When considering
subcontractor/contractor, qualified lead, or partnership arrangements (defined
in part 2
), you need to work with the right people and define as many of
your terms as possible up front.

Work with the right people

  1. Look for companies and individuals that share your values and priorities, management style, client relationship philosophies, and work ethic. Of course, that means you need to know your own preferences first.
  2. Consider what kind of work they do.
    • For qualified leads, you might look for associates that offer complimentary services to your own and are not in direct competition with you.
    • If your goal is to do more of what you do, then a subcontracting relationship may be best.
  3. Be sure you can have tough conversations with them.
    • You’re going to have to talk about money, clients, overhead, and many things that are both private and difficult to discuss.
    • Before you consider a relationship, make sure you start these conversations and see if your potential associate responds in a way that you feel will lead to future success. Make sure you’re comfortable with their style!
  4. Look for personal qualities that are important to you: honesty, integrity, responsiveness, etc. If you feel unable to determine someone’s qualities, ask someone that knows them, ask them for references, or wait – get to know them a little better before entering into a business development relationship.

Once you’ve found people
with whom you feel confident that you can tackle the tough questions, tackle
them up front.

Define the terms of your relationship up front.

1. Set a common

o Make sure that when you define terms you’re all talking
about the same things.

o Be precise (include scenarios in your discussion)
and ask clarifying questions. Be careful
not to make assumptions.

  1. Define what kind of work you each want to do, compensation, roles and responsibilities, client management, and client follow-up guidelines. Be specific.
  2. Document it all and make sure you all still agree when you see it in writing.

Insuring everyone understands
and agrees upon how they fit together will increase the likelihood the
relationship is a success.