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Compared to regular employees, contractors have more freedom to set the rates for their services. Still, this doesn’t mean it will be easy to convince prospective clients to pay the price you believe you are worth. Unfortunately, it’s still a prevalent mindset for people to try and lowball service contractors like plumbers and electricians. This whole thinking has to change, but in the meantime, there are a lot of things you can do to boost your perceived value as a contractor because you do deserve to get paid your worth.
1. Keep your resume updated
Your resume shouldn’t only reflect the courses you’ve taken and the projects you’ve worked on. More importantly, it should show the specific skills you have, including the ones you’ve picked up along the way or on the job. It’s all a matter of selling your strengths, and it’s important that your resume reflect that to land a great job.
2. Upskill, upskill, upskill
While it’s great to learn skills while working on projects you’ve already clinched, you must also endeavor to upskill in your free time. There are a lot of certificate courses and crash lessons you can take to add more skills to your arsenal. For instance, you could study how to use new power tools that have just been made available to contractors in your industry.
Being the first to master such tools will give you an incredible edge over other candidates for the same job, especially for commercial clients who are willing to rent the latest, top-of-the-line equipment to get the job done.
3. Take continuing education seriously
Many contractors mistakenly think continuing education is something they have to do only out of compliance, particularly because it is required when renewing their license as plumbers, electricians, or HVAC professionals, for instance. But there are a lot of other benefits you can gain when you enroll in courses related to your trade.
For starters, this is how you can get yourself up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies available in your industry. This is very important, especially if you’re hoping to land big-ticket commercial projects. Employers will want to know if you know the latest trends, as well as any new guidelines your state may have set in your specific industry.
So if you want to appeal to clients and employers back home, avail yourself of the most comprehensive Kentucky continuing education you can get.
4. Be a master negotiator
The best, most fool-proof way to get the rate you want and deserve is to negotiate for it. There are excellent strategies you can employ to negotiate your rate while keeping the customer happy.
Among these strategies is getting to the bottom of the service you’re offering. For example, you have to know exactly how a commercial electrician can help organizations keep their operations going without any downtime. More importantly, you have to know how to communicate this value to your prospective employer.
5. Meet professionalism standards
Anyone would pay higher for a contractor who looks, sounds, and conducts themselves in a professional manner. So make sure you hold yourself to a high standard of professionalism in all your meetings and dealings with prospective clients.
Keep the same level of professionalism once you already get the job, because news travels fast once a client tags you as unprofessional. You might still be able to acquire a few contracts after, but you won’t be able to insist on the rate you deserve.
6. Bank on your reliability
Contract deals are imposed with mutual trust between you and the client, so you want to have the reputation that you are a reliable contractor. This way, you can get repeat jobs and can possibly charge more for future work. Once an employer trusts that you will do an amazing job every time, they will be more willing to increase your rates, making your negotiations easier.
7. Collect five-star reviews
Finally, in this day of social media and internet influence, getting good reviews is imperative for any contractor who wants to boost his/her value in the market. If clients can’t get you referrals, ask them to at least leave you positive feedback on your website or social media accounts. This way, when future prospects look you up, they will gain assurance that you can do a good job and are worth your asking price.
Keep in mind that you did not learn a whole trade just to settle for way less than the price you deserve. So follow the tips on this list to achieve a fair asking price that is worth your actual value as a contractor.