Unlock the Secret to Finding Work

finding work blog

Every new small business needs to find constant work if you want your company to survive. We’ve got the best-kept secret to finding work, only a handful of tradesmen or even contractors know about.

I first heard of the secret when I was over visiting my stepfather, a well-known successful contractor. We sat down and had a little pow-wow about our companies. I always wondered how he could constantly find work for his company and manage to keep everyone busy.

It blew my mind what came out of his mouth next.

He told me that every Monday morning he would meet up with a group of successful contractors at Tim Hortons and discuss their business. They shared their knowledge to help each other out and succeed. This is where he first heard the secret to finding work.

It turns out they all had a secret place to find out about new projects before they were even available to the public. They had full access to every new project including:

  • Customer’s name
  • Address of project
  • Contact information
  • Location
  • Type of project ( reno, new construction, 1 room addition, etc… )
  • Estimated value of project

They had all this information before anyone even knew these jobs existed!  These guys all used the same resource to get projects every week and build up their construction empires.

These old timers also had another thing in common. They were already successful contractors. They knew that anyone that wants to do any type of construction has to apply for a permit from the city.

That’s right…PERMITS!

Every suburb, small town or zone has a listing of approved permits that is open to the public. For example, I googled “approved building permits North Vancouver” and found Building permits issued in the last 30 days.  

It will give you a detailed list of any residential or commercial project that’s been approved for any renovations, extensions or new construction- big or small. It’s a gold mind for your business if you can tap into it and follow up with the leads.

Some permits can be difficult to find depending on the location. I was looking for Vancouver’s downtown area permits and it seemed hidden. So I emailed city (permit department) and ask them to kindly send me a link to their approved construction permits for the next month. They actually responded the next day with that link no questions asked. Like I said, it’s public information so don’t be afraid to ask.

There’s a company called Confacts , who’s taken this information and made a small business of it for themselves. They email you out a fresh weekly copy of approved projects for entire Vancouver area and up to Whistler.


permits blog 1

Ok, so now that you’ve got this valuable information, it’s just a matter of doing a simple  follow-up like this:

  1. Drive over to the customer’s address.
  2. Notice if there are any signs of construction going on like an empty space on the ground, building materials laying around or maybe another contractor’s vehicle parked outside.
  3. If it’s a residential home, go to the front door and introduce yourself with a business card. Keep it simple and just say ” Hi, my name is Mike. I run a painting company in the area and just wanted to drop off my business card to you in case you needed my service”.
  4. If it’s an apartment or commercial building you can’t get into,  call them directly and introduce yourself the same way as above.
  5. Write down important information that you’ve discussed about the project for future reference.
  6. If you haven’t heard back from the customer within a week, do a quick follow up to see if there’s been any decisions made yet on employing a tradesmen or crew for the job.

Put this method of finding work into your weekly routine and you’ll be able to grow your business and beat your competition in finding work.

If you still need help starting up your company, you can start here for free today 

Good luck with your business everybody!

Mike and the Trade Trackers crew.