Discuss CheckaTrade | MyBuilder | RatedPeople | TrustaTrader etc - Who's with what and why? in the Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

Select the online services you use to help gain you business from the internet

  • MyBuilder.com

  • Federation of Master Builders

  • CheckaTrade.com

  • RatedPeople.com

  • TrustaTrader.com

  • Which? (TrustedTraders.Which.co.uk)

  • MyJobQuote.co.uk

  • Yell.com

  • Google Paid Advertising

  • Own Website with Natural Ranking (SEO'd website)

  • Social Media (Facebook Twitter Instagram etc)

  • Word of Mouth Only for me


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Matthewd29

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I have not used any of them as luckily I've never needed them however I know people who have used them and I haven't heard a single good thing from them. They take money from you at sometimes extortionate rates in return for very little work. Not for me I'm afraid.
 
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FatAlan

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Not used any. Chucked a few leaflets out six months ago and have had several jobs. Builder that worked on my house is chucking work my way and I also appear to have lots of friends with dodgy wiring, sheds, garden lights etc that need sorting.
 
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JK-Electrical

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If registering with mybuilder, be aware that your registered name will be linked to them via google searches (which are usually towards the top of the listings) for years !, even if you never do any jobs through them. To get your name removed from their database is v.hard work which requires letter writing/signatures and its a pita. Moral of the story is dont bother in the first place !
The easiest way to beat MyBuilder at their own game is to have your own website and do whatever you need to do to get your website ranked above theirs in Google. It's not that difficult to achieve.
 
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dksanders

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CheckaTrade | MyBuilder | RatedPeople | TrustaTrader etc - Who's with what and why?

Thought I'd start a poll off to see if we can see who's with what type of rate-my-builder website, if at all. And which ones seem to work, and if they do, why etc.

I've also put some other options there to see where people are spending their time and money on marketing right now, should they not be spending it with the big few common names.

Current options are:-
My personal opinion on this, after reading so many threads on all our forums, is that they're a middle-man where one isn't needed. People who need jobs doing on their homes could search Google before they came about, and they'd find tradespeoples own websites. And it all worked fine. The full amount of money that the tradesperson charged went to their business. And it wouldn't cost much to get a website online and running well.

Now though, there's an annual charge, or a percentage of the job, going to a company that's spending millions on advertising and has directors driving around in expensive cars, salesmen on commission selling to existing customers and new ones, trying to get more listing features or whatever.

You can get yourself a website using Wordpress, and update it yourself. Optimise it quite easy. Rank in Google naturally (no paying for ads), and get business coming in from it.

Or you can work on getting your listing with one of these companies up. Some of them encourage you to email your existing customers. Which obviously means there's no assurances the feedback actually comes from genuine customers then, you just get 20 free gmail accounts and send yourself the link to leave 10 star feedback so that when people search the website, your listing looks awesome and your feedback is spot on. Not seen a single listing ever with bad feedback on any of them.

That all said, I've not got a listing with a single one of them.

So I thought I'd run a poll, and have this handy thread for others to read and contribute to ongoing.

Feel free to discuss anything at all, pricing, experience, feedback, customers, type of work coming from them, whatever.

Please be constructive should you have criticism.

If a company you're with isn't in the poll, let me know, and I'll add it.

Please feel free to vote on as many of the options as you use yourself for your marketing.


CheckaTrade | MyBuilder | RatedPeople | TrustaTrader etc - Who's with what and why?
Apart from Yell.com and my Own website, I use Trading Standards 'Buy With Confidence' scheme and also a local homewatch scheme
 
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I'll just pop this here, it may add something.

I'm retired from the trade so wont use a middle man to drum up work but I sometimes need to search out different trades due to being a house owner, gas fitters, decent brickies and so on as the need arises. I would rather wait until word of mouth gives me a heads up on a decent trades person then use a middle man site.

I have my reasons but the main one is as stated by a few here, its another chunk out of your earnings that is simply making someone else rich from your hard work, there's enough hands in pockets already. Word of mouth or the ability to show your work as on these forums cant be beat.

--
 

James

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you have missed out the option to vote for none of the above.
so I cant vote in this poll.
:(:(:(
 

JK-Electrical

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I've used MyBuilder and Rated People in the past, but for a variety of reasons, I haven't used either website for quite a while and never will again. I have no need as I'm now in a position where I can pick and choose which jobs I take on, and am fully-booked until the end of March next year. Word of mouth recommendations and repeat business is the way to go!

For those starting out, my advice would be to stay away from the parasite sites and invest your money in a website instead. Even a very basic site with two or three pages will suffice at the outset. You can always develop your website further down the line. Utilise Google My Business to the maximum. Ask your customers to post feedback for you on Google+. You'll soon get noticed by new customers, I assure you. This approach has worked wonders for me and paid handsome dividends. :)
 

Andy78

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I have only paid £40 for advertising of any kind in nearly 8 years of self employment, that was for a box of 5000 leaflets of which I pushed out about a fifth.

