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Key Behavioral Traits of Successful Subcontractors

In the competitive market of a subcontractor, it is important to stay at the top of your game. The smallest lapses in judgment can leave a bitter taste in your clients mouth, and ruin your reputation as a independent contractor. As the demand for non-traditional workers continues to grow, so will the supply. If you want to be successful in today’s subcontractor market, you’ll need to posses three simple, yet extremely important, behavioral traits. Without these you may find it hard to find jobs, and recommendations from former clientele.
 
1. Follow Instructions

As obvious as it may sound, following instruction to the T is sometimes harder than it appears. Companies may sometimes request business casual dress, calling into their support desk, or ask that you take pictures of your work. None of these requests are intended to slow you down, or make you feel uncomfortable. The reason sometimes boils down to accurately representing the corporation. While on their jobsite you’re an extension of their brand, regardless of whether you’re on-site for a minute, or a month. Plain and simple, follow ALL instructions is you want to be known as a reputable independent contractor.
 
2. Be Customer-Service Oriented

If you don’t find yourself to be excessively friendly or outgoing, I’d work on these abilities. It’s a common courtesy to be inherently friendly and to listen intently to the client, as well as active comprehension and participation in conversation. Everyone wants and anticipates quality services, and having a customer-service orientation will help the process go smoothly.
 
It’s also important to stay away from complex industry jargon while engaging in conversation with a client. You don’t want to make yourself seem like a know-it-all, and in turn have the client find you annoying. Using complex language sometimes makes people feel good about themselves and their accomplishments, but the unknowledgeable listener will not appreciate it.
 
Additionally, it’s important to always BE ON TIME! I get it, sometimes you hit traffic, there was a crash, or whatever the excuse may be. Stay ahead of the possible problems and set your ETA to be a couple hours earlier than the time you actually expect to arrive on the job-site.
 
3. Practice Self-Control

You may be surprised, but lapses in self-control cause many issues for subcontractors. Managing your own schedule can be a daunting task. The best possible solution is to keep copious notes in some sort of calendar, including the dates and times of all work days and project due dates. Take as many tasks as you can handle, but never overbook yourself! Scheduling too many jobs in a given period can lead to missed deadlines, and costly mistakes due to being rushed. In turn, these mistakes can lead to damaging trust with your client, and your overall reputation as a subcontractor. Although, sometimes scheduling issues can’t be avoided. At that time, be honest with your client! If you know in advance your going to be running late, call the PM and provide an expected arrival time. It will save headaches and establish a relationship based on trust.

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