You and your business…
Giving you our view and advice...
Welcome to the ‘You and your business’ section of The View, where we’ll be providing you with regular content, offering tips and advice for running a successful business. We understand that some of our readers have managed successful business’ for decades, but we hope that the guidance provided here will help support those just setting up. We’ll also look at new and innovative business practices that could benefit even the most seasoned veteran.
Construction workers: don’t be shy to speak up on mental health
Mental health and wellbeing are increasing in importance for many people but the construction sector still seems to be behind in tackling this. Taking time out to ensure you’re mentally healthy is now just as important as going to the doctor for a broken leg and this is something that needs to be openly discussed in the construction industry. With an increase in suicides over the Christmas season, now is the time for tradespeople to abandon bravado and talk about how they are feeling.
Learn More here
Brexit, what does it mean for your business?
Brexit is at the very top of the news agenda for most business owners but the commentary surrounding it can be complicated at best and contradictory at worst. Although no one knows for sure how Brexit will impact construction in the UK, we’ve compiled an easy to digest guide of what the industry can expect.
Make the right impression with a clean vanWhen travelling to a job with a new customer, it’s important to make a good first impression. If you turn up in a dirty van with ‘clean me’ (or worse!) written on the back by someone’s finger, what kind of message does that give your customer of you and your business?! A clean van lets people know that you take pride in your work.
Van theft – what can you do?
For tradespeople, a van is more than a way of getting from A to B; without it, you simply can’t do your job. Unfortunately, van crime – the theft of or from a van – is on the rise and a simple Google search will show dozens of tradespeople reporting van crime every day.
The Budget – a simple guide for contractorsThe Chancellor of the Exchequer recently announced The Budget, a statement on the nation’s finances and how the Government proposes it spend its money. But what does it mean and how will it affect you and your business? Fear not, we’ve pulled together the most relevant points for the construction industry and the impact it might have on you.
Top Tips for Excellent Customer Service
Facebook, Twitter, Google Reviews, Rated People and My Builder have all given consumers a platform to praise, recommend or leave a bad review of you and your team. All of this is easily accessible to potential customers – the majority of whom are savvy enough to research online before even picking up the phone – meaning that negative comments can have a damaging effect on your business.
A picture tells a thousand wordsSocial media; love it or hate it, it has its uses when it comes to generating business leads. It gets difficult however when it comes to mastering all the different platforms out there! From Facebook and Twitter, through to Instagram and Pinterest, each has its own benefits – if used correctly.
Winter is coming
Slowly but surely the days are getting shorter and our boilers are automatically kicking into action in the mornings, which can only mean one thing: winter is coming.
And while you might not have to have the dragon-glass at hand to tackle the white walkers, after the beast from the east earlier this year it would be wise to make sure that you’re prepared to face any cold-snap that may come your way whilst on the road this winter.
Here’s some tips to beat the freeze and keep your business running smoothly through the colder months - READ FULL STORY HERE
Top tips for boosting team moraleCustomer service, quality work, meeting deadlines and cashflow are priorities that tradespeople view as the most crucial to their business. And while these are of course critical to your business they can often overtake other, equally as important issues within the business, in particularly team morale. .
However, the reality is that low morale can actually lead to a lack of attention to quality, increased risk of health and safety incidents and general poor performance. Put bluntly, it can undermine the success of your business, damage your reputation and hit your bottom line.
So, with this in mind, what can you do to ensure that you have a happy, engaged workforce that is delivering for your business?
Here’s some tips for keeping team morale in tip top condition :
Struggling with work / life balance?
Many tradespeople working in the construction sector don’t typically follow the traditional 9 - 5 working day, with most having a fairly unstructured work schedule with no set hours or days.
But while many of you will take satisfaction out of having the ability to work flexibly, this lack of structure can make it difficult to keep track of how much you are actually working.
From time spent travelling to jobs or nipping to the local builders’ merchant to pick up a packet of nails, to taking a call in the evening to schedule a new job or ensuring your books are up to date, you can quickly spend more time working than you actually think.
Here are our tips for achieving a better work / life balance : READ FULL STORY HERE
Four top tips for upsellingWhilst attracting new customers can require lots of effort and hard work, selling additional services or products to existing customers, known as upselling, can be a much more efficient way of growing your business. In fact, research shows that you’re 60-70% more likely to sell to an existing customer than a new prospect.
When done correctly, upselling is an effective way to strengthen both your business and your customer relationships.
That said, it could potentially damage your customer relationships if you are constantly trying to sell them anything and everything, so it’s important to get the balance right.
Are apprentices the answer to the skills shortage?
It’s no secret that we’re experiencing a skills shortage in the industry and many businesses are finding it difficult to recruit and retain the right calibre of employees. Recent research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests the problem is only getting worse, with 40 per cent of employers surveyed saying they’re finding it harder to fill vacancies than they did last year.
