Subcontractors and billing

Subject: Subcontractors and billing
From: Renee McPhail <renee -at- balanceconsult -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 06 Mar 2009 09:19:30 -0500

A dozen years ago, I worked as a subcontractor for a tech writer who had contracts in the auto industry - user manuals, mostly. If she billed $50/hour, she paid me a percentage of her hourly fee based on the level of difficulty of my task. So, simple grunt work might be 25% and junior tech writing would be 50%. So two hours of my time at the 50% rate would be billed to the client as one hour. Any time she spent reviewing or incorporating my work was billed at her full rate.

It worked out to the benefit of all parties involved, I think. I gained experience, she got the needed relief from repetitive tasks, and the client got the deliverables a little sooner.

Renee McPhail
Publications Designer

From: "Jeff Jansen" <jeff2 -dot- 0 -at- modestsystems -dot- com>
Subject: Subcontractors and billing
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Message-ID: <61A35855C94E4EE4918C85643A68CF2E -at- DellE520>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"


I am a freelance self-employed tech writer. I'm considering hiring a
subcontractor (more junior than I) to work on a project, but I've never
hired a subcontractor before. I'm wondering how those of you who have done
this handle the hourly billing arrangement with both the sub and the client.
Let's say I bill the client for my time at $75/hr. If I pay my sub $50/hr,
would you bill that time to the client at $50, and then directly bill your
time reviewing the work and managing the sub at $75? Or would you bill all
the sub's time at $75, and then let your review and management time come out
of the $25/hr difference, without billing your actual hours doing that
particular work? Does anyone use any other scenario that works for them?

Jeff Jansen : Portland, Oregon : USA


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