Don Of All Trades asks: What is most Important to You as a Customer, when planning on hiring a contractor for your home improvement needs?

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3 thoughts on “Don Of All Trades asks: What is most Important to You as a Customer, when planning on hiring a contractor for your home improvement needs?”

  1. Hey I just saw this. For me it’s a little more simple – Do I trust them. All the factors that you’ve described are working towards trust, so that’s the true bottom line. So you’re learning the subtle art of marketing and promoting !

    I’ve employed contractors and been a contractor myself, employing several people in London. I’m kind of “retired” now, and don’t do anything in the trades anymore. I helped a friend a little with his website (similar type of business to you) earlier this year, but budget very limited so wasn’t able to do everything I’d have liked.

    I had quick look at your website, it looks great. You’re doing most of things already that I suggested to my friend. You’re getting yourself out there on different mediums, facebook, twitter, youtube etc. Good job:) Main thing keep at it, getting established takes time and effort, rewards always come.

    Sincerely

    Don Charisma dotorg & dotcom

    1. I wanted to thank you for your comments. I do encourage them and My wife and I really enjoy your blog. Look forward to reading more of your blogs.
      From one Don to the next Don 🙂 Have a wonderful day!!!

      1. Hey, My pleasure, and glad that you both like my blog. Obviously I mean my comments entirely positively:) If I’m critical then it should highlight something that would be a positive change.

        I have one contractor that I use regularly in London, he’s a painter. I met him because he called me actually for a plumbing job that he needed. He’s very relaxed and easy going in his manor, easy to deal with. I needed some painting doing, he painted a whole big 5mx5m room with high ceilings (walls only) in less than one day. His labour was more expensive than others, but because of how hard and quickly he worked, I’ve had him do any painting since.

        What made me trust him was things like friendly, easy to get on with, hard working, fair, honest and has integrity. Genuinely someone who’s a friend as well as a worker. I know he’ll finish the job, I know that he’ll do the job to a reasonable/acceptable standard. I can trust him in my property not to steal anything or break anything.

        Insurance is really to protect you more than benefit the customer, so mention it, make it verifiable if possible. Some customers will look for this.

        Again legit and registered does add to credibility, but the basis of Ltd company is to protect you, ie Limited liability, same as insurance. Mention it, make it verifiable. A lot of small contractors don’t have a corporate umbrella and still get work, in domestic. Commercial often insist on a bunch of red tape stuff, hard hats PPE etc etc.

        Photos, testimonials and references are great, but customer will generally have factored in that they may not be authentic. Not saying anything about you, just that a lot of customers are savy, and these things are not concrete “proof”. Again mention them, make them verifiable if possible, but may be worth something like having verification done on request rather than publicly, then you can assess the seriousness of customer before asking your reference to verify for you.

        Photos for me are highest importance reference wise, and should be taken in good light, from the same angle (for before and after) and clearly show an improvement ! I’ve done B&A photos for my friend. Also I added a big “BEFORE” and “AFTER” yellow text on red text outline, put pictures side by side or above and below (photoshop or gimp). He needed them for a promo video. To take the shots iphones and ipads you can get away with, but you should probably look into at least a dedicated camera with a wider angle lens. It’s very hard to photograph interiors well without a decent camera, with a wider angle lens possibility. I used to have a Nikon S600 (been stolen), which has a tripod mount, does down to 28mm angle (better for interiors, wider angle). dpreview.com very professional site, very good for researching cameras. Photoshop (and maybe gimp) has a stitching capability, you could use this to get a nice wide shot of an interior (or exterior). Stitching and panoramas takes a bit of time and practice. I’ve posted an article here http://doncharisma.org/2013/08/23/how-to-get-canon-photostitch-panorama-and-photo-stitching-software-for-free/ about how you can get Photostitch for free. Also there is Microsoft ICE which is free. GIMP I haven’t looked into but may have free capability.

        Existing work/contracts probably makes you look like your worth employing. However possible downside is that you might be too busy to give customer your full attention. Also some customers/references may have confidentially issue, ie not want publicly know that your doing work for them, because they are worried about security.

        Price will always be a factor. You can consider loss-leader type of jobs to get things moving, ie you drive for an hour and a half to change a light bulb, charge customer minimally, drive for an hour and half to get home or next job. I didn’t find this very profitable, but it can lead to other work, which is profitable. When you’re busy, then you might have to turn down or pass these jobs onto others.

        Price will be a driving factor for some customers, but in my experience doesn’t necessarily lead to customers who will actually pay you or won’t cause you problems. But still better to be working than not, so if you think there’s a margin in the job, then do it. If you’re busy and the margin is small, then don’t do it.

        Best customers I ever had were the ones that weren’t so concerned about price. Not that they would throw their money away, but I knew I would get paid, thanked for my work, recommended to others etc. Win-win profitable work.

        It’s counter-intuitive but you qualifying your customers is a factor that could make you more likely to win jobs, and save you a whole lot of pain later. My friend and I could probably do a whole blog about customers behaving badly, not getting paid etc. Weeding out the timewasters early is crucial.

        Obviously all of this mean’t as positive helpful advice and I really wish you every success. Could write more, but need to get on with some things:)

        From Don to Don, have a nice day yourself.

        Sincerely

        Don Charisma dotorg & dotcom

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