Discover your free Construction Marketing Ideas Email Newsletter

Monday, November 24, 2008

Independent contractors, employees and construction marketing

You need to understand the basics of marketing before you can either hire or contract out the services to others.

When should you 'contract out' marketing services, and when should you do things yourself? This is an easier question to ask than to answer. Clearly, using outside providers has real advantages: You pay for what you need, and your independent contractor suppliers can effectively cross-fertilize innovations from several clients.

Conversely, when you hand over these responsibilities to outsiders, you could diminish your responsibility/control over one of the key elements of your business operation. You really can't escape your responsibility to attract and retain profitable business -- without it, you of course are doomed.

The simplest answer, I think, is to start by having enough overview knowledge of the issues, practices, and methodologies of marketing so that you can understand who is competent and who is not. This blog helps and you may find worthy marketing introduction programs with your trade associations or groups. (If you really want to get deep into the topic, consider joining your local Society For Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) chapter.)

Then, you can determine where you need to get some outside help or whether you should add resources internally. You may elect to hire a marketing co-ordinator or decide to focus your staffing on business development and sales. (The two functions are complementary but you'll find that, improperly co-ordinated, your marketing and sales staff may not see things through the same perspectives!)

One cautionary note: Be wary of any outsider 'selling' you any type of marketing or advertising services. Remember, they be better at selling what they have, rather than what you need! Be sure that the services offered fit within your vision and budget.

I think, however, that as the business owner you will always need to have primary responsibility for marketing and business development. So if your resources are limited, do the parts of the work that you enjoy the most and find existing employees or outside contractors to help out -- until your resources allow you to bring on additional employees.

1 comment:

Bobby Darnell said...


Yet another good post. Being one who sells business development solutions, I would like to chime in and say that in the A/E/C market 'subcontracting' is the norm.

GC's typically do only about 20% of the work themselves...they 'sub out' the rest.

I have been in this industry for 20 years and I have yet to meet an architect or contractor who started their business because they wanted to be in sales.

If you need help building your business it makes sense to hire someone who is an expert.

I promise you, if I need to build a brick wall or run some wiring, I won't do it myself. I was not blessed with those skill sets whatsoever.

Bobby Darnell
Construction Market Consultants, Inc.