The simplest way of making more money from your client is providing contractors to them.
Most contractors don’t usually bother. Although they probably know many people who would be suitable for the job. That’s because the people they have worked with before usually have pretty much the same skills as them.
However they usually miss out when new people are being taken on.
The first that they usually know that there is a requirement is when a new person appears.
Contractors are a bit reticent to push themselves forward to try and get people they know into a site.
Even if they do know people, they usually just tell their agency about them. So, if they’re lucky they’ll get a 250 quid introductory fee.
However, the agency will probably earn this a week from the contractor that you’ve given them.
There are a few contractors that I’ve met who have been able to take advantage of these opportunities of providing contractors to their clients. However, they have been very much in the minority.
Restrictive Agency Clause
I think that one of the things that puts IT contractors off doing more of this is their own contract with the agency. This normally states that they can’t tout for more business with the client.
This clause is one of the main reasons why more small IT businesses don’t grow into major ones.
Although many people argue that this is a restraint of trade, and legally it might be a bit iffy, it normally puts off most IT contractors.
Going Direct to a Company
Of course it is much easier to pursue this route if you have gone direct to a company. this is one of the best reasons that you can have for going direct. It’s an opportunity to be able to grow your business from being a one-man band to being a real business. You can employ other people.
However, even if you have gone through an agency, there are ways around this.
The contract that you have with the agency is not a personal one.
It is through your company – and you can simply set up another company to use as a vehicle for transacting this new business.
How to Go About Providing Contractors
So how do you go about this?
Most IT contractors are a bit mealie-mouthed when they come to this sort of thing. They have to overcome this.
They have to realise that they are in a supplier-customer relationship and not an employer-employee one.
They should expect to be putting further business proposals to their clients.
So here are a number of ways to go about providing contractors to your client:-
The very first thing to do is to be prepared. No one will hire anyone without looking at a CV.
When you leave your previous place, you should make sure that you take a copy of as many CVs as possible of people with similar skills to yours. Get their contact information too.
Have a small brochure printed that you can give to clients as your sales document.
On it you should give as many reasons as possible as to why you have competitive advantage over agencies. Forexample, you know the skills yourself, you have worked with all of the people before and can recommend them. You will be onsite keeping an eye on them on behalf of the client which agencies couldn’t do etc.
Give the document / brochure to the client soon after you arrive.
Ask the client if you can arrange a meeting with him, or her, at which you’d like to discuss mutually beneficial co-operation between your other company and the client.
It would be better if this meeting took place in a nice nearby restaurant for which you will pay and the client will choose.
List and CVs
Have a one or two page list of the available people. Have just their names and one paragraph listing their skills and experience.
Also have their CVs ready as well, which you can either hand over, or to be on the safe side, say that they are available whenever a position comes up
Ask to be Considered
Ask the client if they would keep you and your company in mind whenever a new position became available.
Even if they have a preferred supplier list ask them if they have a ‘preferred’ preferred supplier and deal as a sub-contractor for them, offering to be their agency representative on site also
Suggest Management Role
If the client will take your people through you, offer to manage them on site, perhaps in a discrete area of the project.
You may be able to increase your own rate here. You may even get an opportunity to run your own project with your own people
More Should Take Advantage
So few IT contractors take advantage of this opportunity. Yet they all know people who would be just perfect for the place where they are working.
Most of it is just because they don’t ask the question.
I was a Chief Information Officer for three years.
If any IT contractors had come to me and suggested deals that were beneficial to my department and the company I would have looked at them seriously.
Although we generally had 10-20 contractors there at any one time, not a single contractor ever came to me to make any mutually beneficial proposals?
Why not? I would have given them consideration.
As my father used to say “Those that don’t ask, don’t get”.
Why don’t you pluck up the courage and do it?
It may be the best thing that you’ve ever done. It may help turn your company into a real business, and have value outside the money you are putting into it.