We know that we can plan in our “closed” time, the precious days off over the Christmas and New Year period but is it so easy for our customers? Carpenters and joiners don’t tend to be seen as an “emergency service” in the same way that plumbers and electricians are, however as much as domestic work may quieten down in the festive period, it can be the case that it’s an ideal time for commercial work. Shops and offices appreciate the opportunity for refurbishment whilst the staff are en masse away from the premises, so this can often lead to projects that detract from the available holiday time. For the plumbers and electricians, can any amount of pre-planning anticipate the level of call outs? Who would turn down the little old lady plunged into darkness on Christmas Day? Being a tradesperson, particularly a self employed tradesperson, comes with many such dilemmas and we’re sure that balancing the level of responsibility to customers with the level of commitment to family life is tough.
From our side, we’ve tried to assist our customers by publishing our Christmas opening times well in advance. We know it takes a high level of organisation to get all the required materials organised prior to a job commencing and hopefully knowing when we are open and when we are in the office to take telephone orders will assist our customers. You can view our opening times here.
It was reported earlier this year that the UK faced a growing shortage of tradespeople following a dramatic fall in the number of plumbers and bricklayers. Figures for skilled tradespeople plummeted by 7%, independent businesses were dwindling, with plumbers being the worst hit showing a 25% drop in numbers the last four years. Also, bricklayers were cited as down 19%, roofers by 11%, builders and carpenters both down 7%, and the number of joiners had fallen by 17%. It was said that only cleaners, chimney sweeps and female-run businesses were bucking the trend. In addition to the decreasing numbers of tradespeople, output in the construction industry had plunged to its lowest level since 2009 and the amount customers were paying the various trades for home improvements was said to have nosedived by 40% since 2001. All of which made for a worrying read, early on in 2013 however as the year has sped past, we’re not convinced that this reported decline has been evident, certainly amongst our customers.
We’ve seen a steady growth this year and when the end of our financial year does come around we anticipate seeing a healthy year on year growth. We’d love to hear from some of the trades that either make use of supplies purchased from us or are in a similar geographical area to us (South East) to hear how you’ve found 2013? We certainly hope that the percentage of people leaving the industries has decreased and that all tradespeople have enjoyed a steady workflow and seen some growth or at least potential for growth in the forthcoming months.