Here at OnlineTradesmen towers we have never been busier. With thousands of construction, home improvement and maintenance jobs being posted each month for our members nationwide.
Let's face it , as a good tradesman or trade professional you are probably the same. You're busy - but are you being smart busy ?
Not Being a Smart Tradesman (or woman!)
In a nutshell, being a smart tradesman means taking advantage of the current increase in demand for your services on your terms. Let me explain.
During the recession many tradesmen have been happy to take on jobs that differed from their ideal job type in order to make ends meet. We've seen builders who really wanted to build home extensions being forced to take on small property maintenance gigs, or heating contractors who wanted to focus on boiler installs drop down to boiler servicing to pay their bills. The list goes on - You get the idea, it probably described you at some point over the years.
We've also seen tradesmen and builders quote for work that involved hours of travel each week just to get to the job site. Builders from Wexford working in Dublin, Carpenters working in Cork City travelling from Tipperary each day. Big money on fuel, high costs with not a lot of profit at the end of it. Certainly not a lot of time left to spend on the things or with the people they care about, and definitely not the most profitable use of time when there are other jobs queued up waiting to be completed.
That kind of practice might be just about viable in a recession when you're looking to get by, but it's not something any savvy tradesman should be doing in today's environment. It can literally translate into thousands of euro's in lost profits every year.
Unfortunately it doesn't stop here. What many tradesmen doing odd jobs in far flung far places also haven't realised is the missed future opportunity costs of this kind of behavior creates.
For any good tradesman or builder their reputation and word of mouth referrals are key. When the economy slows down - and this is unavoidable again at some point - reputation can often be what gets good tradesmen through the bad times. With the increase of online, now online reputation is overhauling word of mouth as the most important form.
So ask yourself - how does undertaking work you don't want to do, in locations you don't want to work in contribute in any meaningful way to your reputation? What kind of repeat business or referrals can a Builder from Wexford doing property maintenance work in Dublin expect to get? And would referral business so far away be profitable anyway?
Finally, this may be the biggest one, if we were to offer you a magic telephone that generated customer enquries for work you want to do, even when you were asleep - would you turn it away?
The answer has to be NO, but even still this is what thousands of Irish tradesmen are doing on a daily basis by not having a website. Don't take our word for it - the the IEDR have published studies that show tradesmen with a website earn up to €26,000 more per year. Can you afford to turn this away?
A small exercise for you to consider...
In trying to see the wood from the trees, sometimes we need to take a step back and ask ourselves the hard questions. As a Tradesman trying to maintain or grow a profitable business, it is no different for you.
So take a moment to answer the questions below. They are simply for your own benefit and the answers to them might help you understand if you are being as smart as you can be.
- What is your ideal job type - by category, by value ?
- Over the last 12 months, what % of jobs have matched this ideal ?
- How many of these jobs do you you need to meet this years earning goal?
- What do you need to do NOW to reach that number of jobs?
- How many hours are you spending in the van each week?
- What would you do if you got more of that time back?
- How much are you spending on fuel each month / year?
- Do you have a website for your business?
- What kind of online reputation does your business have today?
The answers you provide will allow you to create a blueprint to work smarter and achieve your goals this year. Specifically they will also show you some of the damaging gaps in your current work practices and allow you to address them. Good luck!
We can help...
At Onlinetradesmen.ie our service is designed to help qualified tradesmen and builders to work smarter by delivering real benefits that help grow profitable business. We do this by providing the following:
- An online business support account
- Local and relevant job leads that match your 'ideal' job preferences
- A full business website for your business that you control
- Validated online customer references to build your online reputation enhancement
- Direct online sales enquiries
- 3 cents off petrol / diesel with Topaz
- Discounts on Tools, Insurance and more
- Member-Member Networking
If you are a qualified tradesman you can contact our membership team today and see how we can help your business here.