Michael Stone in a recent newsletter highlights the frustrating experience of a subcontractor dealing with a less-than-ethical general contractor.
I have a scenario where the contractor is trying to get me to work that was not included in the original scope of work for free and getting hostile when I told him I cannot do that but I am willing to put together a proposal. Then I found out the superintendent of the job was trying to hire my guy behind my back to do this extra work. I was wondering if there was an article you guys have or any advice to handle this. See a lot of stuff regarding s**tty subs not too many on the GC side.
Stone’s advice — hold your ground, document everything, and stay away from this general contractor in the future.
Dishonesty doesn’t work. In this situation, neither the general contractor or his job superintendent realize that exploiting another contractor to put money in their own pocket won’t pay in the long run. Word will get around; eventually they’ll run out of specialty contractors to use.
Of course we read from time to time stories of contractors who go over the line, and we all know some who push things to the edge to gain a bit of advantage. To me, this sort of behaviour is short term gain for long-term pain. Leaving out the moral and ethical point of view, and thinking of it from a purely business perspective, how much harder is it to constantly churn clients and suppliers after burning people — than it is to deliver the job right and get the thank you call, and repeat and referral business.
That is why we go almost ballistic at our new business when we learn that a client hasn’t received the “Certificate of Publication” for which they are paying a hefty price (but still much less than the formerly monopoly-holding newspaper.) We want everyone to get this documentation much more quickly — and at a much lower price — than the competition.
And the reason is simple. When we get it right the first time, the advertisers return for more, and even more. No selling required, we just process the order and invoice and collect the money.
Integrity is probably the best branding and marketing resource you can experience.