Dave was created as an example of a typical general builder customer. I was asked to summarise his likes, dislikes and what he liked to follow in social media using an informal tone of voice that suited the profile.

Who I am

  • I’m in my forties.
  • Prefer ‘builder’ to ‘business owner’.
  • My dad got me into the trade and my son is joining me too.
  • I employ up to 3 full-timers and get subbies in for big jobs.
  • My reputation is important to me.
  • I’m down to earth, but also up for a laugh.

What I do

  • I get work by word of mouth.
  • I might get the odd job from referral websites or ads in the locals.
  • My jobs vary from general repairs and maintenance to extensions and full house builds. You name it.
  • Big or complex jobs – I’ll call in a specialist trade subby, who’s a mate.
  • I often have two or more jobs on the go.

How I want you to talk to me

  • I prefer face to face and the phone.
  • I can pick up emails, texts and direct mail when it suits me, but I don’t want loads.
  • I prefer straight talking and enjoy some banter.
  • I’m on Facebook mainly to keep in touch with my mates and family.
  • I follow: On The Tools, LADbible, SPORTbible, Sky Sports, My local football club, BBC Sport, News.

How I buy

  • I use several suppliers, have around 6 credit accounts and 1 cash.
  • I use the internet for checking stock availability and prices.
  • If I buy online, it’s usually smaller products.
  • I use brochures and websites to help customers choose what they want.
  • Heavyside products come first.
  • I quote for the whole job, but buy as I go for each stage. Storage and cash flow is an issue otherwise.

What my challenges are

  • I hate paperwork and do my quotes during evenings or weekends.
  • There can be uncertainty around income, the economy, the weather, product shortages and the amount of work.
  • My jobs can be unpredictable and I get frustated with customers changing their minds.
  • H&S and employment legislation is a minefield.
  • Delays can mean the job goes on longer than expected, which can impact on the next job.

What I want

  • I want customer referrals to get jobs in the pipeline.
  • I want prices to suit that are consistent and competitive.
  • I need a quick turnaround on quotes and quick service that goes the extra mile.

What I enjoy

  • I like being my own boss, and jobs and hours to suit.
  • I’ve got a good crowd of mates in the trade.
  • I enjoy a drink down the pub, sports and cars.
  • I want the right amount of essential heavyside items, when needed.
  • I want to know about delays.
  • I expect suppliers to be quick problem solvers, open, and to take ownership of my order.