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Saturday, August 11, 2007

The square deal?

What do you make of these two lines, the bottom paragraphs in an excerpt from Get Smarter -- Life and Business Lessons by Seymour Schulich, quoted in the National Post?

Contractors (especially when conditions are booming) love to get a big deposit (say, 50 per cent). And when t hey do, they have you hostage. This ties you up to them. They then show up intermittently as they juggle several jobs.

"Getting a square deal with contractors is an art form best left to
professionals such a s builders or architects

Schulich is a billionaire. He says the things that destroy executives are ego, greed, alcohol and drugs, and "assistants with big breasts". But what is he saying about contractors -- inferentially, the trades?

Do his opinions reflect reality, or do they more accurately represent the perception of the sub trades by outsiders not familiar with the real challenges in operating a trade contracting business and juggling several jobs at the same time, all of which must be completed 'yesterday'. Yet he also is asking a marketing question. Say, you have somehow found a way to overcome these issues -- that is, you can put your guys on the job, exactly when and where needed, and handle call-backs quickly and with almost no delay, would that be a powerful marketing advantage? (Of course, it i s nice in theory, but try to find the workers to do the job when you need them!)

P.S. We've introduced a new employment job board resource, at present in Ottawa and North Carolina. It is free for anyone who has done business with us as an advertiser in the past.)

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