A Christmas Wish From One Specialist Contractor – To Those Who Have The Power Or The Influence To Grant It

Here’s a sincere Christmas wish to everyone who has the responsibility for paying their suppliers and sub-contractors from one of the Specialist Contractors in our exclusive Linked In group;

“To all the employees of main contractors that have little connection between payments received and their wages:

This time of year is supposed to be celebratory. But for me as a Specialist Contractor, it is one of barely being able to eat, and sleepless nights .

You see, I rely on people paying me within the contractual times , and when they have promised, in order to run my business and pay everyone’s wages.

Please don’t use excuses about getting the paperwork right at the last minute and then not seeing fit to treat it as a priority.

Please don’t promise the beginning of December and still not pay 19 days in.

I have staff to pay and suppliers , your ineptitude (or deliberate non payment) has a human cost right the way down the line.

All I want is what I am due and owed and to pass the seasonal good wishes on .

Just like when you wanted the work done we turned up prepared and in time.

I am sick to the back teeth of these miserable Scrooge like tactics.

They cause a great deal of stress and are quite frankly cruel and sick.

It’s mainly women in this sector that collect payments and at the end of the day it’s our children that are affected while we are strung out like mad because of lies or disorganisation .

I am organised and have worked until god knows what time every night for months to ensure my obligations are met.

Now due to the incompetency and disregard of others I can’t even greet my kid from the last day of school and do something fun for the break.

Before you assume I am some lower life form, I am a graduate and an expert in what I do , who you couldn’t work without .

So please wake up smell the coffee and pay us properly!!

I do not want 2014 to be the same it’s immoral and needs to stop.”

StreetwiseSubbie exists for the benefit of all Specialist Contractors regardless of size or specialisation.

If you are a UK based Specialist Contractor and would like to join over 1,540 fellow Specialists in our exclusive LinkedIn Group, you can find it here.

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It Pays To Keep In Touch – And Kill Not One, Not Two… But Three Birds With One Stone!

With a shameless bit of cribbing from the marketing guru Chris Cardell, who gave me the initial idea (he advocates we copy his ideas-after all that’s what we pay him for), and with a significant bit of development from me, here’s how to kill 3 birds with one stone!

First A Bit of Scene Setting (this is the bit I have borrowed)

Imagine this. You’ve been invited to two parties on the same day. One is a small party with a few people and the food promises to be no more than average; the other is being held in an expensive hotel with free fine champagne and the best food cooked by a top Cordon Bleu chef. Which invitation would you be more likely to accept?

It isn’t a trick question. The answer is the one with the fine food and drink of course.

But what if the small party was being held by a bunch of close friends whose company you really enjoyed, and the glitzy bash was being held by a bunch of people you didn’t know at all.

You might still go for the expensive bash, just to see what it was like. But in many cases you would choose to spend time with the people you know and whose company you enjoy, and many people would make the same decision.

Business Is Still Done By People! (mostly my own work from here on in)

It’s a simple fact that we like to spend time with people we know and like, and yet many business-owners think business is somehow different, and that it doesn’t follow the same rules. But according to research, nothing could really be further from the truth.

We like to spend time with our friends (especially those who keep in touch regularly) and as consumers we like to buy from businesses we know and – importantly – which keep in touch with us regularly.

So what does this mean for you as a business-owner?

Here’s The First Bird (and my marketing tip for you)

The message is a really simple one.

Once someone has bought from you and become a customer or client, you should keep in touch with them regularly, because if you do they’re much more likely to buy more. In many cases, you don’t even need to make a specific offer. Just be there, as and when they’re ready to buy again, the chances are they’ll think of you.

The good news is it’s so easy to keep in touch with customers and clients by using modern methods. It takes work, of course, but try it and I’m sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how well it pays to keep in touch.

And if you’re not sure how to start, or don’t have the resources, we can take care of it all for you.

Here’s Bird Number 2

By simply posting this blog post for you to read, I am endeavouring to follow my own advice and keep in touch with you!

And there are lots of other ways that we can stay in touch too. So please check which of the following ways suit you best and let’s stay connected:

*         Let’s connect on LinkedIn (we can set it up for you if you aren’t on there yet, just email info@streetwisesubbie.com and one of our lovely ladies in the office will get in touch!)

