Contractor Moneymaking Opportunities
There are huge contractor moneymaking opportunities that are not often taken advantage of by contractors and agents jointly.
On a thread on a Forum there is a discussion about whether agents should continue to take a cut for a contractor in perpetuity at a client’s site.
However, there is an even bigger issue here and a huge missed opportunity.
It is caused by the clause in the contract that prevents contractors touting for more business at the clients. That’s even for a set period after the contractor has left the client.
Contractors see many opportunities to get more business with a client. However, in 99.9% of cases they don’t even attempt it. The reasons is that restrictive clause in their contract with the agency.
Opportunities from Clients
They could tender for small projects. They could take over the maintenance of a particular part of the system. They could train the client’s workers much more cheaply than a training organisation etc. etc. etc.
There are a myriad of contractor moneymaking opportunities at a site for gaining heaps more business. However, contractors are not looking for them generally because they feel tied by that clause.
Even those that do see the opportunities don’t bother – because of that clause.
As a result most of the opportunities go to software houses or the big consultancies. That’s when it could probably be done far better (and much more cheaply) by the contractors at the site.
I would be absolutely certain to say that there are many millions (possibly billions) of pounds worth of this kind of business that goes a-begging in the IT industry every year.
IT Intellectual Property
There is very little in the way of IT intellectual property in the UK. That’s mainly because there is not the right environment for a myriad of small IT companies to become big IT companies. Much of it is because of that clause.
The shame about it is that both agencies and contractors could benefit from it.
If agencies would just see contractors as real potential partners in business they could both benefit from the opportunities that are there.
For instance if a contractor said to an agency, “I am going to bid for a small project at the client’s” they could come to some sort of a deal where the agency had first call on all new contractors for a project.
Contractors could also benefit from having the agency as a partner because it gives them more financial clout and more muscle. Companies are more likely to give business to someone with a major partner rather than just a one man band.
However, this almost never happens – because of that clause.
Or should I say because of what contractors believe that clause means. Alos, it’s because they believe that it constricts them completely.
I have spoken to agencies and have put certain win-win scenarios and they have reacted positively. They say that the clause isn’t catch-all. They say if the contractor came up with some ideas that would favour them both they would go for it.
However, contractors don’t even consider that they would. They just watch heaps of opportunities float by their very eyes. Many go to software house who use mainly graduates on a project and charge an arm and a leg. They know neither the client’s business nor their systems like the contractor does.
No Takers for Contractor Moneymaking Opportunities
I worked as a CIO at a major card company. I had been a contractor myself when I started there. I had an average of 20 contractors working for me (with 60 permies) during the 3 years I was there.
If contractors had come up to me with a good proposition I would have looked on it favourably. If they came with the financial strength of their agency behind them as well, I would have looked even upon it more favourably.
During all that time not one contractor came forward looking for more business or with a fresh idea or to bid for work that we outsourced to software houses.
I suspect that they thought the same as I did when I was a contractor – that they couldn’t.
Contractors and Agents
I suspect that this clause (or the contractor’s perception of it) is a huge brake on the UK becoming a major IT player. There are many lost contractor moneymaking opportunities for creating lots of growing small businesses.
I believe it also deprives contractors and agents alike of a legion of opportunities for making piles more money.
What a shame!
Does anybody think anything can be done about this?
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