04 Jan 1 Relationships
How do you interpret the word relationship? The more you think about it the more complex the explanation becomes. However, to put it bluntly, relationship is the way two people are connected. The obvious instantly comes to mind, family, lovers, enemies but, what about the trader and buyer, the client and service provider or the patient and practitioner?
Every trade, deal or business encounter involves two people with a common cause and gives rise to, albeit in some cases, a brief relationship. In all relationships there has to be three things; a common connection, a need to do something with that commonality and trust.
It is difficult to know who to trust in this turbulent world of permanent information ‘download’. The news is constantly full of people who have cheated, lied or conned to get their way. Facebook runs campaigns to warn of fraud / bad workmanship. Trust works both ways and many a disgruntled customer thinks they can get money off or additional items with the threat of a negative facebook post or a google review. Some people make a living by complaining.
So, who can we trust, looking at social media comments and local news is there is anyone left to do a good job and offer an honest price.
Well the first place to start is to get more than one quote, best practise in business dictates that three is optimum, but depending on your requirements more than one may be sufficient. The cheapest quote is not always the best quote.
Sometimes in business when looking at tenders supplied for a job; initial quotes can all come in at very different figures. This is the time to look at what is included in each section which can make the bottom line change dramatically. For example, if you are wanting to build an eco-friendly extension, probably not the best builder is the one who can get hold of second hand asbestos cheap, just because his price is better.
Recommendations are invaluable. It goes without saying that each job will be different, so he may not be able to create the same as your friend for the same price. You do have the reassurance though that he will do his best for you. In return, be happy to advise someone else if you have a good service provider or tradesman.
If you are looking for someone specialising in something unusual and don’t know which quote to take, what are their credentials, and who are they affiliated with? Are they covered by their own trade organisation? Not all trades have one. Do they belong to any local business groups starting with the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry?
Chamber of Commerce and Industry cannot guarantee validity of any of their member businesses. However, a company or sole trader who takes time to join up and attend meetings or business events, and is prepared to become involved with their local community, often at an additional cost to themselves is worth a second look. Sometimes there is more to being in business than just the pursuit of money. They are the people who take the time to become involved and give something back to their local community.
There is still a touch of ‘the gentleman’s word’ about members of a business organisation. As part of their membership it is taken that they will offer a good service and value for money and maybe called upon to help with the local community in ways that they can. In return friendships form and collaborations cultivate offering greater service and scope to the customer.
Local and community are key to starting to trust. As well as organisations there are local community based guides such as chamber members Gillingham & Shaftesbury Guide or Gillingham News. They cannot guarantee a business but, the fact that traders advertise regularly to a targeted area and are often known to the community gives them the credibility to start building that relationship.
Relationships do break down or end, so where do you look for reliable tradesmen? Take a look at our on line directory of members here. What can they do for you?
Gillingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry cannot guarantee our members or their reputation but like all relationships we begin from a place of trust and hope. While a member is committed to membership and helping their local community they are believed to be upstanding pillars of their industry and the local area. Put some trust in them.
If you would be interested in joining the Chamber, please download the forms here.