A tradie offers specialized skills and services. Depending upon which area you specialize in, you can be an electrician, or a plumber, or a painter, and more. In many places, you need to complete an apprenticeship and get a license before you can start working as a tradie.
Once you do become a tradie, however, what do you need to do to become successful? There are certain traits that endear tradies to their clients and help them to build successful long-term relationships. Here are the skills that can enable you to develop a successful career as a tradie.
Traits of successful tradies
Aside from knowing your field and being an expert in doing your job, you’ll also need to develop certain traits. These can enable you to find more work as a tradie and enjoy continued success in your career. Here are the top ten traits of successful tradies:
1. Be honest
As a tradie, be honest about the work you can and can’t do. If you find yourself dealing with a job that is outside your area of specialization, you can refer the job to someone else. In the same way, you can expect referrals from your network as well, depending on the area you specialize in.
Also, be honest about your prices. Find out what your competitors are charging for the same prices, and try to offer your services at a similar price. If at least three of your competitors offer similar prices for a service, you can rest assured that clients will expect you to charge the same.
2. Be helpful
When you’re working on your projects, try to be as helpful as you can to the clients. If you see them having to move large boxes, for example, lend a helping hand. Remember that people tend to remember when others are kind to them. This can help you to develop your relationship with your client into a long-term relationship. This can be useful for tradies, as returning customers bring more projects for you to work on.
3. Be flexible
When working on a project, you may encounter times when nothing seems to go your way. The supplier may be late in delivering materials, or a freak storm can cause disruptions in work. When this happens, keep your cool. If you can’t finish the project within the deadline, let the clients know, and let them know why. Follow this up by informing them how much longer it will take. Let them know their project is a priority for you, and you’re doing your best to finish it.
Tradies may need to be flexible with their times. You can find yourself working odd hours or even during the weekend, especially if there is an emergency. Being flexible with your time allows you to provide services to people whenever they need them.
4. Be communicative
Keep your clients informed about your progress on the project, and consider sending them regular updates as well. Tradies need to be good communicators. They need to understand what the client’s problem is and then find an actionable solution to the problem. You may also need to provide the client with effective strategies to deal with their problem.
For projects that take longer to finish, set up daily or even weekly time slots where you can update the client on the status of the project.
5. Be innovative
You may encounter problems that you can’t solve with textbook solutions. These require you to be innovative and to think outside the box. The more experience you gain as a tradie, the better you’ll understand how to deal with unique problems and how to find solutions to them.
6. Be organized
From taking care of your tools to ensuring the job site isn’t messy, a good tradie is a clean tradie. Don’t leave messed where you work, as these could also lead to accidents. If you’re working with a team, ask them to be careful as well, of leaving the job site clean.
Being organized does more than present a professional appearance. It also enables you to do your work more smoothly and meet your deadlines at work.
7. Be collaborative
A good tradie needs to have a good crew. For larger projects, you may find yourself working together with other tradies to ensure that the project gets delivered on time. Don’t send out your apprentices to do work if you’re the one providing the client with the quote.
To create a good impression, you should be there to supervise the apprentice. This lets your clients know that you take them seriously, and you can personally ensure that the job gets done well. It’s important to make the client feel as if you value them, and for that, you need to be present at the job site.
8. Be caring
Caring about the work you have to do can make you appear more professional. Clients want to work with tradies who care about the work they do. For this, treat each job like it matters to you, and you care about doing it well. You don’t want to make your clients feel like you’re disinterested in work. Instead, show your clients that you care about the work they want you to do, and consequently, them as well.
9. Be well-connected
Tradies need to know other tradies in the industry. This can enable you to find more work, as well as get more work done as well. If you’re an electrician, then consider networking with other electricians, as well as other kinds of tradies. This is as the more you network, the better your chances of getting referrals.
You can also find yourself encountering projects where you don’t have the right skills for the job. Then, you can refer someone you know to the client to get the job done. Similarly, you’ll find referrals through your network, as well.
10. Build lasting relationships
Instead of working for a client and then forgetting about them, consider turning them into repeat customers. This is as clients may need your services from time to time. And when that happens, you want to be the tradie they call.
Consider leaving a business card with each client, should they require your services again. You can also add them to your email list and send them emails listing your services from time to time. If a client is impressed with your work, ask them for a testimonial or a review. Client testimonials can help you to get more clients as well, as people tend to trust testimonials and reviews.
Being a successful tradie involves more than just being good at your job. You’ll need to develop long-term relationships with your clients and network and build relationships with other trades as well. Follow these tips to find success as a tradie.
You should also consider tradesmen insurance. In your career, you’re exposed to certain risks. You could experience business disruptions or get sued by a client. With tradies liability insurance, however, you can protect your career, as well as your finances. Learn more about public liability insurance for tradies.