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Keeping your books filled all year round

Building up a good reputation can be difficult, with so many different paths to navigate. As we are sure you know, there are many competitors around who are likely offering the same variety of services as you. How do you make yourself stand out from the crowd? What sets your own business out from the…

Building up a good reputation can be difficult, with so many different paths to navigate. As we are sure you know, there are many competitors around who are likely offering the same variety of services as you. How do you make yourself stand out from the crowd? What sets your own business out from the competition?

We have spoken to successful interior designer Gary Warrell, to hear his top tips on how to keep your books filled all year round:
collage gary warrel loft apartment

Professional interior expert Gary Warrell demonstrates his skill and attention to detail that has become his trademark

Treat every customer with respect

No matter who you are working for, whether it’s a high-paying customer or a relative, you should always treat each of your customers with the same level of respect. You have a duty of care to your clients and should treat each property with as much care and consideration as if it were your own.

Remain friendly and approachable

Despite all of the marketing methods I have tried in the past, the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of my work has always come from positive word of mouth. If I had not offered the same genuinely helpful approach, would many of these clients have recommended me? The likelihood is that the answer is no. Bring a little personality to the table. I always make sure to be myself when I speak to potential customers and I honestly believe that if it were not for how friendly and approachable I am, I wouldn’t secure some of the jobs I do.

interior design

Put passion into your work

You should always be passionate about the work you do, no matter what size the job may be. For me, I will always put the same amount of care and dedication into designing one small bedroom as I would if I had been tasked with decorating the entire house. It may be a small order now, but should the client require any further work to be carried out in the future they will remember a job well done.

Be clean and courteous

Once you have completed a job, it’s essential to clean up after yourself. No client wants to be coming home and thinking ‘now I need to tidy up after the tradesperson I hired’. This will only leave a negative feeling, no matter how well done your job actually was. All of these little things really do leave lasting impressions and it seems to be much easier to gather a negative reputation than a positive one these days. Checkatrade will even offer clients the opportunity to score you on your cleanliness, so make sure to get those 10/10 ratings wherever you can.

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Be Helpful

In many cases, when somebody is looking for a tradesperson to carry out any kind of work on their property, they will be looking around for multiple quotes. If they are torn between two expert traders who offer similarly priced services, then how helpful they were is likely to be a deciding factor. Offer help and advice where you can and make sure that customers understand the process fully and have no unanswered questions about the service you are providing.

Go the extra mile

One thing I always strive to do is to go the extra mile for my clients. Painting a wall and notice that a previous painter has left paint on a plug socket? Clean it off. Could the wall benefit from another coat of paint than you initially anticipated? Get it done. It is always better to spend a little extra time to get things done well than to rush through trying to complete a job quickly. Make your work stand out from the crowd and be better than the rest.

Keep your prices competitive

The chances are that the majority of your clients will not have an abundance of money and so price will become a key factor in their decision to choose a trader. It’s vital to make sure that you are familiar with the prices of your competitors and that you make sure your own quotes are competitive in order to secure the work. There is no need to be greedy. On that same note though, don’t undersell yourself. Charge a fair and reasonable fee for your services.

Really, what it comes down to is creating a positive lasting impression on your clients, no matter which trade you are in. To find out more about how Checkatrade can help your business keep its books filled all year round, find out more about our membership opportunities here.

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