If you follow me on C.T., you know that I have a reputation for picking on the “stupid contractors” so the rest of us good contractors can have a good laugh. But the truth is (at least over here in Connecticut) many homeowners, business owners, and our potential clients fear that they will be stuck working with a stupid contractor.
We have all heard the contractor horror stories; the roofer showed up drunk, the remodeler smoked in the house, the painter spilled paint on the rug, the contractor ran away with the down payment, etc. I hate to say this but contractors, in general, have a bad reputation. Stupid contractors we laugh at kill the positive reputation of the true craftsmen, such as Sir Mixalot, Warren, and KCBasements.
As a true craftsman, when someone calls you a contractor, do you feel like you’re being thrown into a tub of idiot contractors? Do you feel undermined or looked down upon? Do you think “contractor” is an adequate label for the type of quality work you create?
When working with professional contractors, I encourage them to stand apart from the rest of the competition. True craftsmen should be recognized by more than a title (contractor) that is used by many that harm it. This can be done a few ways:
Determine what really separates you from the low-balling competition, what makes YOU a good contractor, a successful contractor, then start marketing it! If you’re Bob the Contractor, guess what, so is everyone else. But if you’re Bob the Home Building Specialist, it just might put you a few steps ahead of the game.
2. Have a 3rd party (homeowner or another business) recommend you
Word of mouth is important. People are more apt to do business with contractors if they have a positive reputation than if there isn’t a reputation at all.
3. Invite a 3rd party to qualify you
There are businesses and websites that check the qualifications of contractors. These websites allow people to review your qualifications before they even call you, and they save you time and energy.
It’s difficult being a professional contractor in the mix of all the stupid ones. But following the three steps will separate you from the nonsense. Yes, it’s lonely at the top of the mountain, but the view sure is great from up there!