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Need Advice On Website

 
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:04 AM   #1
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Need Advice On Website


Before I start I'd just like to say that I am in no way doing this to promote my business. None of the submit forms or contact numbers on my site work and neither does the email, a lot of the wording needs to be changed as do a few other small things but the main part of the site is there.


elitetradesmen . com


What i need is positive and more importantly negative feedback relating to all aspects of the site / business. I know there are similar sites on the net but at the moment I'm willing to try any new business and I think this has a chance in my location. Hopefully if there are tradesmen reading this you can tell me what would put you off registering or what addition to the site you would find useful. If you are reading it from a customer point of view what else would you like to see or is there something you found hard to navigate.

Cheers for looking, I'm just looking for as many relevent opinions as possible and thought this would be the ideal place.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:21 AM   #2
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Re: Need Advice On Website


One word: Template.

After looking it over, my first thought is you are a lead service. But having a portfolio confused me.

Do you hook up local trades with owners, or are you a service provider yourself? I'm totally miscombooblated as to what you do.

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Old 06-07-2009, 10:34 AM   #3
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Re: Need Advice On Website


Template?

Someone would submit a job to us, for example building a wall. We would then contact all builders , bricklayers registered with us informing them of the work. They would then submit quotes / estimates to us. We pass the prices etc onto the customer along with details of each tradesman.

Builder gets work through us and customer can be sure to only receive quotes from quality tradesmen as we have vetted them all.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:40 AM   #4
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Re: Need Advice On Website


Quote:
Originally Posted by speed1972 View Post
Template?
The site looks like a general-use template that you can modify as appropriate for your use, as opposed to one custom-designed specifically for you. Royalty-free stock photos and so forth.

It's certainly presentable enough, but has no real "personality."

And you might want to have a secretary/proofreader go over it. There are a lot of inappropriate apostrophes.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:49 AM   #5
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Re: Need Advice On Website


Yes it is just a template which I've added a few pictures to, also it is being proof read as we speak. As we take on more trades and compile portfolio's for each one we will be using their pictures on the site rather than the current ones which are really just for the initial set up of the pages.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:52 AM   #6
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Re: Need Advice On Website


Quote:
Originally Posted by speed1972 View Post
Template?

Someone would submit a job to us, for example building a wall. We would then contact all builders , bricklayers registered with us informing them of the work. They would then submit quotes / estimates to us. We pass the prices etc onto the customer along with details of each tradesman.

Builder gets work through us and customer can be sure to only receive quotes from quality tradesmen as we have vetted them all.
So, are you a lead service, or GC, or both?

Quote:
Originally Posted by speed1972 View Post
Yes it is just a template which I've added a few pictures to, also it is being proof read as we speak. As we take on more trades and compile portfolio's for each one we will be using their pictures on the site rather than the current ones which are really just for the initial set up of the pages.
So when a customer contacts you , they have no idea who is going to be doing the work, as compared to whose work is depicted on your website?

If Joe Blow wants a retaining wall, and sees a downright beautiful one on your website that was done by World's Best Landscaping, how does Joe know who did it? All Joe knows is he got a bid from Fly-By-Night Landscaping, who does crappy work.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:10 AM   #7
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Re: Need Advice On Website


The customer would receive via us quotes from any tradesmen registered with us who express an interest in the job. Along with the quote sent to the customer would be a link to that tradesmen's portfolio which would show pics of their previous work and recommendations from previous customers. All portfolio's are compiled by ourselves so we know they are genuine plus all tradesmens credentials, certificates, insurance has also been checked. All this ensures that the customer will only receive quotes from quality tradesmen and then can view their work before deciding who to use.

The main reason for this business is so that customers know they won't end up with some 'fly by night' tradesman
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:14 AM   #8
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Re: Need Advice On Website


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Originally Posted by speed1972 View Post
.........The main reason for this business is so that customers know they won't end up with some 'fly by night' tradesman
So who does the end consumer complain to about shoddy work? You, or the trade?

I still don't understand where you fit in..... are you just a lead generating service, or are you a GC?
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:29 AM   #9
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Re: Need Advice On Website


Basic template.
Your a lead generation site for your partners, at the time the job is signed up you get 10% of the gross sale, so in other words if I get a kitchen remodel from you I give you 10% of the job total right away and then do the job.

For that 10% the customer gets nothing but an assurance you checked out the contractor, you assume no liability for your 10%.

I did not see a cap, so right now if I sold a $95,000 job where you gave me the lead the customer would write a check to you for $9500.00.

Maybe you escrow some money for problems, but I did not see that.

So how much are your leads?

By the way, for 10% you should get a custom site for your customers.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:49 AM   #10
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Re: Need Advice On Website


Where we fit in : a lot of people don't like phoning around trying to get loads of different quotes and even when they do they are still getting quotes from people who's work they don't know. We just make it more convenient for someone to get more than just one quote plus they know that the tradesman has been checked out by us.

We don't charge any of the tradesmen for registering with us so it costs them nothing unless they get work through us. This was set up because all to often we hear how unreliable builders etc can be, we are providing a service where customers know they won't get ripped off or have to deal with unrelaible tradesmen.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:51 AM   #11
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Re: Need Advice On Website


Quote:
Originally Posted by speed1972 View Post
Where we fit in : a lot of people don't like phoning around trying to get loads of different quotes and even when they do they are still getting quotes from people who's work they don't know. We just make it more convenient for someone to get more than just one quote plus they know that the tradesman has been checked out by us.

