The Australian Small Business Blog

Monday, April 09, 2012

Builders – Survive the Building Downturn


With the regular reports of a decline in the building industry builders are starting to feel the pinch and clients are becoming more demanding. This has forced many builders to cut their margins just to keep their team together and stay busy.

If things were not tough enough, the reputation of the industry is also being negatively affected due to a few unscrupulous builders, and the patchwork enforcement of claims by the regulator. This makes clients even more fussy about who they deal with.

More and more they are insisting on seeing their builder’s registration details as a form of assurance of quality and protection against the cowboys in the industry. This is putting so much pressure on some builders who just don’t have time to complete the paperwork for a builders licence, that they are even paying registered builders thousands of dollars to use their registration. Not only is this illegal, but the builder who provides their registration in this way can lose their licence as well.

For the reputable builder who just can’t find the time, there is no excuse, especially since there are services that will explain how to complete the application, and will even assist them to complete it in a form acceptable to the Building Commission, saving the builder 100 hours or more of work to do it themselves.

By being registered, this becomes a great Point of Difference for a builder in difficult times. A registered builder can educate buyers on the unscrupulous tactics used by competitors who are undercutting them. They can explain how their registration demonstrates quality and reliability.

Certainly some builders attempt to get around this by asking the client to become an owner builder so they register the permit in their own name, but this leaves the client carrying the risks. If the client understands these risks and the advantage of using registered builders, this creates additional confidence in choosing a licensed builder.

Unfortunately many clients do not understand the dubious practices in the industry, so it is up to quality builders to educate them. This can be as simple as creating a brochure “Questions to Asks a Builder before You Sign a Contract” and explain the risks of using an unregistered builder willing to engage in such practices.

Obtain specialist advice for your building business here and get a complimentary business evaluation.


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