Be prepared, clean and tidy and take pride in your work were the essential pieces of advice shared with Walsall College painting and decorating students by two business partners and former learners.
Nathan Chambers and Alan Hall, owners of Chambers and Hall spoke to Level 1 and 2 students about the secrets of their success, as well as the advantages of being self-employed.
The 29 and 28-year-olds studied painting and decorating at the college between 2011 and 2014, while forming the idea of setting up in business together. With their lecturers’ support, this became a reality in 2015.
Within a few years of trading, they returned to study maintenance operations as a way of providing additional home improvement services to clients.
“Nathan and I agree that the practical skills and professional work ethic we were taught at the college is something we carry with us to this day,” said Alan. “Self-employment is an effective and viable route for many going into construction trades. Once you’ve built up a solid client base through word of mouth and use the right marketing channels, including social media, you have a job for life you’ll always enjoy.”
He continued: “We were happy to share our experiences of college and working life with the learners and hope to offer work placements to them in future.”
Nathan and Alan also went through some of the different decorating jobs they had completed in homes across the area. They shared advice on providing quotes for jobs based on the length of the job, materials and labour costs.
Nathan added: “We wanted the students to see that each one of them is capable of setting up on their own. They need tom develop the relevant practical skills and back this up by being reliable, able to plan and manage their work and have an attitude where they make every job they do the best it can possibly be.
“The more encouragement people receive when starting out, the better their chances of making it. This is why Alan and I hope to continue supporting the students and seeing them progress.”