Our Certified Plasterer Scheme has been set up to give plasterers in the residential sector the tools to stand out from the crowd, move past the ‘lower price wins’ discussions and help earn greater rewards. In this blog we look back on the past twelve months of the scheme and catch up with some of its members to understand what it is they value most from being on the scheme.
Aaron Pearson, Alison Bates, Ian Grayson, and Mark Hardman talk us through their thoughts and experiences of the Certified Plasterer Scheme.
Joining the scheme
Alison Bates discovered the scheme via social media and sees it, along with other online forums and channels, as a route to interact with fellow plasterers in what can sometimes be an otherwise solitary trade. Mark Hardman concurs, stating, “It benefits my social networking. It is like one big happy family really.”
Mark, who has been a member from the beginning, talks about how he discovered the scheme, “When I made enquiries about joining the scheme Gary Blackburn immediately got in contact with me. I knew Gary prior to joining the scheme through the Facebook groups and his time as a former lecturer at Wigan College.”
It was British Gypsum’s Plasterer Demonstrator Paul Mulinganie who inspired Ian Grayson to join the scheme, he said, “I responded to something on social media and Paul Mulinganie came out to me straight away. He got me to try ThistlePro PureFinish and the rest is history.”
Benefits of the scheme
The general consensus is that a plasterer will get as much out of the scheme as they are willing to put in, with some of the main benefits being; the reassurance for the customer, that they are choosing a reputable tradesperson and the direct access to expert advice and knowledge.
For Mark, you can’t beat the product knowledge and technical support that British Gypsum provide and the advantages for potential clients, “it gives customers peace of mind that someone has been accredited and that their details have been checked and validated. It means the general public knows that someone is a real tradesman and not just a name in the phonebook.”
Aaron concurs, commenting, “I find it sometimes gives customers that peace of mind that we are genuine, premium plasterers and the two-year guarantee we can offer them can also be really effective.”
And for Ian, “It is the advice I receive from the Plaster Demonstrators. They make themselves really accessible and now, as I continue to grow my business, they continue to support me in any way they can.”
Setting yourself apart
Members of the scheme are familiar with the performance plasters and are often the first to offer these materials to their clients. This means they are staying ahead of the game, helping them win business as they could offer materials others weren’t aware of and can price the job higher.
Ian points out, “I will definitely be continuing with the scheme. It’s things like ThistlePro PureFinish – I have been using it for a year already, but many in the industry are just catching onto it now. To be in that position of being one of the first to use new products is invaluable."
Aaron is aware that as a premium plasterer he's probably more expensive than some of his competition. However, experience has taught him that clients are willing to pay more for that extra quality and added security. Mark also finds this is the case, “I don’t see any problem in asking for 10%, 15% or even 20% more than you would normally. Why can’t a plasterer charge more if they are using a premium product? Once you start doing these quality jobs with quality products, one job leads to another and your customer base builds up thanks to the products you are using."
Mark concludes, “The scheme has equipped me with cutting edge knowledge about the latest products and technology. I will definitely be renewing my membership because of the technical support and guidance it provides but also the access to new products, events and social networking.”
Looking forward to the next 12 months we have lots in the pipeline. The most exciting of these is our new Certified Plasterer hub where members will now have direct access to the scheme’s benefits all in one place. Watch this space for more updates.
To learn more about the scheme and to register your interest, please visit: The British Gypsum Certified Plasterer Scheme.