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How can you compete against this?

You run a professional business. With the overheads you have, how on earth do you compete?


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March 7, 2012 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

 

 

 


Alec Caldwell

Alec Caldwell

Alec Caldwell is the Founder of CARAHS, a Health & Safety Organization. We are approved providers by the Ministry of Labour (Ontario) to teach Working at Heights Training (Pro#34609) Visit the Ministry of Labour's web site to view our listing
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5 Comments » for How can you compete against this?
  1. “Leaving copies of certificates”…with a written explanation titled “Why you should do business with me compared to 18 other guys who claim they can do the same job” would be a nice part of the initial interview / quotation process. Don’t expect the customer to remember all this once you leave.

    To automate this, send out a confirmation email with links to the YouTube videos so the customer can view it..before you arrive.
    Success,
    DaveZ

  2. Joanne L says:

    Should I steer clear of companies that offer liability insurance but ask you to pay for it?

    • Robert Koci says:

      Hi Joanne L
      I just read your posting and I’m not to sure what you meaning about companies asking you to pay their liability insurance?

      Can you maybe explain the situation to me a little more, so I get a better understanding and can address your question?

      For example: Are you a homeowner or a sub contractor being hired? What kind of insurance are you referring to? Is it: Home liability insurance, Personal Accident insurance or WSIB insurance? Please give me as much information as possible, but without personal details.

  3. Alec Caldwell says:

    Hi David,
    I appreciate your comments. Leaving copies is a good idea, but please be careful that there are no policy numbers or personal details, as you have to protect yourself from identity theft and things like this.

    Showing the document personally when you meet your prospective customer should normally do the trick. As you said, it’s about standing out from the crowd.

    Thanks again,
    Alec (CARAHS Founder)

    CARAHS is a Non – Profit Organization who educates, informs and offers Benefits to self employed CONTRACTORS, RENOVATORS and HOME SERVICES in the construction industry. http://www.carhs.org Toll free 1-866-366-2930

  4. Mike Getzlaf says:

    Yes I agree all the extra overhead adds up for legitimate contractors, but I think the public is more informed than they are given credit for.
    Over the course of a year these extra overhead costs, General Liability, WCB etc.
    are a small part of the overall estimate in any single home renovation project.
    The homeowner knows and appreciates contractors who have established themselves as legit, not trying to cut corners with their overhead. It let’s homeowners know your home might be the next place to cut corners.