Ask These Questions Before Hiring a Professional Service Company
Remember that time you asked for a recommendation on Facebook and you received a ba-jillion suggestions? Where do you go from there? Wouldn’t it be fantastic if you could ask the right questions that would raise red flags to avoid hiring a sleazy company?
Okay – we’ve peppered YOU with enough questions. What we really want to do is equip you with a list of your own questions that should be asked before hiring a professional service company. Here you go!
I. May I have a copy of your license?
Licensing offers proof that the business has met certain industry standards and is allowed to do the work in your area. A company’s failure to provide a copy of its license is a definite eyebrow-raiser that shouldn’t be ignored. Also make sure that it the industry requires special licenses, that you get those as well.
2. May I have a copy of your insurance certificate?
A business with adequate insurance protects you in the event of injuries or damages related to the service. Liability insurance provides a safeguard in the event that the company causes damage to your home or possessions. Worker's compensation insurance protects both you and the company's employees by covering certain injuries that an employee sustains while working on your property. Additionally, it may protect you from a lawsuit should something happen while the company is performing a service. It’s even worth reaching out to the insurance company to verify the policy before you seal the deal.
3. Can I have a reference?
Don't hesitate to ask the business for references from customers who had similar work done. It’s a massive red-flag if a company can’t give you a few people to vouch for the quality of its work. In any event, take a few minutes to perform a quick Google search (or Bing if you are one of those people) on the company and peruse reviews and ratings.
4. May I have a detailed written estimate?
Always get a detailed written estimate for the job: a verbal estimate is pretty much worthless. Providing such a document not only shows professionalism, but it reduces miscommunication and prevents disputes down the road. If a company is even slightly hesitant about putting an estimate in ink, you may want to look elsewhere to reduce the risk of getting hosed.
5. What are your credentials?
A reputable professional service company will be happy to take time an explain its training, experience, and skills. There are some businesses, however, that rely on flashy marketing and other decoys when lacking actual qualifications for a job. In other words, don’t just drink the Kool-aid.
6. May I have a copy of the written contract?
If you’re inclined to move forward with a professional service company, review the written contract before entering into any agreement. The contract should be clear and concise. See if the business will allow you to pay by check or credit card. If possible, make payments during the project contingent upon completion of defined amounts of work. This way, if the work isn’t going according to schedule, the payments to your contractor also are delayed.
Now, it’s your turn. If YOU’VE got questions to ask us, send them this way!