How To Be a Good Contractor

Note:  This article was originally published on This Old House Website asA Pro Painter’s Checklist for Running a Successful Business”, The author is Nick Slavin.  The web link is here.  Garrett Painting believes and lives by everything on this list.

When I built my business, I wasn’t interested in being a normal contractor.  The standards in most of the trades is low, so doing a few basic things have made my firm stand out.  It’s worth noting almost none of the things listed below take above average intellect, a college degree or any special skills.  

Keen attention to detail gets results!

1.  Correspond with overwhelming force. (contractors don’t answer their phone or return calls)

2.  Never reschedule an appt unless it’s painful for you to do so (contractors reschedule last minute)

3.  10 minutes early is right on time. (Contractors are always late)

4.  Don’t surprise the client (person who shows up has an unmarked rusty van, no uniform, doesn’t match the experience when they called you)

5.  Deliver what you promise (contractors overpromise and underperform)

6.  Always clean up after yourself (contractors often leave more of a mess that when they started)

7.  Gain the client’s trust (the secret to all business-after all, we’re going to be in the client’s children’s bedroom all day. Who would you trust?)

8.  Be an expert (when you plumb the depths of contractors you rarely find someone who knows a lot about their life’s work)

9.  Love your trade (most contractors aren’t contractors by choice)

10.  Do not ‘change order yourself into profitability’ (contractors underbid to get the job then lean on the client after the project has started. I’ve not gone over a bid ever because of this)

11. Be a business. Have a system for making happy clients.  (most contractors can barely do their trade let alone know how to create financial statements, calculate taxes or navigate employment law)

12.  Get face time (most contractors despise having to go see a client for a free estimate. If someone is willing to invite you in their home to give you money take them up on it. Do this always when you’re growing your business.)

13.  Be a member of your community. (Give back to those who trust you with their homes. Volunteer, be charitable and be a friendly neighbor)

14.  Be a decent human being. (Golden rule. People don’t owe you anything)

Navy dining room with white crown molding
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For more information about how Garrett Painting can provide you with excellence, please click this link or call 573-386-5890.