In the trade business, mistakes can cost a lot of money. While you probably do a great job it’s all too easy to miss things related to administration and good business practice. This can be particularly true in areas where you don’t enjoy the work so much, such as paperwork and selling. In this article I look at some of the mistakes and omissions that can so easily be made.
Number one is failing to bill for small extras. This may sound stupid, but it’s often true! When a job is really small or was a variant of a job already quoted for, it’s all too easy to forget to invoice the extras. This represents pure profit lost as the work has already been done. Be disciplined, you can be burning money for the sake of a few minutes effort!
Being slow in following up quotes. Often homeowners will tear their hair out trying to get quotes for work on their homes. Really want to grow your business? Send quotes quickly and always follow them up.
Working with ultra-price-sensitive customers. When customers are very price sensitive, they are often very picky too. They will push you on how much the job costs but will then want Rolls-Royce service as well. Use the extra work you generate from being speedy with quotes to steer well away from these prospects.
Finally, there is failing to fix problems quickly. When customers report problems they are already fed up. Since word of mouth and repeat business accounts for 70% of all work, you can’t afford this. But you can turn a bad situation into a catastrophe if you leave the problem to fester and hope that it will go away. When there is a problem, fix it quickly and comprehensively. That will create customers who are even more loyal and sing your praises more loudly than those that never had a problem in the first place. Really.
You may feel that a lot of the thoughts here are hardly ground-breaking and you would be right. However, knowing that and putting the principles into practice are two different things. Hopefully there is some useful food for thought here that can make your business more profitable, faster growing and less stressful.