Home > Blog > To subcontract or not? How to weigh up the pros and cons

There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to tradie subcontracting. It can be flexible work and offer great pay, but it does have some drawbacks you’ll need to consider.

Whether or not you decide to subcontract is a big decision, and it can have a significant impact on your business. In this article, we're going to discuss the pros and cons of subbing for tradies, so that you can make an informed decision.

The Pros of Subcontracting

  1. Steady work

If you're subcontracting full time to one or more businesses on a long term basis, you don't need to worry about finding new clients. This can allow you to build up your experience and learn the ropes of running a business, without the extra stress of having an ongoing supply of work.

  1. Higher pay potential than company employees

If you're able to secure a higher hourly rate, then subbing could lead to a significantly higher income. Just keep in mind that as a subbie, you don't get paid for public holidays, sick days or accrue annual leave. So you'll need to factor that into your hourly rate.

  1. A chance Improve your skills

Subcontracting can also give you the opportunity to learn new skills and gain experience in areas that you may not have had the chance to work in before. This is especially beneficial if you're looking for ways to expand your services.

  1. Lower operating costs

If you're subbing to another business, you don't need to do your own business's marketing or project management costs, so you'll be able to keep your business expenses lean.

  1. Greater flexibility

One of the biggest benefits of subcontracting is that it allows you to remain flexible with your business operations. You can take on work that's short-term or project-based, or at reduced hours, which makes for a great work-life balance. This means you can choose when you want to work and how often - you can take extended holidays when you want. You can even choose to work across different locations around Australia and abroad - providing you have the appropriate trades licence to do so.

The Cons of Subcontracting

  1. Lack of Control Over Projects

When working as a subcontractor, it's important to remember that you don't have complete control over the job at hand. You're essentially working for someone else and doing what they tell you, which means there can be some uncertainty around how projects will turn out.

  1. You revenue can be limited

While you can earn more as a subbie than as a trade employee, you still don't get as much pay as if you were working directly for clients. This is because whoever you're subbing to will need to take a cut of our hourly rate to pay to factor in their own business expenses and profit margin.

Being a subcontractor is a fantastic option if you don't want the stress of running a trade business, but want more flexibility than being an employee.

Just remember to do your research and make sure that you have fully vetted whoever you're submitting to, and get the right contracts in place to protect yourself.

At the end of the day, it's important to weigh up all the pros and cons before deciding on subcontracting. Armed with this information, you'll be able to make an informed choice about how best to move forward for your business.


How much should I charge as a subcontractor?

Are there any tax implications of subcontracting?

What types of contracts should I get in place before subbing?

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