I have been in the chimney sweeping industry in the uk for over twenty years and at every level from an apprentice to company owner to Guild of master chimney sweeps chairman. I have learned many things in this time, the number one thing I have learned is that we are always learning. I put this post together to share some tips that have worked for my companies over the years I hope you can use them too.
- Educate yourself and your workforce. This may seem obvious but many companies slip, they do an initial course and that’s it. Why do I like training so much? Well it adds value to your product allowing you not to be embarrassed when you charge x as you know you are worth it. Secondly customers find confidence in expertise. Thirdly old timers can tell if you truly know your stuff just by talking with you, make sure you do. I have chosen the Guild of master chimney sweeps and Hetas route for educating my Staff at clean sweep chimney services , you chose what is best for you and your company.
- Automatically book next years sweeps on this years visit. This has several benefits that range from having a full diary next year to increasing customer safety from them not missing Sweeping intervals. Carry a diary with you in the van. Don’t be shy if your customer is pleased with your service then their usually happy to pre book. Send them a text or email a week before their chimney sweep is due the following year as a reminder.
- Do not set yourself up for failures, ok so what do I mean here? Here’s an example: you give your chimney sweep customer a 1 hour time slot without knowing how long you will be on the Job prior , how long traffic will take and if you apprentice will be on time and now your late. A happy customer is now annoyed as they only had 1 hour spare and now have to go back to work without having their chimney sweep. Why not just book morning or afternoon slots.
- Be equipped. It is hard enough finding work without having to leave a job without completing it. Make sure you have all of the tools and equipment that you require for your everyday work. Not being properly tooled for the chimney sweeping job makes you a bodger if you attempt work you dont have the kit for, it looks bad and does not instil confidence.
- Plan your working day, booking chimney sweep jobs several days ahead rather than tomorrow will allow you to properly plan a rout which can accommodate more jobs in one day. Plan your route in the shape of a horseshoe, start at point a and finish where you started. The chimney sweeping season is only a few months long in the UK and if you do not pay your bills in these months then summer will not be fun.
- Service vans and equipment before the chimney sweeping busy season starts. Well this is self explanatory but if you want to make appointments and keep your customers happy it’s a must.
- Finally do your math. do not base your charges on what some other person charges. They must be based on what your product is worth and what is required for you to make a fair profit after overheads and running costs. It is very likely that if you are charging the same sum as the next guy you will not have done your sums and will be basing your company on theirs. Well is it the same?
I hope that you find these tips as valuable as I did.
wishing you all the best and happy sweeping.