A recent survey from ServiceSeeking.com.au examines the current climate for Australian tradespeople, and the results are sure to surprise.
More than 1300 tradespeople and their clients responded to the survey, which covers five key considerations of the industry and provides some intriguing insight into how tradies can potentially improve their business.
The questions asked were as follows:
- Do you think tradespeople are paid enough?
Perhaps the most surprising result of the survey, just under 60 percent of respondents say tradespeople are paid enough, while 22 percent feel they aren't paid enough and 19 percent that they are paid too much. While the respondents are likely to predominantly be people who hire tradies rather than tradies themselves - they are ServiceSeeking's customer base, after all - the findings are still important. They show that the majority of customers feel they have a strong understanding of what a job is worth and so are willing to pay accordingly. Tradespeople who are inclined to produce a lower quote in the hope of getting work take note; 82 percent of customers aren't likely to make a decision based solely on cost.
So what does matter to them?
- What is the most important to you when choosing a tradie?
Respondents were given four options: good communication, punctuality, five or more years of experience, extra formal qualifications beyond the standard.
At 48.5 percent, good communication is the primary concern for customers. They want to know what's involved in a project, how it's progressing and if there are any delays or special considerations. In short, they want to trust the tradesperson they hire.
In second place, at 24 percent, is experience. This shouldn't come as a surprise considering the relationship between experience and strong communication. They both represent professionalism and the ability to get the job done.
Punctuality was third at 20.5 percent, with educational concerns last at only 6.9 percent.
- What is the best thing about your job?
Again, respondents had four options: money, customers, variety and simply doing something they are good at.
Nearly 46 percent said the best thing about the job was doing something they are good at. Such passion, if channelled through strong communication skills, is sure to prove a defining factor for customers too.
Second and third were variety and customers respectively, with each just over 23 percent. While it may not be as high as in previous questions, the fact that customers are a significant consideration for tradies underpins the importance of communication.
- Do you think a recession is coming?
A more future-focused question than the rest. Results were relatively close, with 58.15 percent saying yes and 41.85 percent saying no. The certainty with which respondents were expected to answer aside, this is important to consider in the context of the following question.
- How much demand is there for people with your trade skills?
Tradies were asked to say whether they always had high demand, whether demand was seasonal, if they had just the right amount on their plate or if there was never enough.
In total, 39.6 percent say it depends on the season and 30.2 percent feel there is not enough demand. Only 15.6 percent said they had the perfect amount of work, while 14.5 had no choice but to turn work away.
The results suggest that tradespeople could benefit from expanding or diversifying their offerings. This is especially going to prove true if a recession does hit.
If there's one thing tradespeople can take away from the survey, it's this: by communicating with customers, respecting the relationship and determining their needs so they can be better met, tradies are far more likely to succeed. The future is uncertain, but that certainly isn't.
Image: 123RF's tiero © 123RF.com