We don't charge any of the tradesmen for registering with us so it costs them nothing unless they get work through us. This was set up because all to often we hear how unreliable builders etc can be, we are providing a service where customers know they won't get ripped off or have to deal with unrelaible tradesmen.

So how do you get paid? By the end consumer? They contract with you for the various trades?
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:25 PM   #12
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Re: Need Advice On Website


Customer emails/phones us
we put details of job on net
tradesmen put in for quotes, lets say quotes are 1000, 1200, 1550
customer chooses tradesman who has put in 1200 quote
one week before job starts customer pays us 120 as a deposit - this is where we make our money
when the work is completed the customer pays the tradesman the remaining 1080.

we provide customer with a reliable tradesman plus we've found them a selection of quotes from quality tradesmen, tradesman gets work they wouldn't have had
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:32 PM   #13
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Re: Need Advice On Website


Quote:
Originally Posted by speed1972 View Post
one week before job starts customer pays us 120 as a deposit - this is where we make our money
when the work is completed the customer pays the tradesman the remaining 1080.
So I inflate my bid by 10% to account for your profit, and then front the entire price of the work with no down even for materials? Good luck with that.
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:40 PM   #14
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Re: Need Advice On Website


Quote:
Originally Posted by speed1972 View Post
Customer emails/phones us
we put details of job on net
tradesmen put in for quotes, lets say quotes are 1000, 1200, 1550
customer chooses tradesman who has put in 1200 quote
one week before job starts customer pays us 120 as a deposit - this is where we make our money
when the work is completed the customer pays the tradesman the remaining 1080.

we provide customer with a reliable tradesman plus we've found them a selection of quotes from quality tradesmen, tradesman gets work they wouldn't have had
So you are, in effect, a GC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinstaafl View Post
So I inflate my bid by 10% to account for your profit, and then front the entire price of the work with no down even for materials? Good luck with that.
You need to make that 11.11% to come out even.
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Old 06-07-2009, 04:52 PM   #15
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Re: Need Advice On Website


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You need to make that 11.11% to come out even.
Yep. I was keeping it simple. No matter either way, it ain't happening here.

This isn't a GC; it's a lead service. In general, the GC is the only one who contracts with the client; everyone else is a sub who contracts with the GC. And he makes sure that all of the subs (HIS subs) get lined up and show up on time with the right materials.

I'm not saying that this can't work. Just that there's no way I'm interested in it.
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:36 PM   #16
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Re: Need Advice On Website


There are other ways of taking payment, another way is to take a 10% deposit at the beginning of the work. 5% goes to us the other 5% to the tradesman. At the end we take our other 5% and the tradesman takes his remaining 85% payment. What is it that puts you off this. It costs you nothing to be registered and would have access to work you might otherwise not know about. Ok so tradesmen might put up there prices to make the 10% back but on the other hand you would have to put in a low enough quote to be competetive which is good for the customer. I know there are companies that work similar to this in the uk but I am trying to provide something which will work better for both tradesmen and customers, hence my post on here. Not trying to rip anyone off but attempting to provide a service which will be good for both sides.
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:13 PM   #17
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Re: Need Advice On Website


Quote:
Originally Posted by speed1972 View Post
Not trying to rip anyone off but attempting to provide a service which will be good for both sides.
I'm not impugning your intentions at all. It's simply that your model doesn't work for me.

First, I'm a remodeler. That means I do multi-faceted work not easily slotted into any single trade title.

Second, you expect me to bid on jobs sight unseen, simply by a textual description, maybe or maybe not accompanied by a few photos. No. I need to visit the site and interact with the client to get a good idea of just what's going to be needed--both in physical terms and the psychological fit between me and the client.

Third, you are giving me no assurance that I'm not going to be wasting a lot of time working up bids for people who aren't actually serious about having the work done--just curious about "what it would cost." I can usually weed those folks out pretty quickly over the phone.

Fourth, your payment schedule is unrealistic for the sort of thing I do, except for the very smallest of jobs. I generally get 10% at contract signing, 20% at start of work, 30% at substantial completion, and the remainder at final. Those numbers vary according to how I read the job and the client.

Fifth, I just have no incentive to use your service. The great majority of my work is by referral, either from past customers or other contractors. Even in these lean times, I've been enjoying a slow but steady increase in customers.
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:33 PM   #18
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Re: Need Advice On Website


Thanks for your reply and this is exactly the sort of insight I'm after.

I realise that only the simplest of jobs could be quoted for unseen. I do think it would be possible to quote for such things as plastering a room, building a wall etc just from dimensions and a good description.

I also understand what yousay about people who will just post a job to find out a price and i realise this will happen. On the other side it will save alot of time for both customers and tradesmen when it comes to quoting for the smaller jobs as described above.

Payment schedule again would be job dependant. In your line of work i understand that you have a lot of expense for materials etc so for bigger jobs such as you do the payments would be similar to the way you do it.

I appreciate you may not be struggling for work, this i am sure is not by luck but more down to your quality and reliability. Unfortunately there are many tradesmen here not as lucky as yourself and may not be able to afford advertising etc. They may see our site as access to work they might not have had the oportunity to view. Plus we will put together a small online portfolio for all tradesmen registered with us which otherwise they might not have.

I appreciate your comments, they have given me much to think about.

Last edited by speed1972; 06-07-2009 at 06:38 PM.
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:52 PM   #19
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Re: Need Advice On Website


Speed, all I see your company doing is getting in the way between my company and the customer and skimming some money off the top.

I don't need you.

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