I spent part of the holidays with my cousin Rob, who manages people, materials and systems at New Zealand’s largest bank. He likes to cut to the chase. So when the conversation turned to my handyman business being so busy Rob had the reason.
“You DON'T act like a tradesman, he said. I don’t mean the skill or craft which most tradies are OK at. I mean the stuff that really anoys people.”
This is how Rob found most tradies.
They can’t manage a calandar – how long will a job take?
They can’t manage a watch – when will they turn up?
They can’t manage a calculator – how much will the job cost?
And they can’t communicate – what’s going on and why?
“Your Handyman work is fine and that’s a given. But it’s these four common “trade-weaknesses” that make you different and keep people coming back.”
I've never really thought about it that way but, maybe Rob has a point.
I’ve just been alerted to a possible handyman job from an online job registry.
A guy wants a handyman to renovate a bathroom ... completely ... in 7 days. It will need demolition, full waterproofing, full tiling, carpentry and plumbing.
Not counting demolition, that's 4 skilled trades – one of which (plumbing) is illegal to carry out by anyone but a fully licensed plumber.
We handymen pride ourselves in having a wide skill set, but this is ridiculous! A big part of being a Mosman handyman in is knowing when to say NO. I tried to give this guy my opinion but I think I have to pay to reply!
Maybe he thinks he’ll save money. He won’t. A good handyman will tell our friend to use specialist tradesmen. A bad handyman will have a go and do a very bad job.
I hope he goes for the former.
(PS. If this sounds like you and your name is Luke I’m talking to you)
I was having coffee with my wife in a café that had recently opened near our home. The coffee was very good BUT …
… I felt like I was in the Sienfeld ‘Soup Nazi’ episode. The owner of the café was making great coffee but in a ‘busy, busy, get moving, don’t interrupt me, I’m an expert’ sort of way. I even heard him lecturing some poor guy about how he should place his order next time!
And that reminded me of the way some Handymen and tradesmen operate. Technical skill alone is not enough. It’s only half the job. The other half is client service.
Clients EXPECT technical skill , but they also LIKE service. Little things like turning up on time, fixing mistakes quickly, cleaning up, respect, listening, politeness … In fact many people would rather have a slightly less polished job as long as they are respected and treated politely.
I wonder if the coffee guy knew that we wouldn’t be returning? Probably not. He would be too busy bossing his customers around to notice.
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