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Basic training for a sub-contractor

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Hi! I am in the process of training a girl who will be a subcontractor for my business. I focus in real estate and have a lot of industry-specific tasks that I complete. She needs the training. We've agreed that she will be making 70% of whatever is billed out the my clients (I charge $20 so that works out to $14/hour). My question is this - during the training process, I don't want to pay $14 for an hour for a task that would normally take a trained person 10-15 mintues. I was thinking about maybe giving her a reduced training rate of 50% my billing rate until her training period of around a month is over. Then, I would offer projects for her to take and a flat rate based on how long I think it should take. She can accept them or not. Does that make sense or is there a better way to do this?

 

Renee

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Hey Renee:

 

I have worked as a subcontractor for others, but it usually been doing something that I have some experience doing.

If it is something that I have never done before, I have always asked for direction for the 'quickest or most efficient way' to get something done before proceeding.

 

I have never been paid less for 'training' time. I think that is something that you, as the contractor, 'invests in' and then gets back when the sub is fully trained. I don't know if others agree, but I think that's an expense that you accept going in. If your sub repeatedly works slowly then you find someone else.

 

I have also subbed my own work out before, and I have told my sub how long a project would take me to do, and how long I would expect it to take them, given that they have never done it before. I ask them to stop at my completion time to show me how far along they are. That system worked very well with my guy and the second month he turned the work back to me as quickly as I could have done it myself. Speed picks up with practice, hopefully quickly! :)

 

Just my two cents, but I'm not sure that you can fix your own speed (time) limit on new projects that someone has never done before.

 

Hope that helps,

Tracey

 

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Renee,

 

I work as a subcontractor to several VA's, and frequently take on new tasks that are outside of my skillset. The VA's I work with know what I'm good at, and know that it may take me a little longer to get tasks done that I don't normally do. It all balances out in the end, because there are some tasks I think I can get done quicker than they can :rolleyes: .

 

However, I'm curious why you would bring on board a subcontractor with limited experience in the tasks you require, and if you knew that ahead of time, when you were negotiating their rate, I'm not sure that reducing the rate further would be a fair thing to do. Alternatively, if your subcontractor was not open about their limited experience in your target market, then a training reduction may be fair.

 

Either way, this is a discussion you need to have with your sub. They may surprise you with a very fair solution. Personally, I would be floored if one of the VA's I work with said "Normally I pay you $x, I know you don't know how to "insert task here" but I need you to do it, and I'm only going to pay you $y to do it."

 

Just my thoughts,

Cheryl

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When I'm doing subcontracting work if I take on a task that has a learning curve for me, I let the VA know that I'll take on the project but only charge for the time it would have taken her to do it. So it's a win win situation for both of us. I learn and she gets the job done, maybe not as quickly as she could have done it but it's completed with excellence.

 

Deirdre

 

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Just my two cents. Personally, I think that if you are paying a VA at a reduced or intern rate, you would pay for the learning curve. We all have to take time to learn new stuff, and time is $$. If I don't want to pay for the learning curve, then I would hire someone that has the skill sets to do the job.

 

Miriam

 

 

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Either way, this is a discussion you need to have with your sub. They may surprise you with a very fair solution. Personally, I would be floored if one of the VA's I work with said "Normally I pay you $x, I know you don't know how to "insert task here" but I need you to do it, and I'm only going to pay you $y to do it."

 

I agree. I subcontract to several VAs, and I would feel that if they took me on knowing my skillset and current rate, and then gave me a project, it would be done at the accepted rate. Now, if she offers to go with a lower rate because it's something she wants to learn, that's up to her.

 

But to me, discounting her rate because she doesn't know how to do the project that you're asking her to do, that could build up resentment. To me, having a good subcontractor, that you have a good relationship with, that has been trained to do your projects the way you want, she's a valuable asset. I wouldn't want to risk that.

 

But that's just my 2 cents from the other side of the coin.

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