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Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by drsogr, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    If you are fairly new to the business...are you better off having subcontractors that will refer you work. Or subcontractors that are really good at what they do and will not cause you anymore headaches?

    The reason I am asking, I have a subcontractor that I send all of my irrigation work too. I give him the leads for free. He is good at what he does, causes me no problems. If I tell him I need it done quick...he will get it done quick. Problem is, I make no money off of him, no referral bonus, no leads, nothing.

    What would you guys do? Look for another subcontractor that is willing to trade work? Ask for a referral bonus? Take his estimate and mark it up? Wait until next season, when I am more established and have provided him more work, and see what happens?
  2. MMEC

    MMEC LawnSite Member
    from East
    Posts: 36

    The best sub is someone that does good work at a fair price. I look at subs like employees it is easy to find one but hard to keep the good ones. I am familar with landscape and irrigation subbing and a fair trade off would be 5-6 irrigation jobs per 1 landscape job. Usually irrigation co's are tied in with different LCO's and if you talk to them let them know that you are looking for work. Or just make them a actual sub and gather there insurance info and tax id number and add them to your contract and tack on 10%.
  3. lawnMaster5000

    lawnMaster5000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 589

    I would say to make them an actual sub and take your percentage or whatever the case may be. It can be a great relationship for the both of you.
  4. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    I thought about that....but the irrigation market around here is so tight, that it would probably make them lose out on the bid.
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    His NOT giving you a headache should be plenty in the payment department.
  6. cklands

    cklands LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Posts: 360

    I use subs for my irrigation and my fert. Both are good friends and are in the top of their fields. They will give me my price and I mark it up. I make a little off them and don't have to do anything but add another line item to the bill I am already sending out. IMO why not let them do what they are good at. In return they both send me alot of work. It's the old one washes the other.
  7. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    Thats kind of the way I have been looking at. I am a young company...he takes care of my customers...makes me look good...and makes my company look good. Its a good relationship. I think I might stick with it this way for another year.

    Although it would be a better relationship if he sent me referral work....or I made money off of him. But to find someone that I could get referral work from I would have to find a much smaller company to partner with, that would probably cause me more headaches. Making money off of him is not a huge priority, because he is saving me money by not having to deal with the headaches.

    Most jobs I will estimate the sod work....the customer will be looking for irrigation. So I call him up, tell him to meet with the customer, everyone is on the same page. I can schedule my work around his work, since he is reliable, everything runs smooth.

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