I tried a free trial with ratedpeople ages ago and found it to be an awful experience. They did nothing to check I was qualified or insured, and i was frequently quoting against builders for electrical work. The quality of leads was poor and the frequency sporadic. When I took them to task about their lack of quality checks they couldn't care less and said it was up to the customer to carry out due diligence.

Another problem with these sites, apart from the cost to the trader which then increases cost to the customer, are the ratings systems. they often don't let you leave poor reviews and block them in favour of putting you back in touch with the trader to sort things out, even if you don't want that. This can lead to poor traders hiding behind ratings systems which can provide the opposite of what these sites offer.

I do think that Freeindex.com has worked well for me. It's free for the basic listing and lets you build a profile with pictures of previous work and collect ratings. You feature higher up the listings based on reviews, all of which are verified.
 
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I was introduced to BNI (Business Networking International) when I set out as a sole trader almost 12years ago and I continued to be a member for over 10years before I decided to leave.

It does provide excellent word of mouth business generation, as well as provide you with direct access to a number of business owners in the area you live or work who can help you and or your business.
Some will say it costs too much and when you factor in your weekly meeting fee it cost me around £900 to £1,100 per year when I was a basic member, although if you take a Leadership Team role, your membership fees are frozen for the time you occupy one of those roles, so I only paid my membership for 7 out of the 10 years as I did three stints of a year at a time in a Leadership Team role, saving me from £500 to £650 per year.

It brought in anywhere up to 85% of my business in any one year when looking at jobs I got from the room and subsequent/related jobs I got as a result of doing the initial job. I left over a year ago and this financial year (since the start of April) I can still trace over 35% of my invoiced work directly back to BNI introductions and repeat jobs/recommendations from jobs I did that were from BNI introductions, i.e. jobs I wouldn't have done if I wasn't in BNI.

I'm not a managerial type, delegation is not something I am any good at in any shape or form, I'm too fussy about how work is done, the only other sparks I work with is the one I did my apprenticeship under and one other who was in BNI with me who I worked for a couple of times. If I was managerial then I could have continued in BNI and taken on some staff, but like I say, I'm fussy and find it difficult to delegate, so I decided it was better for me to leave BNI rather than expand my business. If I can't keep a business going after 10years of developing new customers, then I shouldn't be in the business in the first place.

I have a very basic website, it worked ok 8years ago when it was new after I got a web design company to re-do my DIY website. But, I neglected it, put no money aside for it and subsequently all it ended up doing was generating spam emails from the contact form which had no verification to stop automated web bots from spamming me through it. The website has been secured so no more spam and will be upgraded soon, so I expect to get more genuine leads from that, but the most it generated was around 10% - 15% of my revenue in it's early years, I hope the revamped site will do equally as well, if not better once I can link it in to my Facebook page.

Yell was pretty useless and I think it only ever generated 1 or 2 enquiries over the first 5years, subsequently (for the last 7years) I only ever get calls from people purporting to be from Yell wanting to verify my details and that I'm the owner of the business and trying to sell me better visibility, which I've never done, so have only ever been listed as a simple listing as a result.

I've recently started, very basically, to use Facebook, so a little early to tell how well that will work over time. But, I've had a couple of jobs from it in the couple of months I've had a basic FB presence.

I've never felt the need to join, MyBuilder, CheckaTrade, RatedPeople, TrustaTrader, WhichTrustedTraders, MyJobQuote, or any of the other similar sites aiming to help trades get more business. I much prefer word of mouth, plus as a sole trader it would take up too much of my valuable time administering my profile on these sorts of sites.

Paying to advertise on Google, be it ADs or Pay Per Click style options, has never appealed to me, costs can spiral if you're not careful, or you can spend loads on the wrong campaign and get nothing back, or at least that's what I've all to often heard back from others who have tried it. or do still use them.

Word of mouth is far more appealing, which is why I joined BNI after I went to a local meeting. The meeting starts early and wraps up before 9am so you only have a slightly late start on the morning you go. I'd recommend visiting your local BNI group, providing there isn't already an electrician in your local group. You can visit twice before you need to decide on whether you want to join and it really is worth going twice, because if its an established group with 20 or more members, it can be a lot to take in during a single visit.
BNI more than paid for itself with the work I got from it every year (it still is some 14months after I left) even though I'm no longer a member. Don't be put off by rumours you may have heard about BNI being a cult, requiring too much from it's members, or only working for certain business types. Yes, it required commitment, but if you use it as part of your business and as a tool to develop you and your business, it can be very worthwhile. Not only can you get a lot from it, in terms of personal development, a trusted circle of businesses that can help your business, but it can also benefit your business too by generating a seriously good amount of business.
If you do go, remember, you're not joining BNI as such, what you are doing is joining the other people and businesses that are already members in your local group.

