Running a trade business is often rewarding and enjoyable work, where you’re master of your own destiny, excelling in your chosen skill, and going to new places meeting new people. No job is without its challenges though! So here are five of the most frustrating things we’ve discovered about running a trade business.
1. The Observer
There is nothing wrong with a customer having a quick chat with you while you work, but when they don’t excuse themselves after a while it does get annoying. You wouldn’t stare at the person doing your taxes (we hope!), so why is it any different when it’s a tradesperson? It’s distracting and creates unnecessary pressure, which can reduce how effectively we work. Also, it isn’t very polite.
This is a tricky one to deal with as having a good rapport with clients goes a long way in business, but equally, you deserve to work comfortably. Let us know your top tips for dealing with these kinds of clients.
2. Mates’ rates
We all like to help out our friends and family, but sometimes our nearest and dearest have a hard time understanding that this is our actual livelihood! Doing a favour for a mate can mean losing out on income, and having to pass up a better paid job to make the time. What may seem like a simple favour to some is often more complicated or time-consuming than people expect.
How do you deal with requests for favours from friends and family when they start to get out of hand?
3. The endless search for tools
Little annoys tradespeople more than that missing tool you put down only a moment ago. It can be hiding in plain sight or have been moved by someone else, but either way, it’s really irritating. Especially if you are in the middle of a job where you can’t spare loads of time or move around to look for it. Organisation is a must for tradespeople – that’s why we wrote a previous blog on decluttering: ‘Clear workspace, clear mind: three reasons de-cluttering your van benefits you and your business’. Here at Get Stowed, we offer storage units which will help you keep everything organised so you never lose a tool again!
4. Late payments
Every tradesperson has experienced this one numerous times. Unfortunately, it’s a pretty difficult one to avoid as it’s mostly out of our control. Clear communication is the best bet here and hoping people honour their end of the agreement. People seem to forget that we don’t get automatic payments monthly and we rely on them for our wages.
If it’s becoming an issue a good way to tackle this is to create a contract so you and the client both know what to expect from the job and when payment is due. Putting payment terms on your invoice is also a great way to communicate expectations and protect your business from late payments.
5. Hiding tools from thieves
This one is especially annoying as we really shouldn’t have to do this. Lugging everything inside at night when you just want to fall onto the sofa, and then out again on those cold mornings is never fun. One thing you can do is get yourself a Get Stowed customisable storage unit which can match your van and keep all your tools out of sight inside, making your van look like it’s empty if anyone peers inside. Then everything is where you need it, ready to go in the morning, which might even buy you a few more minutes in bed!
These issues are seemingly an inevitable part of working in trade – we hope you only face them sometimes though! Get in touch on Facebook or Instagram and let us know how you deal with these challenges, and any others we’ve missed.