We recently commissioned some independent research of our own which revealed the skills shortage is one of the key concerns facing installers at the moment, further emphasising the extent of the problem.
READ FULL STORY HERE
Cashflow concerns?At a basic level, making sure you have a positive cashflow is a crucial aspect of any successful business. But considering developments for some main contractors this year, it’s clear that cashflow complications can affect even the largest companies. Cashflow is a particular issue for the construction supply chain, and is a common reason for contractors and sub-contractors becoming insolvent. In fact, figures from the Office of National Statistics reveal that cashflow issues are responsible for up to 90% of small business failures. One of the biggest issues affecting cashflow is late payment. Impacting sole trader and corporations alike, paying the materials, tools and labour costs for a job and then not receiving payment can have a catastrophic effect on businesses. Ultimately, we all know you need cash to flow through your business to allow day to day operations to continue unaffected and late payments make this very difficult.
Social Media Management
As many of you know, having a social media presence for your business is vital – it’s a great way to communicate with your customers, engage with prospects, build your reputation and generate new leads.
The popularity of social media shows no sign of slowing down and as a result, a large proportion of tradespeople are using it to grow their business and even position themselves as thought leaders within the industry.
Whilst social media can be a very valuable platform to showcase your work, attract new customers and grow your business, there may come a time when you’ll receive comments that you might not like.
For those of you that are relatively new to social media, we’ve created a checklist to run through if you find yourself in a position where you need to respond to a negative interaction. READ FULL STORY HERE
Introducing the Eurocell Champions
To give you even more industry insight, we’ve picked a selection of expert builders, roofers and window fitters with vast industry experience to be Eurocell Champions. Our Champions will provide regular ‘how-we-do-it’ videos, giving you helpful hints and tricks on installations and demoing various products. We’ll also be interviewing our experts regularly to gain insight on a wide variety of topics. You’ll be getting to know our Champions very well over the next few months but to introduce them to you now we’ve asked each to give us a little bit of background about their business and what they do.
Eurocell Champion : Craig Phillips
To give you even more industry insight, we’ve picked a selection of expert builders, roofers and window fitters with vast industry experience to be Eurocell Champions. Our Champions will provide regular ‘how-we-do-it’ videos, giving you helpful hints and tricks on installations and demoing various products. We’ll also be interviewing our experts regularly to gain insight on a wide variety of topics. You’ll be getting to know our Champions very well over the next few months but to introduce them to you now we’ve asked each to give us a little bit of background about their business and what they do. Our latest Champion is…
FIND OUT MORE
You don’t need to be pushy to convert a sale – top tips from Eurocell Champion Austin Patterson
Since we set up County Windows in 1980, we have converted sales without being pushy. We work with our customers to provide expert advice on all their home PVC-U requirements, rather than go for a hard sell. This leaves us with happy customers, who come to us for all their home improvement needs and don’t hesitate recommending us to their friends.
Get the job done...
Regs for a single storey rear extension – a guide
Regulations are always changing and it can be difficult to keep up to date with the rules you need to adhere to. At Eurocell, we’re here to help tradespeople, so we’ll be pulling together easy to follow guides informing you of the regs you need to follow for a range of projects. Sit down and get a brew because first up, we have single storey rear extensions!
Read More Here
Product of the month - Skypod
With autumn now in full swing and the short winter days not far away, homeowners may be considering ways to maximise the amount of natural light entering their properties.
So, taking the spotlight for October’s Product of the Month is our Skypod lantern roof range.
READ FULL STORY HERE
Goodbye Merritt Plastics, hello Eurocell Recycle!We’ve been recycling end-of-life PVC-U at our Merritt Plastics recycling plant for almost a decade but it’s time for a change.
As of October this year, the facility will be rebranded as Eurocell Recycle.
We acquired the 60,000 sq.ft. plant from Merritt Plastics in 2009 and have since invested over c£10million in upgrading the facility, making it the largest of its kind in the UK.
You can’t buy PVC-U windows from a Eurocell branch, can you?
As you’re probably aware, we have 200 Eurocell branches across the country, where you can buy the products you need to get the job done.
From screwdrivers and sealants through to fixings and fascia boards, each branch has a huge range of tools, roofing, cladding and accessories available, but did you know you can also buy your PVC-U windows from branches too?
We recently carried out some independent research to give us an up to date view of the main issues facing installers.
READ MORE HERE
Offers and discounts…
Just for fun…
Charity donation for every goal scored by Alfreton Town star midfielder
We’re firm believers in supporting your local team so you won’t find us cheering on Man United or Chelsea from the sofa. Instead we’ll be at the Impact Arena watching the mighty Alfreton Town where summer signing Jordan Sinnott has really caught our eye this year. He’s impressed us so much so that we’ve decided to sponsor the attacking midfielder for the rest of the season.
READ MORE HERE