The phrases “locally grown” and “family-owned” are often the kind you’d see draped across a banner at a pop-up food fair, but it’s not just the hospitality sector that needs a little bit of local love in the days of COVID.
Whether you’re looking for a heating engineer to service your boiler, a plumber to change the taps in your bathroom or an electrician to rewire your house, there are bound to be local independent contractors ready and waiting to offer their services.
But why do so many people still choose to go with the major national companies? They might be able to offer slightly better rates and they might have a big name behind them, but we’re here to dispel some myths and underline just how much better it is to hire locally for all your contracting needs.
1. You know where they are
If you live in Cambridge and you hire an electrician based in Cambridge then you know you’re only going to be a short drive away from their shop.
So, if you want to meet somebody face-to-face (at a safe social distance, of course) before hiring them it’s easy to do so.
It’s also that much easier to talk to a local company and you can have a real conversation face-to-face that you just wouldn’t be able to have over email or the phone.
2. Recommendations you can trust
If you’re looking for a heating engineer because you’re not getting much hot water from the hot tap, the first place you usually look is family and friends for recommendations.
First-hand experiences are so much more dependable than Yelp reviews, after all. With a local contractor, you’re far more likely to have had them recommended to you by someone you trust.
3. Keeping it local
As a fringe benefit, consider that you’re doing a service to your local community. Because if you invest in a local contractor’s services, they will, in turn, be investing that money back into the local economy.
With COVID causing so many local economies to close ranks, this has never been a more important factor to consider.
4. They know the area
If they are local then they know the limitations and benefits of the area, they know where to get the best deals on trade tools and they will be aware of local building regulations.
Everything is always going to run smoother if they are as familiar with the area as you are. As they are close by, they are also more likely to know where you are, so will be able to get to you a lot faster if you’re faced with an emergency.
5. The personal touch
Finally, there’s an almost imperceptible ‘something extra’ that you’ll always get from a local independent contractor that you won’t get anywhere else.
Go local and you’ll hopefully get to know the tradesperson in question and develop a relationship that could last years.
That relationship is one that you would never be able to cultivate by talking with a major national company. You’d probably be talking to a different person every time you picked up the phone.
So, next time you’re in the market for some work and you’re looking for a tradesperson, why not ignore the social media adverts and ask your mum instead?