6 things every tradesperson can relate to

Construction Worker

Late-paying customers

As a tradesperson, you’re likely no stranger to late-paying customers. It can be frustrating, especially when you’re trying to run a business and keep the cash flow flowing. Here are a few tips to deal with late-paying customers:

Be proactive: send reminders

One way to combat late-paying customers is to be proactive about it. Send reminders a few days before the bill is due, and follow up with a phone call or email a day or two after it’s due. This way, they’re less likely to forget and you’re more likely to get paid on time.

Offer discounts for early payment

Another way to incentivize timely payment is to offer discounts for early payment. This can be a percentage off the bill or even just a flat dollar amount. Either way, it’s a nice way to show your appreciation for prompt payment and hopefully encourage more of it.

Be firm but understanding

If a customer is consistently late with payments, it’s important to be firm but understanding. Let them know that you’re running a business and need to be paid on time, but be understanding of their situation. Perhaps they’re going through a tough time financially and need a little extra time. In any case, being firm but understanding will hopefully lead to a resolution that works for both of you.

Don’t be afraid to take legal action

If all else fails, don’t be afraid to take legal action. This is usually a last resort, but if a customer owes you a large sum of money and is refusing to pay, it may be your only option. Be sure to consult with a lawyer beforehand to see what your options are.

No one likes dealing with late-paying customers, but unfortunately, it’s something that most tradespeople have to deal with at some point. By being proactive, offering discounts, and being firm but understanding, you can hopefully encourage timely payment and avoid any major headaches.

People asking for ‘a quick favour’

When you’re a tradesperson, people often assume you’re available 24/7 to do odd jobs and quick favours. And while you may be happy to help out a friend or neighbour in a pinch, there are times when these requests can be a little bit too much.

Here are a few ‘quick favours’ that tradespeople can relate to:

Can you just pop around and fix this wonky door or loose/leaky tap?

It may only take a few minutes to fix, but it’s still a job that needs to be done properly. And if you’re already busy with other work, it can be tough to fit this in.

Can you come and have a look at my boiler/electrics/wiring?

While you may be happy to offer advice, this is something that really should be left to a qualified professional. After all, you don’t want to be held responsible if something goes wrong.

I’ve got this great idea for a project, can you help me out?

Again, while you may be tempted to offer your help, this is something that’s best left to the professionals. Otherwise, you could end up spending hours on something that’s not up to scratch.

Can you give me a hand with this heavy lifting?

It’s not uncommon for tradespeople to be asked to help out with heavy lifting, whether it’s moving furniture or lifting appliances. And while you may be strong enough to do it, it’s not always safe or wise to try.

I’ve got this job that needs doing, can you give me a quote?

This is a tricky one, as you don’t want to offend the person by saying no. But at the same time, you don’t want to spend hours providing a quote for a job that you may not even get.

While it’s always nice to help out a friend or neighbour, there are times when these ‘quick favours’ can be a little bit too much. So, if you’re ever asked to do something that’s outside of your scope of work, it’s OK to say no.

Being on the receiving end of pranks as an apprentice

It’s that time of year again. The time when your friends and colleagues think it’s funny to play pranks on you. As an apprentice, you’re always the butt of the jokes. But, you know what they say, laughter is the best medicine.

So, what’s it like being on the receiving end of pranks? Well, it can be pretty annoying. But, it’s all part of the job. You just have to learn to take it on the chin and laugh it off.

One of the most common pranks is having your tools hidden away. This can be frustrating, especially if you’re in the middle of a job. But, you just have to keep calm and carry on.

Fixing DIY bodge jobs

You know how it goes. The call comes in for some work, only for you to get to the job and realise it’s far worse than anything you’d imagined.

Each year hundreds of thousands of dollars are put into fixing the mistakes of DIY enthusiasts, and it’s tradesmen who bear the brunt – finding out a simple problem has been made worse by a wannabe builder is frustrating, to say the least.

The tool theft epidemic

If you’re a tradesman, chances are you’ve been the victim of tool theft at some point in your career. It’s an all too common occurrence in our industry, and one that can have a serious impact on your livelihood.

Whether it’s a job site break-in or a theft from your ute or van, losing your tools can be a costly and frustrating experience. Not to mention the fact that it can put a serious dent in your productivity.

So what can you do to protect yourself from tool theft? Here are some tips:

Invest in a secure tool storage solution

If you’re keeping your tools in your van or ute, make sure they’re locked up tight. There are a variety of tool storage solutions on the market that will make it much harder for thieves to get their hands on your gear.

Use GPS tracking devices

If your tools do get stolen, GPS tracking devices can help you recover them quickly. Attach them to your most valuable tools and equipment, so you can see exactly where they are if they’re taken.

Keep a record of your tools

Having a record of your tools, including serial numbers, can be a big help if they’re ever stolen. This will make it easier to identify them if they’re recovered, and it can also help with insurance claims.

Be vigilant

Thieves are always on the lookout for an easy target. Be vigilant about security at job sites and in your vehicle, and don’t leave your tools unattended in public areas.

Spread the word

If you do become a victim of tool theft, make sure you report it to the police and let your fellow tradies know. The more people that are aware of the problem, the better the chance we have of stopping it.

Rained-off days in the winter

There’s nothing worse than a tradesperson’s day being rained off. When it’s winter you know there’s going to be bad weather days. But when it’s your job to be outside, it’s even worse.

There are a few things that you can do to make the most of a rainy day, though. Here are some tips:

Get a head start on the paperwork.

When you’re stuck inside, it’s the perfect time to catch up on any paperwork that you might have been meaning to do. This includes quotes, invoices, and anything else that you need to take care of.

Use the time to plan your next job.

If you’re not able to work on a job because of the weather, use the time to plan your next one. This way, you’ll be ready to go as soon as the weather clears up.

Take care of any marketing tasks.

If you’re stuck inside, it’s also a good time to take care of any marketing tasks that you might have been meaning to do. This includes updating your website, social media, and anything else that you can do to promote your business.

Bad weather days are just a part of being a tradesperson. But if you use the time wisely, they don’t have to be a total loss.

Get your business noticed by creating an online directory listing. Listings are FREE and you can create as many as you need.