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Creating a reputation.

I thought in this post, I would take a look at how a good builder / tradesperson can create and develop a good reputation. I believe I am qualified to do this because I have been a builder in the UK and Spain, working directly for clients, on extensions, refurbs and new builds.

One of the hardest things for a builder to build, is his reputation. You may be a superb builder, doing great work, charging reasonable prices and with very happy clients. It is still tough to create a good reputation. Why? Because although your clients may be happy to praise you and endorse you to their friends, that only helps if the friends need a builder. It does nothing to get you known in the wider community.

Another reason is that construction projects are much longer term than say, making pies or selling flowers. As a builder you may only do one or two new builds in a year, or half a dozen extensions. That is a very small client base from which to create a reputation.

Take those restrictions, add in the number of competitors you might have in your area, and you can see how hard it is to stand out.

When something goes wrong though, it seems that everyone knows about it immediately. And something will invariably go wrong, sometime. That is inevitable, no matter how good you are. An old saying is that " the person who never made a mistake, never made anything". How true is that!

A great piece of advice I was offered many years ago, used the analogy of a market and the advice was; Set out your stall, let the world know what you are offering, make it the best it can be, and stick with it. Above all, be consistent and reliable and when things go wrong, take it on the chin and put it right.

That is the best advice I ever heard and if you use and stick to those principles you wont go far wrong, and you will be able to sleep at night.

Of course, you want to give yourself the best chance of getting it right. There is little worse that having to do things twice. I touched on the subject of communication, in an earlier post, but it bears repeating. Time spent engaging with your client, understanding what they are trying to achieve, is never wasted. Time spent talking through ideas, making sketches and taking notes is never wasted. Time spent, before the project commences, planning the job, working out access, storage, welfare will be time well spent. Try and anticipate things that may be problematic, hours of working, weatherproofing, toilet facilities, so when the job starts all this is prearranged and understood by both parties. And when things go wrong, keep the client in the loop. Dont try and cover it up. Be honest, talk about it, then do whatever it takes to put it right.

You know, over the years, what I have seen is that just doing a good job, is not enough to get you noticed. A good job will, it is true, get good comments and recommendations. But how much better is it when you hear a comment like " Oh yes, XYZ Builders were great. They made sure we knew what was going on, kept us up to date with progress and even when we had a few hiccups, nothing was too much trouble. Oh, and they did a terrific job".

That sort of positive feedback is generated by good communications, keeping the client actively engaged at all times. As a builder you may not actually hear that comment. What you will see, is the result, and the subsequent cementing of your reputation.

Theprojectmaster.com can help you achieve the best results. Offer your clients the opportunity to use theprojectmaster.com to create, develop and manage their project with you. It will provide the communications and the engagement by the client that will help you build a relationship and understanding that will benefit both the project and you as a builder.

More later,

The Project Master