According to a new study, UK tradesmen earn more on average than university graduates, with bricklayers and roofers earning £42,000 a year. If you’re looking for a way to bolster your income as a self-employed tradesperson, we’ve got you covered. Below, we’ve put together some top tips to help you get started and change the way you run your business.

Be smart with payments

One of the biggest challenges those working in the trade face is late payments and unpaid invoices. One of the best ways to increase your income is to ensure you’re paid on time and in full for every job you complete, so consider changing your payment terms and asking your clients to pay upfront. Alternatively, you could use a tradesmen payments service such as PongoPay to reduce risk. It works by collecting money from your client when the job starts, giving you peace of mind, and you can request the payment to be released once you’ve finished the job, reducing the chances of non-payment and making disputes much easier.

Market yourself properly

You’ve got the skills, but unless you’ve got the business coming in, you’re not going to earn anything! A good tradesperson will be busy throughout the year, working five days a week. If you’re not, invest in a digital marketing strategy to boost your reputation in your local area with social media channels, a company website, and a portfolio of your recent projects.

Target businesses

Command a higher fee for your labour by working with businesses rather than consumers. If you’re a skilled tradesperson, whether you’re a carpenter, plumber, builder or electrician, you should reach out to local businesses and offer your services. Local companies will be more likely to want to work with an independent tradesperson rather than a large organisation that will charge them an arm and a leg. Once you’ve got a couple of business clients, you’ll be able to use your contacts and reputation to pitch for bigger – and more lucrative – projects.

Put your prices up

According to Price Your Job, a plumber should charge between £40 and £60 per hour, whilst a painter and decorator should charge up to £15. Electricians can command £30-50 per hour and kitchen fitters up to £20 per hour. Landscapers can charge up to £40, roofers up to £30, and window fitters up to £20. Do some research and see what other companies in your area are charging – you might be surprised to learn that you’re not charging enough for your skills.

Take on an apprentice

Want to take on bigger, bolder projects but don’t have the time or manpower to do it on your own? Now could be a great opportunity to take on an apprentice, giving you another pair of hands, and allowing you to get jobs done faster. Apprenticeship schemes are run by local authorities, and the best part is the government will supplement their income. You’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment once you’ve trained an apprentice, passing on your knowledge.

Do you have any other ideas? Let us know and check back soon for more tradesperson tips.