Most contractors don’t set out to do a job with mediocre end results. They want their work to shine. To speak for itself. To look so good that homeowners can’t stop talking about it with their friends. This seems obvious when we stop and think about it. The problem is, we don’t often stop and actually think about it.
You may find yourself caught up in the rush of the day-to-day events and tasks, getting from one job to another, picking up supplies, and tending to your own family’s needs that the quality control check list of any project has the potential to fade and fall by the wayside.
Here are 3 quick points for any contractor to rate themselves on before completing any project:
Review the contract you and your client has signed and make sure all aspects have been covered; whether it’s the amount of work, brand name materials specified to use, or level of detail that had been agreed upon prior to beginning the job. Without a doubt, if the scope of work included painting the living room among other rooms, make sure that room has been painted. But it’s not always that obvious. It can be something as small as touching up the underside of a window sill or taking the trash out to the garbage can outside. If that’s what the homeowner sees as not having been completed, it might leave a sour note with your reputation. As with everything else, measure twice, cut once. Double check that everything has been completed.
Was the work you did the best that you had to offer? Or were you trying to finish quickly in order to get to the next job? Even a small job, like replacing a bathroom fixture, can lead to much larger jobs. I recently hired a contractor to re-tile my bathroom floor. After seeing how well he did the job (and how professional he was throughout the process), I called him up a month later to have him renovate another bathroom as well as my kitchen. I was not necessarily looking to spend the money on doing that much work initially, but having him come out and seeing the quality of work that he did at the price we settled on, I was convinced it was a good time to move forward on the other work. And of course he was happy to take on the additional work. I have since recommended him to several other people who have hired him for their own residential and commercial projects. You never know where a small job can lead you. So take the extra time and consideration to be certain that the work you are doing is the best you can offer and are proud to be associated with the results.
…Seeing the quality of work that he did at the price we settled on, I was convinced it was a good time to move forward on the other work.
The Follow Up
We all know the importance of calling and following up with a potential client when your trying to get hired for that work. But calling to follow up with a homeowner after you have completed the work can be just as important. It shows your customers that you care about them, that the work you have done for them is important enough to you and that you care about the quality of your craft and their over satisfaction with the results. The post-completion follow up is just another point that will set you apart from other contractors that they may have used in the past, and could ultimately lead to additional work in the future (as mentioned above).
In considering the key factors to review when finishing up any job, I kept it to only 3 items as I believe these cover most of what is important to the quality of a project as well as one’s reputation, but also wanted this list to be short enough to memorize and apply regularly to one’s routine. Good luck out there and have some fun.
(Flickr photo by StockMonkeys.com)