Thoughts on Business Idea

(4 Posts)
jahm123 Thu 08-May-14 06:39:42

Hello everyone. If you had time please could you give me your thoughts on this business idea!

I am a surveyor and currently have 10yrs + running my own construction and interior design business in the SE of England and London.

Given the building industry is so notorious with great potential for things to go wrong, I have over the years had no shortage of requests for advice on the build and refurbishment process.

In short I planned to offer the following

•Simple online bible or crib sheet taking the best bits of all the information that are currently available online, summarising it into easy to read sections and offering it online for people to download and read.
For a cost we would also the offer the following

•Directories with recommended suppliers for fixtures and fitting at the lowest genuine wholesale prices guaranteeing savings to the general public

•Hand holding service - If you were undertaking a refurbishment we would be available by phone or email to answer any questions that arise during the process. Queries would be dealt with by specialists in the field

•Templates and checklists to help with all aspects of the process

•Directory of architects, contractors, surveyors, building control officers, engineers showing feedback and also allowing quotes to be obtained all in one place

•Access to online simple project management tools allowing efficient management of your project

Would you, as possible target audience pay a monthly fee for a service like this?

OP’s posts: |
AnimatedDad Thu 08-May-14 07:23:05

there are free services doing most of what you're talking about.
(rated people etc) and for the stuff you'd pay for you'd want the guarantee that you could sue if the advice wasn't right I think.

it might be a service you could offer small builders - who are always taking on bigger jobs than they can really handle and might welcome something that offered project. management advice without the cost of employing one, but for me (currently in the middle of an extension build) id look at the site if it was free but I wouldn't add it to the big pile of people I already have to pay money to.

flymo79 Thu 08-May-14 15:37:05

agree with animateddad, added to which I would think that construction types aren't so down with the IT/e-book world, otherwise I would really think you had something there. A friend of mine tried similar and no-one wanted to pay out for what they could access themselves for free, unless I'm missing the point..? Perhaps ask previous clients..? A major frustration for me with using small construction outfits is that they always seem unable to project manage, things that seem really obvious to me about planning ahead just don't get done (and I'm the client), I can see it coming and end up asking "shouldn't you be ordering that now?", but I know their margins are too tight to allow them to take on project management expertise. They just don't see the point, because the job taking longer could actually earn them more, if that's a day when they're not as productive, so be it, but I would see it as a loss if the client didn't come back in the long run because they were fed up with all the waiting around and arse-scratching!!
All this being said, if you do start something up in the SE let me know!

cricketpitch Thu 08-May-14 22:20:58

I have done a couple of extensions and used a good builder who did most of the project management.

I agree with AnimatedDad about not wanting to pay more money out.

I got a lot of that stuff on line for free and paid for specific advice from specific professionals.

I would expect my surveyor/ builder/ designer to cover most of the questions you mentioned. As for referrals - they tended to recommend each other, (the designer recommended the builder and the surveyor and the builder recommended the decorator), it isn't in their interests to pass on bad referrals.

I might pay for a "surveyor with bells on" - so the initial stuff, (party walls, structural surveys etc), and availability to answer other related questions for a small fee as and when. NOT a monthly cost though.

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