posts: 26

    well becareful of how you sub..... You never want to be a subcontractor if you a one man band w/ just liability insurance policy...I know here in NH the general is the so called "head cheese" and when something goes bad it all falls on them... For example: In NH here: The general has to carry a workers comp policy even on the subs, The general is supposed to be onsite to ensure safty and procedures are done right (instructional training etc...)

    Trust me... I know!

    I am in litigation as we speak! I was doing some work for a guy toward the end of the season (Roofing). He said come work for "me". Well little and behold the staging collapsed and I broke my back and my wrist. Well I found out allot to make a long story short!

    Just look into the laws....see how it works in your state.

    Just my $.02
  6. Mykster

    Mykster LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 668

    Are you a General Contractor? I ask this because in the state of WA you must be a GC in order to sub out. Laws may vary in other states. Like MattW said, you might want to check your local laws.

    If you are a GC disregard comments above.
  7. Building permits are required for a lot of stuff, make sure you can aquire them.

    You might be better off just passing the referrals to some one else and make a new friend.
  8. Alan Bechard

    Alan Bechard LawnSite Member
    Posts: 175

    We do the deal like th man said with the busines cards. We do not do tree work, and do not want too. We have a very good friend that does, and does not do mowing. We do not get any "money" from each other, but those two businesses really complement each other. His brother also sells dirt and does hauling so we are starting to refer people that just want that over to him.

    As long as you are not trying to do the same work, you can get a good Co-Op thing going that your customers will really appreciate.

    Our payback is the referalls from them, and the good will that we get from our customers, when we refer them to someone that does a good, honest, appropriately priced job.

    Al B
  9. michigangrass

    michigangrass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    Thanks guys...just wanted to cover my based and not fall head first into a lawsuit.

    I come from a corporate sales background a few years ago and I upsell everything...I can't help it...I'll go to quote standard maintenance and the next thing you know I have a full service customer that wants new landscaping,a new sprinkler system, and a deck.
  10. I hear ya man, I do fencing, decks, etc.. too

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