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Surviving Inflation: Tips for Builders & Tradesmen to Tackle Shrinking Client Budgets.
Kelly Ohlmus

Surviving Inflation: Tips for Builders & Tradesmen to Tackle Shrinking Client Budgets.

Even though inflation has constrained budgets for home improvement work, there are still opportunities to win new projects and grow your business in 2024.

Inflation is now a reality that is heavily affecting builders and home improvement trade professionals. With the rising cost of materials, labour, and overhead expenses, builders and tradesmen are also tackling the challenge of shrinking client budgets.

Despite inflation, the good news is demand for repair, maintenance and home improvement work remains strong. But, as clients become increasingly price-sensitive, builders and tradesmen are having to find new ways to survive in a market where the bottom line is king.



With this in mind, what can you do to tackle shrinking client budgets and still provide a quality service? Here are some tips:


Be Transparent About Costs.

One of the main reasons that homeowners are becoming increasingly price-sensitive is because they feel like they are being taken advantage of.

If you can be transparent about your costs and why you need to charge what you do, clients will be more likely to understand and trust you. For example, if a client is asking for a cheaper solution, explain the trade-off that they will be making in terms of quality and durability.


Recommend Alternative Materials.

Another way to tackle shrinking client budgets is to suggest alternative materials that are cheaper but still of good quality. For example, instead of using high-end granite countertops, less expensive laminate still looks great and is durable. The key here is to find a material that will still provide the quality and performance that your client wants, but at a lower cost.


Offer Secure Payment Options.

In many cases, clients are more willing to part with their hard-earned cash, if they are confident that what is agreed upon will be delivered.

For example, using an escrow service not only provides payment security and assurances but will also help to prevent disputes and misunderstandings by clearly defining the project scope and the conditions that must be met, before funds are released.

A secure payments service will build trust with clients and make them feel more confident in paying for your services, ultimately leading to faster payments for your work.


Offer a Warranty

Clients are more likely to trust you if you offer a warranty on your work. A warranty gives them peace of mind that if anything goes wrong, you will be there to fix it. It not only helps to build trust with your clients but also protects your reputation and brand.


Utilise Technology

Builders and tradesmen can tackle shrinking client budgets by utilising technology. For example, using invoicing and quoting software to streamline processes, will increase efficiency and accuracy, helping you build trust and transparency, which is essential for building lasting client relationships

Additionally, using technology to communicate with your clients, like video for site surveys will lower your travel costs and make it easier to offer competitive prices.



In conclusion, surviving inflation in the building and trades sector requires a combination of creativity, transparency, and technology. By being transparent about your costs, looking for alternative materials, being flexible with your payment terms, offering a warranty, and utilising technology, you can tackle shrinking client budgets and still provide quality workmanship. The key is to find a balance between affordability and quality and to always be looking for new ways to improve your processes and services.

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