Generally, around this time of the year in the lead up to the end of financial year, our larger clients come to us and tell us that we need to get more work done because there is a budget to spend. Although it is little stress full finding in a hurry additional resources, it is also a lovely way to start the new financial year.
Some of you still may have received these calls, but I also know that many of you have had very different calls. Budget spend has become a different conversation under the lens of COVID-19.
These calls may have sounded more like; “Sorry, but do not come back to the worksite on Tuesday we have no budget spend left for the project in this financial year”. We received some of the later ones this week.
But as Richard form Treetools likes to say everything comes with, some good, some bad and some ugly. I will not go into the details of the bad and the ugly as you all have made your own experiences during this time.
But what good can this call have for a business?
Well, it means you have now resources available for clients that you were previously unable to service. It is an opportunity to create new business relationships. Or to try new ways of doing business and to explore work opportunities.
I understand that this is not always easy, but it is better than giving up without a fight. Where one budget drys up generally somewhere else, a new budget is formed.
Other budgets have been increased to get through the backlog of work created by the nearly five weeks of lock down. I can only encourage you to hold on to your staff and to get on the phone and find those budgets and that budget spend.
Supporting local businesses has never been more critical
I also want to ask the managers in charge of those budgets and that budget spend to give new contractors and subcontractors a chance.
If you do not have the resources in house, it is more important then ever to look for additional resources outside your organisation. No spend means more people without jobs, and people without jobs means a weaker economy and therefore less jobs in the future as people’s positions get more tenuous and risky.
I also know about the worries managers always face when bringing on new contactors. Some of the questions that run through my head are:
- Are they going to perform? Or is just going to be more work for me?
- Are they going to work to our health and safety standard? Or are we increasing our liability unnecessarily?
- Simply said; is it going to be worth the extra work? Is the subcontractor going to make us money?
One tool that I use to determine the above is the following checklist. I ask these questions to determine if the contractor has the necessary structure to create the foundation of being reliable.
- How are you going to communicate with us?
- How are you going to keep us up to date with the progress on the project?
- How are you going to communicate any incidences?
- What are your back-up resources if something does not go to plan?
- What are your payment terms?
All these questions are followed up by more specific questions that explain our expectations (terms). The process is very similar to a well-planned job interview.
I have been a subcontractor in arboriculture since 2001. Starting in Berlin Germany and continuing in Auckland New Zealand since 2009. Since 2017 we have been a subcontractor to Treescape on the Auckland Council contract.
With our years of experience being a small fish in a big pond, satisfying the needs of the big fish, we understand what it takes to meet the client’s expectation.
Pro Climb has an exceptional track record working with and for other arboricultural contractors and vegetation management companies.
So if you need a hand, give us a call.
We are here to help.