Do you take snagging on projects personally?

Do you take snagging on projects personally?

The True Cost Of Snagging: How This One Problem Affects Every Decorator

Snagging is the bane of our lives and affects the whole decorating industry. Initially, the term comes from the building aspect. Snagging is usually something that architects and contractors do; they go around looking for defects before handing over a finished project. It is a word used widely within any part of our industry, and it’s something within the growth club that we’ve touched on before but more so through the mentor program. It’s something that I want to spend more time on, and we need to talk about it more as a collective voice. 

I suppose the concept is that we need to build a better idea of what is fair, or the word that a judge would use is “reasonable”. As long as what we deem to be reasonable is what we offer our clients. As long as this is communicated at every stage, i.e. the beginning of the project, or even at the introduction stage, quoting stage, in our terms & conditions, throughout the project, the end of the project, and finally, in our invoice then this should help minimise or eradicate the “snagging” portion of each project.

There’s too much on the side of the client’s perspective regarding what they want and what they paid for. These views are just an idea, and I’m interested to see what you guys think about snagging. Do you take it personally? That’s the first thing: when you get a snagging list, do you feel like saying – Oh, my God! Or you say to the client or contractor – here’s a roll of tape, only to find they go crazy, and the next thing, the snagging is just out of hand! 

How do we first deal with snagging part of each project? What’s the best course of action? 

What do you do? 

Do you ask for a list? 

Do you get them to go around and put tape on areas they think need attention?

What is the best way of identifying snagging? How do we deal with snagging, you know, are some of the snags legitimate or are some of them unreasonable? Just like the client’s expectations are unmanageable on some occasions? And this only happens at the end when there’s a finite outcome, usually the final invoice.

So what I want to do is this is something we’re going to discuss in-depth in the pro members group. The more people are involved in this over time, the better the outcome will be as a collective. Because, at the moment, it’s left to the client’s discretion.

That’s not a good move for a business owner, and you are leaving yourself open to all sorts. There’s a level of expectation, and it’s something that I’ve always said that we need to collectively re-design, deliver and communicate a clear understanding to a customer of the level of expectation. Clients can have more if they want to, and the levels need to be managed and priced accordingly.

We’ve had plenty of jobs, and I’ll show you some videos moving forward of projects where the snagging technically got out of hand. That was mismanagement from my side on reflection, and I should have highlighted the level of expectation at the beginning. I needed to manage it better. It got awkward, and what the client thought they were paying for was far higher than I had priced or was possible with the substrate and scenario we were working with.  

Is it snagging or is it chargeable?

You know, are those items additional, are there chargeable, reasonable, and achievable? So there are many questions here, and as I have said, I would love to know your take on snagging. I don’t want any negativity here because you see this a lot in other groups. The response to snagging questions is usually: “haha, snagging lasts as long as it takes to wheel-spin out the driveway” or “snagging lasts as long as I get paid.

That’s not how you run a business. All of that is nonsense because you tell me that if a client isn’t happy, you don’t go back and rectify it? Most decorators run on word of mouth, most work in a geographic location, most work around a central hub, and it doesn’t take long for a bad reputation.

And if the word gets around, it will harm your business and travels faster than good news, I’ll tell you. So when you ask this kind of question in another group, you don’t get good answers, and they are the answers I am looking to get. I’m trying to identify what snagging is, the client’s perception and what we perceive as snagging.

Why do we hate it? Do we hate it? Do we take it personally? It can be a touchy subject for many decorators, making them shudder. What I want to figure out first before we work it out is how we can communicate to our customers better so that snagging becomes just part of the business. We need to clearly understand what it looks like and how it’s dealt with, and equally from the client’s perspective, how do they deal with it and what is the, let’s say, payment process?

Do we remove snagging completely?

Do we change the name? Do we try and eradicate the name snagging entirely? I know you can’t eradicate it from the industry, but we could eradicate it from the customers we do business with. There’s no reason we couldn’t eradicate it from the customers that we want to work for.

And that falls on us; it’s a collective. I have some great ideas and things we’ve implemented over the years that have helped us and others through the mentor programme. 

I’ll start the ball rolling and give you some ideas we have. Let’s try and build from that. Then we’ll send the information out as a group, test it, and trial it in 2023.

How does snagging start to become better for us? To drop our stress levels, reduce our anxiety, and remove the knot in our stomach at the project’s end when you hand the final invoice in.

I don’t take snagging personally. Oh, trust me, I bloody did! Lyndsey does most of our snagging, and I know she takes it personally. I’ve had to learn not to because it genuinely used to eat me up! It probably eats you guys up too. So, how do we remove the stress factor? Because we know that it doesn’t matter what we’ve done up to that point.

The clients are always great and then at the end comes that final invoice: Payment = Snagging. Sort out the snagging, and we will pay you. How do we deal with that? And don’t get me started on – “I don’t get snagging” because that’s a different conversation.

And that is where you have delivered more value than you’ve quoted! What I’m saying here is that some people go too far. That’s a different conversation, and I’ll bring that up in another video. So let’s focus on snagging, and then we’re going to talk about the expectation level.

Keep an eye out for another video that I have done called value over vanity. 

How do we work collectively to eradicate and bring our stress levels down? How do we take control of this part of our business in 2023? This is a biggie for me, and it’s a biggie for every single decorator in the UK. 

This is where the Decorators Growth Club Pro Members group comes into play. We discuss many things, including this topic, and decide on how to move forward within our businesses.

This is just one of the topics that we chat about in the Decorators Growth Club. If you are interested but don’t want to part with any money then check out the decorator’s growth club FREE group where we post lots of great tips that can help us make more money, BUT the best way to get even more help and guidance is to join the Pro Members Group for only £25 a month.


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