Having more work than you can handle is a good problem that all freelancers should embrace. Extra work can be handled in one of three ways:
- Pass the job to a colleague, which usually means just forwarding the lead send by ManagerSal or sending them the voice message. This is pretty easy, but it does not help grow your business.
- Book someone else as a subcontractor. Booking a subcontractor is more complicated than merely passing off the work, but it is also more rewarding. You grow your business and make money for your friends.
- Just say no and get on with your life.
When booking a subcontractor you have to keep in mind that while your company is ultimately responsible for the job, you are trusting someone else to use their skill, judgement, and materials to do the job. Be sure to have a chat with your attorney so you know the rules (especially the tax rules) in your jurisdiction about working with subcontractors. In our booking process, assigning a subcontractor comes after you have decided what service your company is going to provide.
Here’s an example of a party where I need to hire a DJ, and I want to book out my friend Jimmy Kindle. I need to do two things: 1) I need to let ManagerSal know that Jimmy is an active subcontractor and not just another contact, and 2) I need to assign him to the service “Disc Jockey” at the gig.
Making Jimmy active is easy. First, find his contact info and edit the portfolio section. This is the area where you save information about booking him. The only two things you need to do are give him a stage name, and make him ‘active’. Sometimes the Stage Name will be his regular name. In this case, it’s “DJ Jimmy K”. The ‘active’ checkbox is what tells ManagerSal that I want to book him (and pay him). If DJ Jimmy K turns out to be terrible then I will uncheck the ‘active’ box and he won’t show up in my list of available subcontractors.
As soon as I save these changes, DJ Jimmy K will be a regular contact and available as a subcontractor. Now I just have to let ManagerSal know that I want him to be the DJ for the party. I do this by finding the event and choosing the ‘subcontractor’ link. And then choosing what I want him to do. He is going to be the second line-item I’m booking, the Disc Jockey. So I click that link and put in the details of what I’m paying him, any specific notes, and what contract I want him to sign.
That’s it! As soon as I assign DJ Jimmy K, ManagerSal adds him as a subcontractor and creates his Info Page with the event details, our agreement, and the little calendar links so he can seamlessly add the gig to his calendar. Plus, ManagerSal shows what I owe him in my list of events. Pretty cool!
That’s the overview. If you use this a lot you should be aware of a few details. First, ManagerSal has a one-to-one relationship between services and subcontractors. So if you have two face painters on a job, you need to bill them as two separate line items if you are going to assign two different painters. After the event, you record payments to your subcontractors in the same “payments” tab where you keep track of payments from your customer. You can change the Subcontractor Agreement by editing it the same way that you edit any document in ManagerSal. You can set the default rate to your subcontractors in your ‘business information‘.