D. Barrett Decorating - The Blog

The start of something new

A new year and a new start. After working for various companies over the years I've taken the plunge and attempting to start up on my own. In this period of austerity it isn't the easiest thing to do but people enjoy a challenge! I've been self employed for 18 months now and to be begin with I am still working for contractors. To be honest it would be foolish of me to say, right I'm going it alone, doesn't matter that I have no work lined up! But I am trying to go about it the right way, in a new way. I'm hitting all the social network sites, had some cards printed up and signs for my car, I've got me a website set up (which you can find at )and I'm even writing a blog. In years gone by it was word of mouth that got you the work, and in some ways that it is still true. A case of who you know rather than what you know. Contacts go a long way in this business, can open a lot of doors for you so it is important to build that list. 

Since I decided to go alone I've done a lot of research and looked at others who have done the same. It seems that more and more are offering services beyond just painting and decorating. Tiling, plastering, carpentry work etc. Whether all these who say they can do this to a high standard are telling the truth I can't say, I do know tradesmen who can do it though and these charge a good premium for doing so. There are a lot of chancers who say they can do it, then leave the customers with a poor standard of work who then need to employ someone to put that work right. That in turn leaves people wary to employ someone in the first place and honest tradesmen have to go that extra length to prove their worth. I suppose this is why people use websites like rated people and check a trade to see what others think of tradesmen. But again this is open to abuse as its all too easy to give a company a poor rating over something trivial like a nail pop on a ceiling. The digital age works both ways. It is a great way for us as tradesmen to get our name and business out there and for customers to interact with us easier than before but it can also be abused by people claiming to be something they are not and for some customers to give companies bad names with no just reason.

Anyway I digress, the point of seeing others doing multiple trades has got me thinking. Do I stick to what I know, and know good or do I aim to improve myself and learn new things? I'm leaning towards to learning new things. Always wanted to be able to plaster at a decent standard. Nothing massive like whole rooms just the odd wall and to be able to tile as well. By learning these skills it gives me greater scope to be able to do things I would normally have to ask others to do. Obviously it would be only small works, I'm a painter and decorator thats what I'm qualified to do and it is what I have done for over 16 years now.

Another reason for wanting to go it alone is that I've spent the past two years working solely on new builds. I enjoy doing them but I miss the variety I used to get from working on private homes and such. Also the challenge of making a room that had seen better days into something good again appeals greatly. So here I go, lets see where it takes me. I'll keep posting on what work I'm doing, could be that I'm on new builds all year but as long as I'm working I'm happy!