How to Find Good Vendors
Check Out Companies Online First
Whether you ask friends and family for recommendations or you do a quick Google search, you’ll need to make a list of potential vendors. Before you call the first one, look them up online. Go to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website to check for complaints. Look up their company on Google or Yelp and read the reviews. Find their website – if they have one – and see what they offer and where they’re located. You’ll knock off a few companies from your list before you start calling.
Interview Contractors and Companies
Once you’ve created a list of potential vendors, you’ll want to schedule interviews. If you call and leave a message, and they don’t get back to you in a timely manner, cross them off the list. You don’t want a company that makes you wait around for them.
Here are some questions to ask potential vendors:
How long have you been in business?
Are you licensed and insured? Ask for the specifics – license number, certifications they have, and their insurance limits.
What hours or days are you available? You want to know if this is someone you can call on a weekend or late at night.
Will you provide an estimate in writing before beginning work? This is helpful when the job or repair is a big one.
How are payments handled? If you write a check, it should be made to a business name. If they offer a payment plan for big jobs, you want to know this.
Can you provide business references?
Follow Up on Your Interview
After the interview, you still have a little work to do, even if you really loved a specific company. Check their references and ask about their experiences with this company. Verify their license. Anyone who gave you false information should be immediately crossed off your list.