Creds And Quals

Her Corner

Frederique Irwin

July 8, 2019

I have recently begun working with a business owner who is ready to hire a subcontractor to help grow her business.

This subcontractor has a big family name in the industry in which she works and is really collaborative and interested in what the owner is building. They have known one another for months.

I DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT THIS SUBCONTRACTOR. IN FACT, I’VE NEVER MET THE PERSON. BUT I KNOW ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT ALL I WANT TO SAY TO THE BUSINESS OWNER IS: “DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT IT.”

For starters, we know that in order to grow a business the business owner must be able to delegate. And I’m happy to see her willingness to do so. But did you know that delegation is a Stage 2 business skill? Meaning, in the earlier stages, one of the indicators of success is the business owner’s willingness to do all the jobs? To roll up her sleeves and get the tasks done?

So the first thing I ask myself when someone in an early-stage business is looking to outsource something is this: Should the business owner be doing this herself?

There’s also one further and very important litmus test that must be passed.

Can you answer with complete confidence either of these questions:

  1. Does the subcontractor have the qualifications (degrees, education) to do this job well?
  2. Or does subcontractor have the credentials (he or she has done it before, successfully) to do this job well?

Just because someone is well known in an industry does not mean that that person has credentials. What have they actually done? And, without qualifications, what are we leaning on?

Creds or Quals.

If you’re truly at a stage where hiring an outside subcontractor makes sense, answering this question is non-negotiable when looking to pay top dollar for subcontractor expertise.