How to manage your collaborations with other freelancers

When you’re about to land a big job, you probably can’t wait to get started. But what if the assignment is actually too much to handle on your own? Or if it involves work that isn’t quite your expertise? Then, it might be smart to join forces with another freelancer and start a collaboration.

Outsourcing work

There are several options if you want to collaborate with other freelancers. Imagine you’re a webdesigner and a client asks you to also take care of the texts this time. Of course you don’t want to turn down this assignment, but writing isn’t exactly your forte. You can then choose to accept the assignment and outsource this part of the job.

In this case, you are the ‘main contractor’ and the ‘subcontractor’, the other freelancer, will invoice you. So you hire this person for the work he or she is good at. This means your client doesn’t have to look for another party that can offer him the whole package and it also means you will get all the credits for the assignment. As a result, you’re also the only point of contact and you know for sure that communication and agreements that have been made are clear.

Pitfalls

Unfortunately, these advantages are also the biggest disadvantages when working with subcontractors. Because what if the people you hire don’t meet their deadlines? Or what if their work doesn’t meet your clients standards? Ultimately, you are the one who has to present the assignment to your client and you bear the responsibility for the total assignment. And on top of it all, if the freelancer you hired knocks that expensive work of art off the wall at your client’s office, you are liable for any resulting damage.
Also, it might occur that your client hasn’t paid yet, while you already have to pay the invoice from the subcontractor. So outsourcing work can cost you lots of time and energy.

Take on the assignment together

You can also choose to approach it differently and accept the assignment together. This means that you both consult with the client and are you’re both equally responsible for your own part of the work. You then both draw up an agreement with the customer, in which you refer to each other. This allows you to use your own creativity in the best possible way and who knows, you might also learn something from each other!

Whichever way you choose to work together, it is always important to make solid agreements with each other and the customer. Discuss who takes care of what part of the job and who makes certain decisions. And make sure to put these agreements in writing. This way you’ll have something to fall back on when decisions have to be made.

Entering into an official partnership

Is working together going smoothly and do you think you can offer your clients even more when you work with a partner than by yourself? Then you can also choose to enter into an official partnership, by setting up a general partnership, partnership or private limited company.

Are you wondering whether or not this might suit you and your business? Your accountant will be happy to tell you more about the possibilities.