Wise Up Wednesday: Give Your Business An Edge In 2019

We are almost at the end of January 2019 and we’ve all been back at work for weeks, and no doubt you’ve been working hard to catch up and doing all those things you need to do as a Specialist Contractor when a new year begins.

So, this week’s Wise Up Wednesday is a timely reminder about a few things you can do to give your business an edge in 2019 and ensure your success when entering into contracts this year.

  1. Who Are You Actually Contracting With?

Check the financial status of those that want you to work for them in 2019

If the Contractor/Client you’re working for goes bust you will get nothing!

Watch out for contracts that allow the Contractor not to pay you if the Employer becomes insolvent otherwise you will be taking on that risk too.

  1. Scope of the Works/Variations

It’s a chore but you should carefully check that the scope of works in the contract you are being offered matches what you have priced.

At best Contractors don’t care if you get it wrong – their terms will protect them. At worst some Contractors will deliberately manipulate this.

If you’re having trouble agreeing variations, escalate don’t procrastinate!

  1. Time/Programme

Make sure the contract period is agreed and properly documented before you start the works.

Don’t agree to work “in accordance with the Contractor’s programme” or “in accordance with his directions.”

If you get delayed you must send notices – don’t be persuaded otherwise.

Failing to protect your interests in respect to time can prove extremely costly!

  1. Price and Discount

If you have made important qualifications in your tender make sure they are not lost when the contract is formed.

Make sure you know the fundamental basis of the contract (e.g. lump sum, re-measurable, cost plus) and therefore who is taking the risk of quantifying the scope of the works.

Don’t allow one off discounts to be applied to variations.

  1. Payment Terms

Make sure the payment terms are clear and unambiguous.

Ensure you know what to do if you start to get paid late or less than you have claimed.

If the payment process is linked to valuation dates make sure these are agreed and recorded and go beyond the end of the anticipated contract period.

Download Your Free Report: “How To Get Paid”

  1. Design Liability

If you choose anything (e.g. the screws to put in the door hinges), you have design liability – even if you think you have no responsibility for design.

If the contract does not expressly limit your design liability to “reasonable skill and care” you will get the more onerous liability of “fitness for purpose.”

Fitness for purpose obligations will void your professional indemnity or product liability insurance cover! Watch out for it in contracts and warranties.

  1. Dispute Resolution!

Being able to suspend performance for non payment is a very effective remedy.

Adjudication (used correctly) is a very effective legal solution.

Neither remedy is automatically available and you need to ensure that these rights are not taken away by onerous drafting of the contract.

  1. Take Action

Remember, if you do run into any kind of contractual or payment problem, it will not get better with time!

You must take appropriate action as soon as possible.

Do not leave things until it’s too late. Act immediately – StreetwiseSubbie has a nationwide network of Consultants to help you solve your problems.

Feel Free To Call Us

Because we only work with Specialist Contractors you can be sure that we know the kind of problems you face, and the solutions that work best.

So, whatever your problem, please feel free to give us a call on 01773 712116 or email us on info@streetwisesubbie.com.

I sincerely hope to speak with you soon.

Best regards


P.S. If you’re not sure what to do, or just want a second opinion, please give us a call on 01773 712116, or email info@streetwisesubbie.com (please do not click reply to this email).

P.P.S. Please forward this email to all your team and all Specialist Contractors that you know, it’s true what they say – there is strength in numbers. Help us to help ALL Specialist Contractors.

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Helpline: +44 (0)1773 712116
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