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Subcontracting: Why Enter These Relationships?

First, you need to figure out what your in-house techs can handle on their own and then youíre going to need to figure out how to supplement it. As a small consulting firm, you canít hire someone whoís got five different certifications and pay them their outlandish salaries of $65,000 or $75,000 a year. Instead, start subcontracting work.

Even if you feel that you can afford their rates and keep them busy, that person is not going to want to be unjamming laser printers, hooking up PDAs to desktops and reinstalling Act and QuickBooks all day.

Itís a huge waste of their time, a huge blow to their ego and they won't feel as much technical gratification. So even if you have someone thatís extremely senior like that, youíll probably want to be subcontracting out junior work.

For most beginning computer consultants, itís going to be the other way around. You have some good relatively seasoned junior technicians who are good on desktop and hardware troubleshooting and hooking up PCs to LANs, but you may need to start subcontracting server work and installing and troubleshooting things like SQL Server and Exchange Server and firewalls.

As you move more into IT services, thereís going to be many times where clients are asking for things that are beyond the scope of what you normally do. One of the most important things to do is to look for complimentary non-competing technology providers in your area that you can work with on more formal master/subcontractor relationship.

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By: Joshua Feinberg

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