Know Your Value As A Trades Business (Episode 3): Rogue Tradies

Know Your Value Episode 3: Rogue Tradies.

(I think that’s quite funny, nice, little joke there.)

News about Rogue Tradies

I saw an article in one of the sh*t newspapers the other day about a bunch of rogue tradies running around Sydney, knocking on people’s doors and ripping people off. And you know the drill. You’ve probably seen the articles, this is not a new story.

This is a fairly standard sh*t newspaper, scare the population, distract you from the real politics, and all that sort of stuff.

But these people were running around Sydney and ripping people off. They were taking deposits and then disappearing. They would do half a job then disappear.

They were taking on a job they didn’t really know how to do, and would get part way through and realise they overstretched themselves and guess what they were doing? They were disappearing, or even worse they were asking for more money because they were over their head, or they were doing a dreadful job and leaving people with something sh*t.

And if people started to realise what was going on and call them on this sh*t, they were bullying them and giving them a hard time and generally, making the whole experience really unpleasant for the customers.

I’m talking about domestic customers here but don’t just think, “I don’t work with residential customers” – this applies to everybody.

I haven’t even scratched the surface of people being unsafe, and apprentices dying, and things like that. There are many things that bad trades businesses and rogue tradies can do to make life unpleasant for the customer.

And I know I’ve mentioned this stuff before. It bears mentioning again. Not all trades business owners are good, decent people like you and your tradespeople.

What sets you apart from the Rogue Tradies

I know you’re good and you know you’re good. Your customers know it, but they don’t necessarily know that you’re one of the good ones. They know that there are good ones and bad ones, but they don’t necessarily know which side of that line you fall because you haven’t told them. You need to tell them, that’s your job.

The reason I feel the need to run this home so hard and so often is that so many of my business coaching clients, my trades business owners who I do business coaching with, resist doing that. They resist explaining to people ‘why we’re good’.

And they run straight into the quoting and imagine that people will pick up on the fact, that “I’m a good tradie, without me having to tell you”.

It’s a mistake because they might not. They might and they might not and you’re leaving it to chance. I don’t think you should do that. You shouldn’t be leaving things to chance.

I know why you resisted though because you’re Australian or British like me, and it’s not socially cool to talk yourself up. You will get shut down by your mates if in a social situation you start telling everybody how fabulous you are. You’ll soon get called a sh*t.

Not quite the truth for you Americans but for us Brits and Australians, it’s a no-no in a social situation. But you’re not in a social situation here. You’re in a business situation. Your customer needs information to help him or her select a trade business to work with.

Either your residential customer or your business customer, they need the information to make a choice over which of these tradespeople or trades businesses that have in front of them to select to spend their money with, and work on their project with and to trust.

You need to give them the information. Tell them what kind of business you are in your marketing, and in your sales process, and this is the important bit.

The rogues are going to tell them the same sh*t, aren’t they? The rogue tradies are going “Oh we’re brilliant, we’re fabulous” but you can’t prove it.

They’ll say they’re brilliant and then they’ll bamboozle them a bit and they’ll use urgency and pressure to get people to hand over the money and sign something.

You don’t need to do that.

You can prove the quality of the service you provide and reassure us of the service you provide and the safety of it. You can prove why you’re good by pointing your customer to the testimonials on your website or on your Facebook page.

You can show them:

  • Real references to call and say, “Have you done business with these people? Were they any good?”
  • Your license
  • Your insurance certificates
  • Your structure
  • Your branding

Show them all these investments you’re making in your business that the Rogues don’t do. They turn up in an unlicensed or unmarked vehicle, and they’re cheap. You show them and demonstrate all this other stuff you’re setting yourself out as different.

There’s a long list of things you can do. I’m not going to harp on about them all. Hire me to plan the messages you send and the proof you give to your customers in your sales and marketing machines.

Remember this point:

Your customers need to know what kind of business you are and what kind of job you’re going to do. The Rogues are out there, and you need to differentiate yourself from the sh*t ones so you can charge more or justify why you’re worth paying for more and be worth it.

It’s up to you to explain this difference.

Do you want to work with me to help you articulate this, write it into your proposals and marketing materials and to help you figure out what you prove?

That’s part of the service I provide to my clients.


There are four ways you can engage with me:

1. Subscribe to these emails and get them once a week in your inbox so you never miss a video from me.

2. Join the Trades Business Toolshed Facebook Group where you can watch these videos, ask me questions or talk to your peers.

3. Attend my next Tradie Profit Webinar.

4. Book yourself a 10-minute chat with me. We’ll talk about whether coaching is right for you now and if it is, we’ll go further into the process before you have to make your mind up.

See you later.

Click here to book a money maker call with Jon.