One of my driving purposes for starting The Concierge Society was that I wanted to maintain and develop international relationships I had developed through a previous organisation that has since changed its focus. I loved working with my interstate and international colleagues. I wanted to ensure a strong network was maintained throughout the industry worldwide.
Being able to utilise an international concierge network, and make this available to your clients, really expands the scope and presence of your business. I have connected with and outsourced work to concierges throughout my own country (Australia) as well as in a number of other countries. They too have been in contact me when they've needed assistance or wanted to refer clients to me.
In this post I want to share with you some considerations you will have to look at when looking at working with another personal concierge to provide services to one of your clients.
Agree on the price
- What price will your colleague charge you for completing work on behalf of one of your clients?
- What price will you charge your colleague for completing work on behalf of on of their clients?
- Will either of you be adding a mark up when you invoice the client?
- Do these prices include or exclude any taxes? (You need to take into consideration if taxes are required on international transactions).
- What do the quoted rates include? Travel? Parking? Tolls? Phone call charges? Anything else?
How will the relationship with your client work?
- Will you be the only one to communicate directly with your client? If not, how will the communication work?
- Will your concierge colleague need to operate under your business name?
- Will your concierge colleague need an email address with your business name?
- What client information will you need to share with your colleague?
- What happens if the client requests to work with your colleague directly? On a permanent basis?
Clarify your expectations
- What are your expectations for deadlines?
- What are your expectations for how long certain tasks should take?
- What are your expectations for communication with you during the work?
- What are your expectations for receiving time sheets, expenses etc?
- What are your expectations for closing the job?
What happens if things go wrong?
- What insurance do each of you each hold and does it cover your requirements?
- Who's insurance will cover the work of your colleague? (Generally your colleague's insurance will need to cover them for any work they are undertaking on behalf of your client and vice versa but I suggest you get this clarified by a professional).
- Do you want to be involved at every stage if an issue arises, or are you happy for your colleague to problem solve themself?
- What will happen if one or both of you feel the job cannot be fulfilled?
- What will happen if one or both of you is unhappy with the outcome of the job?
- What will happen if your client is unhappy with the outcome of the job?
Make An Agreement
Once you have all of these arrangements in hand, they need to be documented in writing. Ideally you will have a formal subcontractor agreement drawn up, preferably by a lawyer. However, I understand for most of us this can be difficult. Therefore, you must at least have everything documented in an email, and I also suggest drawing up a document that you can both sign and ensure you each have a signed copy. Ensure you make considerations for any future changes required, indicating the process for how you will deal with price changes, or any other variations to the agreement. Perhaps the agreement has an expiry date. Perhaps you must be advised in writing within a certain time frame of any changes. Whatever it is, ensure it is included in the signed agreement.
Even if you have no plans for working with another personal concierge in the near future, I suggest you go through each of the questions above and write down your preference for each. This will at least ensure you are ready should you ever need to seek assistance from a colleague, or in the event someone approaches you. They may not have considered many of these issues so you will be entering the relationship prepared and with your eyes open.