5 Smart ways to handle business dealings with artisans*
I’m quite certain you’ve been disappointed by an artisan at some point. From the tailor who promised heaven on earth, to the carpenter that used inferior materials to produce the furniture he swore your friends would envy. Dealing with people like this can be very frustrating.
You see, the problem here is not expertise; it’s attitude to work. Most artisans fail to pay attention to details, forgetting that it’s the little things that make the difference.
In this part of the world, many craftspersons aren’t enthusiastic about their jobs. They do not work for the passion. Rather, they do for basic survival and this is an issue. Here are a few guides to working seamlessly with artisans.
1. Find the perfect match
For me, the first thing to consider when in need of an artisan is to look for one who enjoys what (s)he does. You can easily figure this out from the initial conversations with them. Most artisans who love what they do are often specialists in their field. They rarely take on just any kind of project. They are also aware of their limits and will inform you of what they can and can’t do.
2. Be as detailed as possible
One thing I’ve learnt about working with artisans like myself is to give as much detail as possible when commissioning a project. Giving full information entails providing exact specifications of your requirements. This should be preferably done in writing, instant messaging or as a shared document – depending on the literacy level of the artisan. Trust me, it’s safer and better than just using word of mouth.
Secondly, be willing to teach and learn from them. Most of them are actually experts and know the trade better than you do, of course. They’re either just too lazy to care or can’t be bothered putting in fine details.
3. Get personal
Getting personal and sharing useful resources can make craftsmen loyal to you. Being friendly and showing some care about the work they do can encourage them to go the extra mile to make sure you’re satisfied. However, you have to be careful with this approach as some may want to take advantage of your kindness. Hence, look well before you take that leap of kindness.
4. Don’t settle
Don’t settle for less. Make them understand early enough that you won’t settle for sub-standard delivery. Double-checking every step and every detail will definitely put them in check as they won’t want to lose profit.
5. Be in touch
It’s really easy to sit behind the desk and send emails or give instructions. But sometimes, going out there to spend some time at the artisan’s workshop can save unnecessary stress and expenditure. By doing this, you’re involved in the process which also helps you learn a few things about the trade.
These 5 steps may seem like too much protocol but when you’ve been through a lot with different types of artisans, there’s no doubt that it is worth it. Combining your professionalism with their craftsmanship can lead to an amazing output.