Struggling for work?

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Greg20

Hi guys.

I only finished college 8 months ago and have been working self employed ever since.

Since i finshed college though i have been struggling and struggling to find work atall and have not had much . A few days here, a few days there ect.

The only work i have been getting is off people who i have done bits of work for, recommending me to others and being honest you dont get recommended every day do you.

I am not a bad plasterer, i rate myself as very good and quite experienced for my age at only 20 years old. Though compared to some of you guys i probably know nothing!

I worked with a plasterer for 2 years before going to college and getting qualified. And have since been working for myself, struggling along.

I was just wondering if anyone else is struggling for work atall at the moment?

And is there any advice any of you guys can give me about advertising ect?

I have adverts around aswell as in local advertising books. But still nothing really!

And do you think things will get better any time soon?

Any help or advise would be much appriciated guys, im just trying to make a living as much as the next man, but day after day am getting more down hearted.

Thanks alot everyone. Greg.
 
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Keep your chin up Greg, things'll pick up. The best advert is your work and from there, word of mouth will get you more customers. The jobs that i take on are not big jobs,, a couple of room here, the odd ceiling there, bit of rendering, r/cast, but it keeps me busy. Sometimes, especially at this time of year, work is slow to come in,, but within a phone call or two, there might be a couple of weeks work lined up. I just work on my own,, i don't advertise, so it can be a feast or a famine,, all in all, i'm happy enough.

Roughcaster.
 
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Speaking as a potential client, I'd echo the above advice.

Stick at it, and build a base of happy clients and as this base grows. the chances of their recommending you to newer one grows exponentially.

Try to work ALL over Brum, so you build "advertisers" or happy clients in all the sub towns. It is a big city mate, and theres bound to be lots of jobs for the taking. The fact that you are recommended blows the Yellow page contenders into the bin.

I suppose it is common knowledge but here goes:
personal cards
leaflet the street you are working in
whilst working in an area, walk around in plastered trade clothes and chat to people to show you are approachable and you will get approached by potential clients
Be good and cheap to older people, they will recommend you to everyone, freely as they might still have old values and have respect in the area
Etc etc

Good luck
 
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8 months isn't that long to have built up plenty of referral work, i've heard it said that at least 12 months and up to 3 years to get a fully established name/business.

i've been at it 12 months and the referrals are now starting to happen, but still not enough on their own.

having my van sign written has paid off, and having cards printed is good for handing out, i leave 2 or 3 with everyone i do work for, you'll be surprised where they end up, get people you know to stick some on their work notice boards too.

i also have found it good to team up with another plasterer, initially i wanted to have someone to call on when i got a big job or ceiling that needed an extra pair of hands, we now pass work each other way.

part your problem is working in the big city, LOT of competition, but if your work is good IT WILL come good in the end so long as you can struggle on for now, work should start picking up this year i think so hang on in there.

also, don't price too cheaply, bad from all points of view, make a rod for your own back for a start and we all work too hard to work for anything less than a fair day rate, you'll be surprised that people will also steer well clear of quotes that are too cheap.
 
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Hi Greg
To chip in with the others; keep at it if you really enjoy it & if your work is good, word will eventually get around & you should start getting referrals. It can take a while but then snowball, especially once things start to move again. Things are starting to pick up at the top end again though, I’ve a close friend who is a builder/developer & he hopes to start his 1st muti-develoment site (5 properties) for 18 months this March, depending on Planning.
 
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Hi Greg,
It also helps if you can do a few other things in the building trade, Like laying slabs, fixing gutters, abit of painting,cleaning out drains, and little jobs that people dont want to do. There are a lot of "How to do This" sites on the internet that you can learn from and there will be lots of willing family members and friends for you to practice on to "hone" your new skills. You are only 20 so now is the time to learn new skills. Because if you are on a job and a customer wants something done you can say,"I can do that" which will give you the work instead of some one else. But make sure that if you learn different trades, then do a good clean tidy job and always be polite and make sure that the customer knows that nothing is too much trouble. And make sure that you know how to put things right if anything goes wrong. ;) And this is always a bad time of year if you are not working before Xmas it takes a while for people to recoup the money they spend over Xmas before they spend anything on their houses but never give up work will come. Don't be like all the other "builders and tradesmen" have something else to offer and you will never be out of work ;)
 
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It also helps if you can do a few other things in the building trade,
Some serious & very valuable pointers in Roy’s post. Being able to offer additional services to complete small projects really makes a huge difference, even if you have to buy in “registered” trades. It’s going beyond spread work & branching into “jobbing builder” territory but it’s all linked together if you think about it. Whatever you do, it must be of the highest professional quality, not DIY/handyman; although sometimes what I see leaves me in doubt!

Roy really has hit the nail (or is it screw) on the head; I started out as a DIY plasterer as a result of what I considered at the time to be financial necessity just 6 years ago & before I knew what was happening it turned into a Cyclops of a whole new “surprise, surprise” work experience/career for me at a somewhat ridiculous age. I now specialise in renovation work which many regard as crap but I find it very interesting & much prefer it to skimming plaster board new builds, which I now dislike + there is not the associated pressure to finish it. I still do a lot of plastering but specialise in a complete new/renovation service for bath/shower rooms which includes drainage (including groundwork’s), plumbing, tiling, pumped showers etc; in fact I do everything personally except the electrics which I must buy in for legal reasons ;) ; I resent having to but as I’m technically “not qualified” at present, I have no choice.

Customer satisfaction & added value is the key & if you do the whole job you can control it, a process of which I'm a firm believer. The customer loves having only has one asre to kick if there is a problem & I know that’s true as, in a former life, I used to wear a seriously large asre kick boot :LOL:
 
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Greg20

Aahh thanks alot Richard and Roy the encouragement and advise is very much appriciated!

As it goes i fancy myself a half decent floor screeder and tiler, having done a fair amount of this when i worked for two years with a builder.

I can also fit windows and various other things, but enjoy plastering the most and i figure the more i do it the better i will get at it ( in terms of experience).

I went to look at a job yesterday believe it or not! A room needs prepping all around the skirting and various other places back to brickwork and then skimming. The second job a tiny ceiling in a cuboard needs sorting! Couldnt have come any sooner! :D , well two jobs actually! Can you believe it. And have another job lined up to go and look at within the next couple of weeks. The person wants a stud room building, with a window and door in a factory unit, so i said id go and have no look no harm in that is there.

And if i dont feel confident doing it i can always pass it on to someone else and help them so i learn!

But thanks for the encouragement guys, its really nice of you all ( in a perfectly polite, not sissy way).



:LOL:
 
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Not only do you need to be a good tradesman to generate work, but you also need to be on the ball.

I know a very good (ceramic) tiler and a very good plasterer.

Both are lacking work simply because they will not do 'the other' work.

Chasing, quoting, appointments, paying out, snagging, are all important but less exciting parts of the trade but are no less important. ;)
 
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8 months,big deal.ive just returned from my hols,phones ringing already,by the way,ive been in the trade for over 20 years. but i am looking for a cheap second van.
 

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