Collaborating with Third Parties in Your Contracting Business

On a regular basis, you may need to work with other professionals who aren’t clients, employees, or subcontractors. For example, you may need an inspector to provide approval before you can move on to the next stage of construction. These interactions can be simple and quick, but sometimes they’re full of conflict. The good news is that most of the time, they don’t have to be difficult. Here are a few ways you can navigate it.

Do Your Research
Part of running a contracting business involves knowing when you have to hire or schedule other professionals outside of your company to perform work. After a few years, this may feel like second nature, but it’s always good to follow up and make sure that the guidelines you remember are still current. Researching in advance is a great way to avoid conflict because you will already know your obligations and rights. You have probably had experiences where someone you were working with failed to investigate what they needed to do for a particular task and tried to make it your problem when you corrected them. Thankfully, this is easy to avoid.

Stick to the Schedule
As a business owner, you know what it means to keep your commitments. You have to run a reasonably tight schedule, otherwise, you can fall behind and disappoint your clients. Other professionals are often in a similar situation. If you need to have somebody from a utility company identify lines or access points, you may have to schedule a time to allow them onsite. And just like you, they probably have other commitments that they need to meet as soon as they’re done with your task. Keeping track of the time and ensuring that you are ready to meet them at the designated appointment helps everybody to move forward.

Offer Professional Courtesy
When you have a frustrating interaction with someone in a professional capacity, it’s tempting to blame them for having a bad attitude. But in reality, it’s much easier to offer professional courtesy and, if nothing else, the benefit of the doubt. It’s true that people can have a bad day and take it out on others who are completely uninvolved. This isn’t a good professional behavior, but it happens. In many cases, you may have to interact with third parties repeatedly, to the point that you know each other by name. Offering everyone a basic level of kindness will help to relieve a lot of the stress present in the situation.

Keep Interactions Simple
Most of the time, someone who arrives to inspect your site or mark utility lines isn’t looking for a long, drawn-out process. This is fortunate because like you, they just want to finish this step and keep moving. If the result of the meeting isn’t what you were hoping for, you may find yourself trying to drag it out in hopes of a renegotiation. In that case, you’re unlikely to get what you want. Start with the assumption that you will allow them to complete the task fully, even if that includes time afterward to prepare a report and submit it. That way, you can get all of the information without rushing them or causing an argument.

Maintain Contacts
Sometimes, you will need to follow up with third parties to get more information about the task or the results. The last thing that you want is to contact a large organization with no information about the person who just completed the work. When someone arrives onsite, confirm that you have their name and basic contact information. Check to see if the phone number they provide leads directly to them or to an operator. With these details, you’ll have an easier time following up as needed.

Interacting with other construction professionals is a common part of your contracting business. Once you get your license, you can start building that experience. To learn more about expert exam preparation, visit CSLS today!

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