Featured tradesman: Nicholas Kilshaw
Member since 5 Jul 2009
Nicholas Kilshaw (kentishbuilder)
- Landscape Gardener
- Restoration & Refurb Specialist
Main Skills & Trades:
The jobs are there, you
ask a question and you
get a reply. You can’t get much easier than that.
Tell me about yourself
I’ve been in the building trade for over 30 years mainly doing brickwork and groundworks.
How did you come across MyBuilder?
My cousin got me started on MyBuilder. I saw him build his own feedback on the site and was impressed. I didn't see why I couldn't do the same.To me, the feedback is my write-up. I don’t sit there writing a big massive page of what I can do.
How difficult was it to get started with the site?
It was very easy to get started. It’s just so straight forward. The jobs are there, you ask a question and you get a reply. You can’t get much easier than that. I’ve been on many sites for work and this has got to be the best one.
How important is your profile for attracting new customers?
A lot of people look for feedback, but everyone’s got to start somewhere. It's really important what people say about you and what you can do. I won’t take on a job unless I know I can do it. I won’t do a plumbing job because I’m not a plumber. I stick to what I know.
Do you think qualifications and professional memberships help you win work?
To be honest, I don't. This is the way I look at it: no matter what profession you’re in, a piece of paper can't tell anyone whether or not you're good at your job. I believe my work speaks for itself and I don’t need a membership to say I can lay a brick. I’ve got all the health and safety certificates, forklifts, mobile scaffolding, first aid at work, etc. I don’t want someone to tell me whether I can become a member of the FMB because I don’t need that. My reputation comes from clients, not memberships. I’ve been working for so many years and I try and do the best job I can each day.
What approach do you use to attract customers?
I have a very simple approach. When I see a job I like, I basically say: ‘Hi, please can you give me your contact details, please read my feedback and if you’re interested please contact me’. I don’t write down too much because I let them read my feedback. To me, the feedback is my write-up. I don’t sit there writing a big massive page of what I can do.
Do you think your style of communication effects how many people respond to you?
Yes. I get a response for every job I send messages to. This afternoon I’ve got to go and look at 6 jobs - all through the site. I’ll be honest with you, last week I looked at 15 jobs and I got one, but sometimes it works like that. You can’t get everything you quote for.
Has using MyBuilder changed the way you market yourself?
Yes it has, because if you do a lot of work on site yourself, you don’t really have a lot of time to go round people's houses and carefully pitch yourself to each client that calls you up. I like to tell someone how the job is going to be done and if there are any problems I will talk to you, that's why I get good feedback. If I come across a problem I talk to the customer first and I say this is how it has got to be done. I check that they're happy with that and that's it.
How important do you think feedback is to customers?
Very very important. Most people look for feedback before they'll consider hiring you.
Do customers ever ask you to work outside the site? Your response?
I won’t do that. I tell the customers that I pay my fee and I’d rather pay that and get my feedback through the site. The feedback is more important than earning an extra 50/60 quid.
What difference do you think MyBuilder has made to your business?
I like it because while I do get jobs anyway, I get to do it with a different vibe and I get to travel. I’m in London mostly every day.
I would really like to have the opportunity to upload more photos on my profile. But to be honest, I can’t fault MyBuilder. I’m really happy with it.