In 2019 Danny Lyons won the Best Roofer Category at the inaugural Tradesperson of the Year Awards, partly due to his impressive portfolio of completed projects. We caught up with him to find out how winning the Fix Radio gong helped win work and raise the profile of this business.
Fix Radio: How has business been since you have won the award?
Danny Lyons: We’ve been getting a lot more inquiries, which really helps. It has given us the opportunity to price and do some really good quality jobs. That has led to a couple of other shortlists in other roofing awards, which has really helped as well.
Fix Radio: What made you put your nomination in for the Fix Radio Awards?
Lyons: Somebody I knew mentioned the Fix Radio Tradesperson of the Year Awards and nominated me.
Fix Radio: How has that changed your business?
Lyons: It just gave me the confidence to put work in for more awards. It gave me a lot more confidence to put myself forward for awards, with a lot of success.
Certainly, it has heightened my profile.
I didn’t expect to win this award, but it certainly has been a catalyst for my business.
Fix Radio: What did you include in your nomination so you would stand out from the others?
Lyons: I had finished an important job for English Heritage, a local place near to where we live. It was an old lord’s house and it had old Westmoreland slates coming off and we had to put them back on. There was also a band of diminishing slating. It was such a great job, I’m privileged to have done it.
We do a bit of heritage, and that is my preferred sector to work in. It is a bit more interesting to work in.
Fix Radio: You have won the award, you have a thriving business, you’re doing very well – what sort of business advice would you give to other tradespeople?
Lyons: Know the market that you’re in and know your worth… Too often it is a race to the bottom, and all this achieves is lower rates and standards.
And don’t be shy to ask for advice!
Fix Radio: Who do you ask for advice?
Lyons: Other people that I used to work with and who run their own roofing companies. People that really know in the building trade, who I respect.
Anyone who is doing well, is worth asking for advice.
Fix Radio: Knowing the value of your own work is an important message for anybody in the trades. How do you go about doing that?
Lyons: It is about confidence that you are good at what you do. I suppose it is just knowing what you’re worth and what you’re doing.
Always try to do a good job and keep your standards high.
Quite often in the building trades, it is quite easy to get hammered down on pricing.
Fix Radio: How do you stop that happening? How do you protect your rate?
Lyons: Things like winning awards – like the Fix Radio [award] – that helps.
It is getting a good reputation. It helps getting a portfolio of work, getting a good website so all your jobs are on your site.
It all helps incredibly to increase your profile [so] you can charge a little bit more money for doing a better job.
Fix Radio: Are customers price sensitive when it comes to pricing roofing jobs?
Lyons: They can be price sensitive. But you have to do a good job and don’t decrease your price. Customers expect a Rolls-Royce job, but they don’t want to pay a Rolls-Royce price.
If the customer wants a good job done, they have to realise that it costs good money.
Fix Radio: What advice would you give an apprentice starting out in the trades?
Lyons: There are great opportunities for young people – there is a shortage of good quality tradespeople. You need to be reliable and present yourself well.
Don’t be afraid of hard work – anything worth anything, is hard work. Stick with it because it is worth it in the long run.
Learn as much as possible and keep learning – I am still learning. Listen to the old guys on site, they are the ones with the experience.