A day in the life of All Trades franchise owner

Providing a first class building repair service to insurers and their policyholders is what makes All Trades Network one of the UK’s largest and most successful building repair specialists. Based in Liverpool, Paul Dennis (pictured) has been operating an All Trades franchise with his team of dedicated tradesman for almost four years.

Early start, as normal, I like to have a little time with my children before dropping them off at school on my way to the office.

Arrive at the office, located in Bootle Liverpool, just before the main rush. My office assistant, Joe, has already arranged the day’s working order with tradesmen, who are already on their way to their respective locations.

I find myself catching up with my sub-contractors through a series of phone calls, ensuring they are all at their respective site addresses and that there are no initial problems that may hinder work progress that day.

Joe is starting to update me on any calls or emails that we have received since opening and any responses that are required by myself. We then move on to review all of the projects that are currently ongoing to ensure that all the necessary materials such as kitchens, wardrobes etc, have been ordered from our suppliers.

Time to leave the office as I manage all the site surveys, check I have the relevant paperwork, check the sat-nav and I’m away.

I arrive at the first survey of the day, this sees me looking at severe water damage from a water leak and subsequent damage to the downstairs of the property. I introduce myself to the policyholder and explain the process, more to allay any fears they may have but also to re-assure them that we will now take control and manage the project through to completion. The survey now complete, it’s off to my second property of the day.

I am now faced with a property with damage from a small but fierce kitchen fire; again I go through the same process of re-assurance, and complete a full survey of the affected area.

I have to now ensure all the information I have captured during today’s site visits is uploaded onto our bespoke management system ATOMS. The abbreviation stands for All Trades Operating Management System.

Time to go through the accounts received today, check the invoices from suppliers and specialist sub-contractors.

It’s about this time in the day that I get back in touch with all of our staff out on site. There could be as many as 15 staff in various properties around the North West and we need an up-to-date evaluation on the progress of each job.

I then review all the progress to date with my team, update ATOMS with the day-to-day progress of every project and answer queries raised through ATOMS with our clients. I also look at sourcing any materials required for tomorrow and any amend changes of work schedules.

A last minute call to a policyholder to re-assure her that we are on schedule and that we need her wallpaper choice before Friday, I’m told that they have already made their choice and that it is in stock.

Closed the office, missed the traffic. I decide to call in at B&Q to get the wallpaper, that will put us in front tomorrow – it’s always nice when you can finish a job ahead of schedule.

Home at last! Obviously being self-employed has some great advantages but one of the minor disadvantages is that your working day never really ends and I may still receive calls from policyholders making enquiries about their property repairs as it is likely that they too are returning back home after work.