Regardless of your trade, it’s a good idea to surround yourself with people who share your ideals, your work ethic, and your passion for the work. This is why joining a trade association body can be so beneficial.
A trade association is a collective spokesperson for the sector. For a minimal subscription fee, it affords members the inherent gravitas that comes with being a member and access to numerous useful services and products.
Whether you work in commercial scaffolding, as a bricklayer or even as an engineer, there is bound to be a trade body that’s suitable for you. Here, we’ll explore exactly what the benefits might look like.
A client’s trust is worth its weight in gold for all skilled trades. Word of mouth is a powerful advertisement, particularly in small towns where everybody knows everybody, and good tradesmen can enjoy plenty of repeat business. However, if you’ve never done any work for a client before, building that initial trust is much easier if you’re a member of a verified trade association.
When clients are comparing contractors, they are more likely to go with those that are members of a trade association, as membership of a trade body is seen as reliable proof of professionalism and trustworthiness.
Regulations and best practices in construction are constantly changing. Whether its changes made to adapt to shifting technologies, safety rules, or simply more modern ways of thinking, it is important to keep up to date with the latest movements in your trade. Being a trade association member is the best way to make sure you are kept abreast of current news, reports, and trends.
As well as making existing clients feel more secure in your services, joining a trade association can give you access to fresh potential leads too. An established trade association will receive many enquiries on a daily or weekly basis and these enquiries will be passed on to members. Being a member means your contact info will be circulated amongst local authorities and those looking for subcontractors.
It’s also handy as a means of networking with other tradesmen and sharing client lists, ideas and more. There will be regular national and regional meetings to attend, as well as a number of opportunities for specialist advice regarding everything from technical standards and legal/financial matters to recruitment. This is advice that would set you back a small fortune elsewhere.
The advice, the community, the contacts, and the trust you’ll get as a trade association member is more than worth the cost as long as you’re willing to put the effort in. For your membership fee, you’ll also become a member of an association of potential negotiators who should be able to grab some seriously impressive discounts on tools and hardware.
There are many broader construction trade associations to consider such as Construction Line and CHAS, but we would recommend a specialist association. A specialist group will probably be more affordable and able to fully meet your needs.
Taking the UK scaffolding industry as an example, the two most popular trade bodies are The Scaffolding Association and NASC, both of which offer similar services at three levels of membership. Most other sectors within the construction industry will also have a number of their own specific trade associations, which can be found easily online.
Whichever option you choose, every tradesman will benefit from being a trade association member. Whilst you might assume as a sole trader or small business owner that it might not be worthwhile, the peace of mind, the information, and the contacts are always invaluable.