We recently read an article on how to pick a good tradie. The article was pretty simplistic but it covered a few tips for anyone needing some work done, and done well. We thought that we could use this from the opposite angle, and put together some tips for tradesmen and women looking to be the tradie everyone recommends. It's common knowledge that the old saying "It's not what you know, but. who you know" applies to the trade industry in a big way.
Show them you are the real deal
Be clear and open with your business details. Include all your licence details, ABN, public liability insurance cover and accreditations on your paperwork, business cards and quotes. Even if the customer has no idea what they all mean, you have shown that the business is transparent and you have nothing to hide.
Talk it up
Don't be afraid to ask for references or testimonials from customers. People like to know that others have had good experiences with your work. You are also giving past customers a chance to provide feedback. We know, no one likes criticism, but better they tell you and give you an opportunity to do something about it, than tell all of their friends, the postman, the girl at the check out, the man down the street, etc about how unhappy they are. Not all publicity is good publicity. Use the good testimonials and learn from the bad.
Be detailed in your quotes. Not just what is included but also the exclusions. This is Tradie 101 we know, but talk to a handful of people and you will find a couple that feel they were burned by tradesmen because they thought work was included in the quote when it wasn't. Writing quotes is not the fun part, but doing it right will avoid lots of pain and arguments in the end. Tell them straight what they will and won't get for their money.
It comes down to the dollars and sense
Customers hate surprises when it comes to their money (don't we all). However, no one can predict the future, things go wrong and the unexpected happens. Minimising the surprises is good business sense, be clear cut when discussing costs and rates. Explain to the customer any issues that could arise, far from being alarmist, if problems do come up they will feel that you know your job and that they were forewarned, if they don't go wrong the customer will be happy you kept it all under control.
Tradesure Public Liability Insurance
Keep the lines of communication open between yourself and the customer, even if the job is as small as changing a tap washer and they will tell everyone they know about your great work.