Hope the long post isn't too waffly, but hopefully it may help someone else.
 
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You can fill in a form with Google and get them to remove any personal details from their listings. And then the page you say you want taken out of Google rankings will not be shown for the particular personal detail you were being shown for (i.e. your name).

That hits the website where it hurts then, it's rankings. That's the way I'd go about it.

Cheers mate, I will try that
 
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Dan

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I was introduced to BNI (Business Networking International) when I set out as a sole trader almost 12years ago and I continued to be a member for over 10years before I decided to leave.

It does provide excellent word of mouth business generation, as well as provide you with direct access to a number of business owners in the area you live or work who can help you and or your business.
Some will say it costs too much and when you factor in your weekly meeting fee it cost me around £900 to £1,100 per year when I was a basic member, although if you take a Leadership Team role, your membership fees are frozen for the time you occupy one of those roles, so I only paid my membership for 7 out of the 10 years as I did three stints of a year at a time in a Leadership Team role, saving me from £500 to £650 per year.

It brought in anywhere up to 85% of my business in any one year when looking at jobs I got from the room and subsequent/related jobs I got as a result of doing the initial job. I left over a year ago and this financial year (since the start of April) I can still trace over 35% of my invoiced work directly back to BNI introductions and repeat jobs/recommendations from jobs I did that were from BNI introductions, i.e. jobs I wouldn't have done if I wasn't in BNI.

I'm not a managerial type, delegation is not something I am any good at in any shape or form, I'm too fussy about how work is done, the only other sparks I work with is the one I did my apprenticeship under and one other who was in BNI with me who I worked for a couple of times. If I was managerial then I could have continued in BNI and taken on some staff, but like I say, I'm fussy and find it difficult to delegate, so I decided it was better for me to leave BNI rather than expand my business. If I can't keep a business going after 10years of developing new customers, then I shouldn't be in the business in the first place.

I have a very basic website, it worked ok 8years ago when it was new after I got a web design company to re-do my DIY website. But, I neglected it, put no money aside for it and subsequently all it ended up doing was generating spam emails from the contact form which had no verification to stop automated web bots from spamming me through it. The website has been secured so no more spam and will be upgraded soon, so I expect to get more genuine leads from that, but the most it generated was around 10% - 15% of my revenue in it's early years, I hope the revamped site will do equally as well, if not better once I can link it in to my Facebook page.

Yell was pretty useless and I think it only ever generated 1 or 2 enquiries over the first 5years, subsequently (for the last 7years) I only ever get calls from people purporting to be from Yell wanting to verify my details and that I'm the owner of the business and trying to sell me better visibility, which I've never done, so have only ever been listed as a simple listing as a result.

I've recently started, very basically, to use Facebook, so a little early to tell how well that will work over time. But, I've had a couple of jobs from it in the couple of months I've had a basic FB presence.

I've never felt the need to join, MyBuilder, CheckaTrade, RatedPeople, TrustaTrader, WhichTrustedTraders, MyJobQuote, or any of the other similar sites aiming to help trades get more business. I much prefer word of mouth, plus as a sole trader it would take up too much of my valuable time administering my profile on these sorts of sites.

Paying to advertise on Google, be it ADs or Pay Per Click style options, has never appealed to me, costs can spiral if you're not careful, or you can spend loads on the wrong campaign and get nothing back, or at least that's what I've all to often heard back from others who have tried it. or do still use them.

Word of mouth is far more appealing, which is why I joined BNI after I went to a local meeting. The meeting starts early and wraps up before 9am so you only have a slightly late start on the morning you go. I'd recommend visiting your local BNI group, providing there isn't already an electrician in your local group. You can visit twice before you need to decide on whether you want to join and it really is worth going twice, because if its an established group with 20 or more members, it can be a lot to take in during a single visit.
BNI more than paid for itself with the work I got from it every year (it still is some 14months after I left) even though I'm no longer a member. Don't be put off by rumours you may have heard about BNI being a cult, requiring too much from it's members, or only working for certain business types. Yes, it required commitment, but if you use it as part of your business and as a tool to develop you and your business, it can be very worthwhile. Not only can you get a lot from it, in terms of personal development, a trusted circle of businesses that can help your business, but it can also benefit your business too by generating a seriously good amount of business.
If you do go, remember, you're not joining BNI as such, what you are doing is joining the other people and businesses that are already members in your local group.

Hope the long post isn't too waffly, but hopefully it may help someone else.
Brilliant post. Not too waffly at all. :)
 

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