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Saving money on building supplies

October 31, 2019

Any good tradespeople will understand the value of saving money on their building supplies and building materials, but not all will know the tips and tricks on how to do so. Particularly for anybody starting out in the industry, or looking for new ways to make their business more profitable, knowing how to deal with suppliers can be a bit of a minefield.

How can you save money on your building supplies?

We have spoken to Checkatrade member Kevin Robinson of Homefixed, to hear his top tips on how traders can save money.

Kevin has come into the business from a corporate background and therefore brings with him many years of experience in running large businesses, having a great understanding of how best to handle anything in the ‘back office’. He says that ‘generally, in the building trade, you are often restricted to the main suppliers, e.g. Selco, mainly due to convenience, as they are more frequently available wherever you are working. Of course, we do work with some smaller businesses here and there but for the most part, you’ll likely tend to stick with the bigger companies. It’s important to know how to work with them in a way that suits you.’

How can you make paying your building suppliers work best for your business?

Kevin advises looking for companies which have minimum payment terms of 30 days, giving you the time you need for the client to pay up before you need to settle any outstanding invoices. Some companies will even offer 60 or 90 day payment periods – the overwhelming advice is, take the longest period available.

‘It’s all about pushing the suppliers back as far as possible and maximising the payment period, whilst getting the clients to pay as soon as is reasonably possible’.

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But, how can I build good relationships with these suppliers?

Kevin suggests using credit where possible and making the most of your credit limits, but remember to always meet payment deadlines and ensure you pay off what’s due in good time. You don’t want to wind up in a position where you owe your suppliers money that you fail to pay back, as they’re not likely to want to lend you any more and that would compromise your relationship. Paying the money back once the client has paid their outstanding invoice will leave you in good standing with the supplier and will likely mean your credit limits are upped, allowing you a little more leeway for future projects.

Remember that buying in bulk can often get you discounts as well, so if you know you’re going to have a few jobs coming up that require similar materials and have a suitable place to store them for a short while – bulk buys will likely provide you with discounts.

Words of advice

Kevin says, ‘It’s all about having good business relationships. Make sure to build good relationships with each of your suppliers and continue to improve upon them. Always pay on time, but make sure to get the best payment terms (be it 30/60/90 days) to suit your requirements… and remember, all of this will help you to keep getting your credit limit increased, offering you peace of mind when money is tighter’.

How can Checkatrade save me money?

Did you know that all Checkatrade members get 10% off at Selco? Just one of many fantastic reasons to become a member. As one of the leading providers of building suppliers in the UK, you are bound to find some great building products in their stores.

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