Small business owners work with contractors for a variety of reasons. From large-scale renovations to digital marketing to content creation, most small businesses would have trouble getting by without consistent help from contractors.
Of course, this isn’t to say that every contractor with whom you work is going to be equally obliging. Furthermore, winding up with the wrong contractor is liable to cost your business a lot of money and cause you a considerable amount of stress.
To help prevent such outcomes, heed the following pointers the next time you’re looking to hire dependable contractors.
Request Estimates in Advance
When hiring any type of contractor, it helps to know how much you can expect to spend. Doing business with a contractor in the absence of such knowledge is liable to result in a serious case of sticker shock when you’re handed the bill.
Needless to say, being presented with an exorbitantly expensive bill can be a tremendous blow to small businesses that operate under strict budgets. With this in mind, take care to request an estimate from every contractor with whom you’re interested in doing business.
Additionally, to ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible, consider requesting estimates from multiple contractors for certain jobs. If you discover that your first choice’s estimate is considerably higher than all the others, there’s a good chance they’re trying to overcharge you.
Confirm That You Have the Proper Budget for the Project
Another advantage to obtaining estimates in advance of doing business with contractors is being able to budget for the project ahead of time. Once you’ve gotten an estimate from a contractor you intend to hire, make sure you have enough resources on hand to see this project through to completion.
Depending on the scope of a project, running out of money midway through can prove disastrous. Furthermore, in the case of large-scale renovations, leaving projects partway completed can render your workspace unusable.
It’s also important to remember that estimates aren’t set in stone. While some estimates are more accurate than others, you should generally assume that the final bill is going to be a little more than what you were quoted.
With this in mind, make sure to set some extra funds aside for just such an eventuality. Furthermore, it never hurts to have additional money on hand for any unforeseen emergencies that occur once work is underway.
Seek Out Feedback from Past Clients
Seeking out feedback from past clients can be a great way to educate yourself on a contractor’s business practices and dedication (or lack thereof) to customer satisfaction. Fortunately, finding feedback for contractors has never been easier.
There are even sites that are exclusively dedicated to contractor reviews.
Various online business directories and consumer feedback websites feature helpful reviews for contractors of all types, so if you’re looking to learn more about a contractor, a good search engine is the only tool you’ll need.
When perusing customer feedback, keep in mind that virtually every contractor is going to have a bad review or two. However, should you find the overwhelming majority of reviews to be negative, it’s generally a good idea to shift your focus to other contractors.
Doing business with an unlicensed contractor can prove stressful in a number of ways.
For starters, unlicensed contractors have very little incentive to provide accurate estimates, complete jobs within the desired time frames, or see jobs through to the end.
Secondly, you may find yourself responsible for paying the medical costs stemming from any injuries unlicensed contractors incur while working for you.
That being the case, confirm that every contractor you hire is fully licensed and bonded before committing to do business with them. Many municipalities are able to catalog licensed contractors through convenient contractor license management software.
Dependable contractors can be a boon to your small business. Whether you’re looking to have renovations done, revamp your website or step up your web content game, there’s no shortage of reasons for which small businesses reach out to contractors.
However, this doesn’t mean that every contractor you come across is going to be equally dedicated to their work. In the interest of avoiding contractors who are poorly suited to your business’s needs, put the advice outlined above to good use.