Finding quality – and qualified – contractors at an affordable rate takes time, experience, and a little bit of leg work. Building a network of resources to call will save you time – and a headache – in a crisis.
A facility management best practice is to build a list of local, qualified, and affordable contractors and here’s how to do it:
Referrals / Word of Mouth: Ask your friends, coworkers, and even other contractors you’ve worked with. We’ve found that the best referrals come from contractors we love working with. Guess what, they know other contractors! And they will give you an honest referral.
Chamber of Commerce / Economic Development Committee: These groups EXIST to connect businesses to consumers (or other businesses). It helps to have a relationship with these organizations. Let them know what you need and let them know what you offer. You may be surprised at the connections you make. If you’re just getting started, search through the organizations directory and pick up the phone. You don’t always have to be a member to access your local chamber directory.
Trade Shows: Events take place through out the year and are hosted by a variety of organizations. Take some time to swing through a trade show and grab as many business cards as you can. Maybe you don’t need them all now, but it doesn’t hurt to have them in your contact list for the future.
Internet Search: You can search any trade and pick from a wide list of contractors. How do you know they are qualified and can complete the work on time, within budget, and to your standards? Read more on qualifying questions to ask before you hire a new-to-you contractor.
Advertisements: We’re on the road. A LOT. And so are contractors. They’re on billboards, in company vehicles, and even on diner place mats. If you want someone local – pay attention. Take notes of company names, trades, and phone numbers. But always drive safe!
FACILITY MANAGEMENT PRO TIP: Know the market you’re in. If you search the internet for “plumbers in my area” and 100 show up, competition is high and you are in a prime seat to negotiate a favorable rate. On the other hand, if only (2) plumbers show up in your search, the competition is slim. This could mean higher rates or lower level of care. If you’re lucky, they’re both honest and affordable. Whichever market you’re in, building a trustworthy relationship with the contractors you DO work with will always be valuable.
Still struggling? Call ONE SOURCE to discuss how to we can help and how you can gain access to a network of contractors covering over 45 different trade categories.