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I am aware that I should be putting on another layer of clothing as the weather is getting decidedly cooler, especially first thing and in the evenings. Before you know it winter will be upon us.

With the frequent cold snaps we experienced last winter there was a notable increase in the number of burst pipes. Now, if you are lucky enough to actually be a plumber then this won’t present a problem for you. At least I hope it won’t!

For those of us who aren’t plumbers, here’s a quick check list to help you minimise damage and get the problem sorted quickly.

Dealing with a burst pipe:

1. Turn off the water supply at the stopcock
2. Open up all the taps to cut the danger of flooding

I know how important cash flow is to any business. If you are looking to buy a new van, for example, you will probably want to work out what it is going to cost you on a monthly basis.

You can then factor in the loan repayment or rental, tax and insurance and get your vehicle on the road as soon as possible, hassle free and at a monthly figure you can afford.

I understand this model, which is why we’ve developed our PIP packages to enable you to get a fantastic new website up and running at an affordable monthly cost.

PIP stands for:
Professional Image Package

How do homeowners choose a tradesman? What impresses them? And what really puts them off?

Powered Now, an admin app for tradespeople, carried out a survey of over 1,000 homeowners and the results make interesting reading for small businesses. Here are the headline points:

• Choosing a tradesman – 50% of respondents saw reputation as paramount when choosing a tradesman. The next two factors were availability to start a job and the price.

• What method of marketing – following on from the previous question, 70% of homeowners appointed people on personal recommendations or from previous experience of the workman.

I know that being a tradesman can be a hard slog at times but you should always remember the lighter moments. MyBuilder.com often features amusing stories supplied by their readers.
Here are a couple of instances when you might think the customer isn’t always right, for a change.

Cutting Remarks
One tradesman recently installed a maintenance-free garden, complete with artificial lawn. He was surprised when the client asked how often it would need cutting.
He was even more amazed when his apprentice immediately chipped in with “Yeah, I was wondering the same”.

A ‘Hole’ Different Question
Another was working in Devon, creating a delightful specialist wildlife pond. Unsurprisingly there was a lot of earth that needed removing from the site, some 30 tonnes in fact, and he ordered a grab lorry for the job, having included the cost in his quote.

I know that a lot of people gain great satisfaction from carrying out home improvements and general DIY jobs. However, you and I also know that they are capable of making a huge mess of the simplest of jobs.

They need to be aware of the inherent dangers for the amateur if things go wrong. They could find themselves one of the estimated 222,000 DIYers who end up in hospital each year. That statistic is provided by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RSoPA) and they should know!

So what are the most common dangers encountered by an intrepid DIY fan and how might they get injured? Here are the most likely causes of accidents:


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