Honesty and integrity within the working relationship.
So after laying in bed at 3am and thinking about what topic to discuss, the last few days of work came in to my mind and lead me onto a blog about honesty and integrity.
I would like to think that myself and Chris have both been brought up with a strong sense of honesty and integrity on both a personal level but also a professional level. Both installed by Adrian, our father and current boss/mentor.
Over many years, Adrian has worked for many different clients and has gained many valuable clients with much repeat business. A lot of this doesn’t just come from the work itself or even the cost (although a driving factor in getting the initial work). It comes from building relationships built on trust and integrity. The strength of some of these relationships is that strong that we carry out the works and discuss the money after the event.
Many problems come when the client accepts the quote without fully knowing what they have accepted and merely look at the cost rather than the content of the quotation. When writing the quote we do so with the best intentions of carrying out the works with the clients requirements. However, sometimes the two do not match. The best advise I would give to ensure that you are getting exactly what you want, is to read the quote and if you have any queries whatsoever, just ask. Whether this is 1 question or 10, it shouldn’t matter as ultimately, if they aren’t prepared to help and make sure the quote is right, do you really want to build a working relationship with them.
We try to split the works up on the quotation to try and avoid ambiguity. Always ask for something in writing, whether it’s a cost for something or details on what they are doing.
I won’t name any names as i feel it is unprofessional but there are certain companies (very large ones) that will deliberately miss something off knowing that once the works start, they can get an extra for them. I had heard about this before but hadn’t really dealt with it personally until one particular instance. We had submitted a quotation for a particular housing association to paint the external elements of their properties. Some fencing wasn’t painted but the documents explicitly said that all was to be done. This company had priced for the works and were about to be awarded the contract until the client noticed in the small print that they hadn’t included it.
Long story short, they had to re-price the work and were then too expensive. We were awarded these works and they weren’t invited to tender again. We could have quite easily lost these works which I imagine happens on a regular basis.
Although not speaking for Chris directly, I would like to think that he agrees with the following comments and implements them when I am not there. I’ve come to realise that by being honest and not trying to be deceive the client for the sake of a few hundred pound, you are more likely to gain their trust and even more work.
As a family business, our name is everything to me and I would hate our name to become slurred as a result of me (the business) pocketing some money through ill gains.
If you managed to survive reading this, thank you for taking the time to do so and your feedback would be greatly appreciated. If you can take one thing from this blog, make sure you read the quote and both agree on what works needs to be done for what price.