Hustling for Work

Tips on scouting for jobs to make ends meet during slow times. April 24, 2009

I have posted here in the past along the lines of having a hard time finding work. Guess we are all in the same boat which is disappointing considering the investment we have all made in learning this technical trade. Anyway, I thought I would ask if anybody out there has found any quick and dirty way of generating work for the short run. I don't care if it's putting in a screen door! I've tried putting flyers up with BC's on local bulletin boards. People have taken them but no calls as of yet. If anybody in the Roanoke, VA area has work they don't want or a little out of their trade I would love to hear from you. Any help is appreciated.

Forum Responses
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor P:
Here are three things that have worked for me.

1. Go to your municipal office and look threw the building permit applications, writing down any good ones. Don't overlook smaller renovation projects. In some areas you can subscribe to a weekly update on all building permits in your municipality and surrounding ones. You can send out cards and flyers to them or if you have time knock on their door and show your face.

2. Everywhere you go, go armed with flyers and business cards. Every time you see a building jobsite stop in and show you face. Do your sales thing. Ask if the property owner or contractor is there. If you have time and can afford the gas go looking for jobsites.

3. Compile a list of builders, interior designers, architects, using the internet, phonebook, networking, and etc. Send e-mails or letters and brochures or perhaps visit in person if you have the time and gas. These are three ways that have been successful for me. Remember just keep throwing as much spaghetti against the wall as possible and eventually some of it will stick. Just don't give up. You should have some sort of a website as an extension of your business card and brochure.

From contributor J:
A free one is Craigslist. I have two jobs in the works right now from running an ad there. Iím not getting anything from a yellow page ad. Waiting for the phone to ring will drive you nuts. Get out and visit jobs sites, and don't let the rejection get to you from builders and home owners. Now days it seems every builder and home owner has a relative that is a cabinet maker. Try not to pass on smaller jobs, often they lead to larger ones.

From contributor Z:
I disagree with those who say never give away your drawings. I regularly spend two to four hours on speculative drawings in order to document a bid proposal. I do it for a variety of reasons. It makes me more informed about the project when it comes time to chat it up. It simplifies the project in my mind so that I can bid it a little lower if I need to.
It shows interest to the customer.

There's a lot of good ju-ju associated with showing excitement for somebody else's cause. Think of how much an employee would stand out with just such a simple expression. In the customer's mind you're someone they want to employ and they need a good reason to select you. It's very seldom about price or they would be buying from the box stores. It's more about how they feel about you and this gives you a chance to stand out.

From contributor U:
I have also received some jobs through Craigslist. As was previously mentioned I think it works best to put up an ad with HTML, pictures and links back to your web site. There are also a number of other free classified sites on the web. Just do a quick search for them.