Where is the scaffolding? 18 May 2018

“You get this all the time with tradesmen.”

This was the comment of a builder talking about the troubles of a friend. The friend, let’s call him Jim, was having difficulty coordinating a scaffolding company and the painter for his house.

Jim was grizzling because he had just had a call from the scaffolder saying that they could not come as promised at 8 o’clock that morning, but would try to get there later in the afternoon.

When pressed, the scaffolder admitted the afternoon was also unlikely and then said definitely the following day.

“The trouble is this also mucks up the painter,” Jim said. “Really, the fact that three men had not turned up to work that morning should not have been my problem.”

Scaffolding may be a very difficult business to be in, but customers don’t want to hear your problems. If they are in business, they have enough of their own, anyway.

If you want your business to be overrun with eager customers falling over themselves to use your service, be different from and better than your competitors.

Provide a better service. Work out how to solve your on-going problems with staff, weather and so on. Communicate in advance with those who depend on you so they can also organise their work.

If it’s impractical to nominate a specific day for delivery, say so. Give your customers a pleasant surprise by performing better than you had promised.

Reliable companies can charge a premium for better service.

Times will not always be good in the building industry. Build your reputation now.

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