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Unread 11-09-2009, 05:57 PM   #6
Oregon Tile Man
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Astoria Or.
Posts: 5,858
"Preferred" often means they are looking for the right person but have not found the "one" who can be trusted with all of their clients and jobs.

I used to work for shops when I was on my own in college and I learned a good deal quickly about the good, bad and plain old really bad. Even growing up in a family install and retail buss. I had a few lessons to learn the hard way.

As an Partner in family shop I can possibly give some insight but I think most of it is common sense and some may be regional. We almost never sub work out save for a few times a year but we have done a fair amount in the past.

First Simple but often overlooked rules:

Never enter into money talks with clients.

Be careful with giving your opinion on jobs...and never blame the shop for errors in front of the client.

Any changes need to be made through the shop..or if changes are made
( even scheduale ect)let them ( the shop) into the loop as soon as possible.

Always leave the job cleaner than you found it.

Find out the shop policy on extra material. We order extra on every job..sometimes enough extra that if the client sees it they will complain. The flip side is if the client makes changes or has a layout issue and you don't have enough material guess who gets the blame for the time frame ? The shop does.( some of our material are 4-6wks out) Our installers bring enough material for the job..any extra is kept at the shop or in the van to be used as needed.

Make the shop Money...Think big picture here..If the shop wins so do you. If they are good folks this is how you "earn a pay increase". If they are not willing to share you need to eventually look elsewhere.

Let them know up front you have no issue with them making profit on top of your labor..This way they do not feel they have to worry about you seeing numbers intended for the client only.

Be always prompt or early...communicate constantly..if your running late call before your late. AND always answer your phone.

Be cautious about "nickel & diming" the company..Build into your asking price some margin for your fuel, phone and cost to conduct your business.
For example if your using your own transportation,tools and license you should ask "x" amount more per ft. or per hr.

Don't have personal problems that become company problems.

In short conduct yourself as a pro who is essentially making the life of the shop easier and more profitable.

It is essential to meet often and build a relationship with the shop. I would try to look at every job as it was least for the first few. It takes time but it can be rewarding for both parties..It can also be a nightmare if done wrong.
Trask Bergerson
Bergerson Tile and Stone
Astoria, Oregon
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