Featured tradesman: Paul Jones
Tell me about yourself
I did a plastering foundation course about 7 years ago. I then went on to work part-time for a builder, where I learnt the do’s and don’ts of the trade. From there, I went on to work for a facilities company which dealt with subsidence and fire damage. That’s where I really learnt how to plaster. I set up my own company about 2 years ago after I was made redundant and it’s been growing steadily upwards since then.A MyBuilder customer once asked me to make them a mouse hole in plaster board. When they put the skirting board on they wanted to put a little door on it.
How did you come across MyBuilder?
About 2 years ago I was thinking about setting up on my own. I was looking at different avenues for advertising when my wife showed me your advert. Within 5 minutes of going online and looking at the site, I was wowed. I created my profile and thought this is definitely the way forward for me. Within a few days of signing up I won my first job.
How difficult did you find it to win your first job?
I had no feedback to begin with, so I went in a bit cheaper to get my first few jobs under my belt. Other than that, I’ve never had a problem understanding how the site works and winning jobs. Feedback is obviously a very big help, but you need to ask the right questions and come across well.
How important is your profile in attracting new customers?
It’s very important. Customers like to know who they’re employing. Your profile gives customers a good idea of who you are and what you’re capable of. For the customer, this is better than just picking a man out of the directory or a newspaper.
What approach do you use to attract customers?
I always message the customer and request a site visit first. Customers often want a site visit which is good because it’s always nice to discuss the job face to face. One-to-one communication helps you add the personal touch and is extremely important to the customer too.
How important do you think feedback is to customers?
Feedback is the reason for my success. On top of the normal job leads I receive, I get lots of direct quote requests because of all the feedback I have. Feedback is the business - I absolutely love it!
Do customers ever ask you to work outside the site?
Yes, customer have asked that, but I tell them that I would rather go through the website because I want the feedback.
What difference has MyBuilder made to your business
It’s given me a lifeline. It’s been a tough couple of years with the recession but I’ve been lucky and been kept busy. More than 50% of my work comes from MyBuilder. I’ve met lots of people through MyBuilder who I now do work for on a regular basis.
What is the strangest thing that someone has asked you to do on a job?
A MyBuilder customer once asked me to make them a mouse hole in plaster board. When they put the skirting board on they wanted to put a little door on it.
Have you got a job that you’re most proud of?
I’ve been involved in large restoration projects and barn conversions and I’m proud of my work on those jobs - being involved from beginning to end. When you price the job up, the place can look like it’s on it’s last legs. When you’ve finished and walk away, it’s a dream home that your customer is now going to be living in. I like being part of that - it brings me great satisfaction.