How can you compete against this?
You run a professional business. With the overheads you have, how on earth do you compete?
By Alec Caldwell
There you are running, a professional business, great vehicle, nice trailer, well decaled, lawn signage and overheads up the ying yang. You’re paying for liability insurance, WSIB and Personal Accident Insurance. You’re bonded and you have complied with all the Ministry of Labour (MOL) required safety regulations. You’re a dues paying member of an association and more. How can you carry all these overheads and beat the guys with ladders strapped on their car roofs and a pile of tools in their trunks?
How about educating the homeowner. You can use these expenses (that make you a legitimate, honest contractor) as “tools” to squeeze out the competition. Make these costs an asset by incorporating them in to your sales and marketing presentation.
Explain why you carry certain these overheads by painting pictures and giving examples: Why carry liability insurance? Let your customer know that, if damage occurred while the renovation was going on or if something surfaced at a later date, they’d be covered from any liability. They are completely protected. Always have copies of your insurance coverage to hand out for their records, as it shows transparency. It also inspires them to ask your competition for their coverage. Chances are, they won’t have them.
Explain that there’s liability on them also if someone you hire gets injured, including their sub trades. Press the issue and then explain that it’s recommended contractors carry WSIB or Personal Accident Insurance. Leave copies of that coverage too.
Chances are the homeowner will continue with you, especially after you assure them by leaving your information. You’re educating them even when you add, “Did you know that every contractor, sub trade or employee Canada wide is required by law to have completed the two mandatory Health and Safety courses on Fall Protection Awareness and WHMIS.” Again, leave copies of your certificates. By the time you’re finished, you’ll stand out very professional, qualified and well worth the price your quoting.
Alec Caldwell (CARAHS Founder)
CARAHS (Canadian Association of Renovators And Home Services) is a non profit organization delivering education, information and benefits to those self employed in the home renovation and home service industry. www.carahs.org Toll free 1-866-366-2930