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Screwfix and Daily Star launch ‘Britain’s Top Tradesman 2012’ competition

CALLING all builders, plumbers and white van men!

Today we are launching the Daily Star and Screwfix hunt to find Britain’s Top Tradesman for 2012.

Whether you are a brickie, sparky, plumber or chippy – or simply a man with a van – you could become the third star of the contracting world to hold the prized title.

And this year we have upped the stakes.

As well as winning the title which will make you stand head and shoulders above any other in the tradesman’s directory, you will also land a coveted £27,000 (on the road) Renault van, helping you present yourself in a more professional way.

Last year’s winner, Paul Martin, 37, a boiler fitter from Billericay, Essex, says the competition has changed his life and reinvigorated his business.

He explains: “It makes me look like a well-known company – it gives customers confidence and the new van with my name and title down the side definitely gives me a more professional outlook.”

Paul drove away with the winner’s prize thanks to his dedication to customer service, his obsession with value and his never-say-die attitude to seeing the job through – even on an occasion where he had to rush a customer to the hospital halfway through doing a job. He says: “At one call-out an elderly lady answered the door and she looked really ill. Her lips were bright blue. I drove her to hospital and waited with her as she had no family nearby.

“I got a parking ticket and was docked hours by the firm I was working for. But at least she was OK!”

Paul, whose wife Marina mans the phones back in the office, has been able to secure a more certain future for himself and his two kids – Abigail, seven, and James, five.

His old van had done 160,000 miles with a leaky fuel pump and the money he has saved on replacing it has been reinvested in his business.

He says: “It has saved me a fortune. With the money I have put myself on an NICEIC electrician’s course so I have another income if the boiler work isn’t coming in.”

Last year, Paul became the second lucky fella to be crowned Britain’s Top Tradesman after builder Andy Hunneybel became the inaugural winner in 2010.

And with times ever harder for Britain’s army of hard-working tradesmen, there’s never been a better time to try to give your business a boost.

Our 2011 winner says this is the only award of its kind in the industry and waves a banner for the building business.

“It gives tradesmen a bit of recognition,” explains Paul. “The only time you read about traders in the media is if they are cowboys or rip-off merchants.

“I know how hard it is to survive out there and I know there are a huge number of grafters doing a really good job in difficult circumstances and so I was extremely surprised to win.”

By taking just a few minutes to fill out a form, you could be in with a chance if you impress our judges.

This year’s title-holder has these words of advice for wannabe winners.

He says: “Don’t just scribble in the form. Especially with the first part, make it interesting, show your personality and throw in a few good anecdotes. Don’t try to be too cheeky but demonstrate the type of service your customers get.

The judges want a good guy who typifies the die-hard British tradesman.”

Make sure you get a chance to be on the podium at this year’s builders’ Olympics.

To enter, you can go to any Screwfix store and pick up a form. Entries are open until October 5, 2012.

Source : Daily Star/Screwfix

04 September 2012
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