*         Join our exclusive LinkedIn group of over 1,540 Specialist Contractors and contribute to the debate

*         Follow us on Twitter, @StreetwiseSubbi, and use the #buildfair4all hashtag to tweet your support (again, if you need help setting up on there, just email us)

*         Join our mailing list, where you can receive exclusive content and advice on contractual and commercial matters, and sales and marketing help too! Simply email info@streetwisesubbie.com and request to subscribe

Now if you are like I used to be and think that social media has no place in the macho world of construction and engineering, then maybe it’s time to think again, because just like mobile phones, emails, and shopping online has done previously, social media is becoming ever more significant, whether we like it or not.

So please give me a call and let’s see what else we can do together.

And Finally Bird Number 3

It’s that time of year when we send our best wishes to everyone we know and care about.

So, please have a very Merry Christmas, and let’s hope that 2014 is a Happy New Year.

It’s certainly going to be a big year for my wife and me as we are both going to be 60, and we will be celebrating having been married for 40 years too!

It’s Wise Up Wednesday!

The past few years have been anything but plain sailing for Specialist Contractors in the construction industry, and we have already lost 5,500 companies to insolvency in the space of just 2 years.

The future isn’t certain either, with no-one truly knowing what is round the corner.

That’s why we have put together our Streetwise Wise Up Wednesday Guides to give you a quick burst of stuff that will help you in your business life.

Sometimes quirky, sometimes hard hitting, but always guaranteed to make you think and take no more than 2 minutes to read.

Be Flexible and Ready For Change

Certain aspects of the  construction industry haven’t changed for years, but others are moving on at pace, and what worked well last year, last month or last week may now be out of date!

It may become necessary to change the focus of the services you offer or the style of work you do to match what the market is looking for.

Start to look at other areas and niches in which your company could operate, and the opportunities may surprise you.

What About Technology?

Are you using the latest or most appropriate technology.  Better tech doesn’t have to be expensive, and communications, computers and data transfer have moved on in leaps and bounds.

Take a look around at your office and out on site, and if your tech looks like its from the 1980’s then maybe it’s time for a change!

Don’t Cut Marketing – Improve It

When money gets a little tight, many people reduce or stop their sales and marketing spend in order to save money in the short term. But this could seriously damage your long term wealth.

Think of your marketing spend as the engine in the light aircraft you are flying. Switch it off and you will carry on gliding for a while, but eventually you will come down to earth. Possibly quite abruptly!

Rather than just cutting things out without a plan, sit down and give it some real thought, and why not have a chat with one of our experts? Clever marketing isn’t expensive and nor is our advice!

I hope you enjoyed my Wise Up Wednesday blog and that it gave you some food for thought.

We Can’t All Sit Around Waiting To Get Lucky Like Joey Essex, You Make Your Own Luck In Construction!

If you have been following I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! (and our side ways look at it via email, aptly named I’m a Specialist Contractor Get Me Out of Here!) then you will be thoroughly aware of Joey Essex.

Back in the real world, Joey is now picking up quite a lot of column inches in the newspapers for being thick!

The way to get on in life now, according to Simon Cowell, is to not study at school and then have a bit of luck. It’s worked for Joey, who can’t tell the time on a clock or, do much else for that matter.

Joey seems to have ignored his shortcomings, swept things under the carpet, not learned anything, had a bit of luck and now seems to make a fortune in endorsements and appearances following his joining TOWIE.

Unfortunately, “being thick and getting lucky” seems to work for the majority of Main Contractors who don’t have any expertise (they’re thick) and they’ve got lucky (done a good job of marketing themselves to get the work and control the cash).

In contrast, Specialist Contractors have all the expertise, solve all the problems and invest up-front in getting the job done.

But, most of you aren’t getting lucky!

You can “get lucky” by being smarter contractually and investing a bit of time and effort in sales and marketing. And you can make your own ‘luck’ by joining StreetwiseSubbie and letting us help you make changes for the better!

With the help of StreetwiseSubbie, you can kiss goodbye to those issues that once felt like they were suffocating you. As a Gold Buddy you will get down to earth honest, expert advice and support through our network of consultants to help you solve your commercial, contractual, and payment problems!

And with our sales and marketing support, we can help your business get lucky AND be smart, helping you avoid issues and find better opportunities and grow into a healthy, more profitable business.

So if you want a bit of luck, hit the ‘Get Lucky’ button now while there’s still time, and take advantage of our low cost high value membership, which includes a bundle of great resources worth far more than the nominal monthly fee!

Don’t be a hapless Joey Essex who sits waiting for luck to come their way. Create your own luck and get Streetwise!