REDBAND: Clear Communication is Key by Todd Anthony Puma

Clear Communication is Key by Todd Anthony Puma

Sometimes, during a consultation, a client will review work with you that they are looking to have done that falls outside your scope of work and a subcontractor needs to be brought in. It is so important that the sub contractors you choose are people of integrity and will work just as hard as you for the client. You should not only have the same business ethic, but similar practices as well. The client tends to get used to how you work, bill and your level of customer service so it is important that the people you sub in provide them with the same levels of service that you do because they are tied to your name. If the client is unhappy with them, they are inevitably unhappy with you.

Different people work better or worse with certain personalities so you want to make sure that your subcontractors are similar to you in personality as well. I am currently working on a job where I contracted in my IT team so do network and computer system integration. The IT team I work with is a team of brilliant guys who know their stuff and are always available for over the phone tech support. My client was working directly with them for a few months now. I just found out that my client has been completely frustrated because he had an issue with his system and while trying to trouble shoot over the phone, could not understand the technician at all. On top of that, the team came out a number of times to address the issue to no avail and sent him a large bill for the numerous trips without letting him know that there was even a charge.

As smart as my IT team is, this is one client that they just cannot connect with because of their lack of communication and clarity. Now, I have to resolve the issue for my client as this whole situation reflects back on me even though my portion has been executed without a hitch.

As I have always stressed, you can never be clear enough with the client from beginning to end. The contractors you hire in have to be the same way because they become used to one method and are not always going to be accepting of another method. Make sure the business relationships you build between clients, yourself and the contractors you bring in are compatible on all levels so that process is nothing but smooth sailing and the end result spectacular.


Todd Anthony Puma is the CEO & Founder of The Source Home Theater. Check out his  website at The Source Home Theater and follow him on twitter at  @ToddAnthonyPuma .


  1. Vanderkley says:

    As you explained in your scenario, these were sub-contractors that you contracted to the client, meaning they work under your management, not the client’s, and therefore it seems rather odd that billing was direct. As subs, their billing should have been through, and approved by,  your company, and not direct. 

    It seems that the IT team that you brought to the table, as well as your client, might have overstepped the lines, not just their line of communication. 
    Indeed a clear message from you on the hierarchy and lines of reporting at the onset of the relationship would have flagged the problem, and you would have been able to intervene. 

    If you allowed them direct access to the client, and they bill directly, you no longer profit, have control, nor the responsibility of the relationship between the “no-longer a subcontractor”, and yourself, and your client can hardly fault you for this .

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