How to sub

I have a question about “subbing” out work.

I don’t even know if I’m using the right term. Here is the scenario…I find someone who needs windows cleaned, I am not able to do the work myself…

Do I call another window cleaning company and tell them I have a lead that needs window cleaning/pressure washing/ solar panels cleaned etc?

I don’t necessarily want to “hire” another company to do the work. I don’t want to be responsible for insuring someone else. I don’t want to be in violation of any labor laws somehow.

Do I have that company sign some kind of contract? Some agreement? If so what?

What would be the perfect scenario is this… I find a company that’s needs services, I call xyz company and tell them I have a lead, they go bid the job since they will be the ones doing the work, xyz company pays me a percentage of the gross payment made from that job.

Does anyone know how this works? I have searched the forum and get mixed answers or not specific answers.

I just refer it to someone reliable. We don’t sub. Too much drama. Of there are problems, you will hear about it, like it or not whether you do the job or not.


Homeadvisor already beat you to that idea…

No. That’s not what homeadvisor does. People go to home advisor. I would be going to people and commercial businesses. Maybe I didn’t explain it very well. People do what I’m talking about all the time. I’m trying to figure out how they do it.

When you refer it to someone else do you receive a fee? It’s your lead.

No. Not worried about it. I’ve developed some good friends in the biz and they also refer me clients they can’t get to. It’s all reciprocal.

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I sub for a quite a few companies from contractors, to commercial landscape companies as well as specialty companies. In all cases, I submit a bid to the company I am working for. If accepted, then I go do the work, turn in an invoice to the company I am working for and get paid by them. I must provide all the same requirements such as commercial liability insurance, workers comp, etc. I assume they are adding an amount to my bid to submit to customer which is where they make their cut. They are ultimitly responsible to the customer for the job completion and quality which is why they usually meet me at end of job to review results to ensure they meet expectations.
Example - Company XYZ calls me up to do a job at a state owned facility. I give XYZ my quote. A week later I am told it was accepted and to schedule the job. At the end of the job XYZ rep meets me at the job site, we go over the results. I send XYZ my invoice, they pay me. Done.

Depending on what the job is, you may want to sub it out to another company to do the work, buy YOU still manage the job. There are no labor laws to be concerned with. Just make sure they have their own insurance (I always call agent listed on their policy to confirm insurance is valid and current). If they are subbing for you, it is not any different than a regular customer/vendor relationship. You are customer and they are the vendor. In a sub situation you are actually both the customer for the vendor as well as the vendor to your client. You need to manage the job and ensure success. In other cases, it may be better to pass to another company for a finders fee (usually 10% of gross). In yet other situations, it may be better to refer them to another company you know who will do quality work with you getting nothing in return (this is the reciprocal situation referenced above).

Hey Nino, I know exactly what you’re asking about and here’s what I do in these situations. Basically I’m either to booked out or I just don’t wanna do the job when these scenarios arise. Either I’ve done it before and hated doing it , or it’s not really worth my time. So I get a hold of other local window cleaning businesses to see if they’d be interested in doing it. I usually use less established companies but who I know do quality work. Basically I let them know what I bid the job at and then they get back to me with their bid and pretty much all the time I just get 20 % of the gross cost . It’s basically a finders fee plus a little extra. I have them invoice the customer. Before all this though, I always let the customer know that I have so and so window cleaning coming out to do the work and that they’ll do a good job. Be careful though as you could possibly loose customers this way. You kinda gotta know who you’re passing the work on to personally. Out where I do business, a few of us kinda do this type of thing at least a few times a year. Kinda a respect thing and helping people out. Good luck man!

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Vision, is this a method you could do with a larger number of homes? Say for instance you are an established window cleaning company and are backed up 30-40 accounts (that are due at the end of the month and it’s already the 23rd)-- you have someone maybe starting out or not as established that you have a good relationship with to do these accounts. You let your clients know you have ABC Window Cleaning coming and that they have done many jobs for you in the past, etc. The person/company you gave the lead to then bills them through their company, and compensate you with a percentage? Would this method be viable if you were a busier company looking to still keep some income from the lower priced homes but want to expand to the higher priced and focus more on high dollar jobs?

Hey KD. ,NO! This is definitely not something you want to do if you’re backed up like that. If you can pull that off I’d be amazed. You have to consider the amount of time that’s involved in these cases. Trust me when I say it is overwhelming sometimes. In your case it sounds like you just need to stick with what’s gonna make you more and just pass it along with a finders fee, and leave it at that. You risk stressing yourself out to a point you don’t want. The only other option is to get bigger. If you’re kinda in between I’d say just hand them off. Unless you can handle the traffic? If trying to get really big then it’s all about how much you can deal with on a daily basis. Good luck man!

That’s what I do. It’s not a ‘lead’ really, just calling up another company and telling them I have a customer that needs work done that I can’t do.

They won’t return a percentage, it’s just not a thing here.

Vision, I was not speaking for myself. I was just wondering a situation. I am just a one man show looking to take on work from my friend’s companies.