The Trades Hub Leeds – building better local businesses

Good for Leeds spoke with Anthony Caine, who runs an electrical business in Leeds and Wakefield, about an affiliate organisation he thinks is Good for Leeds for two huge reasons; it supports good local ‘trades’ businesses to grow and it provides a seal of quality for customers looking for a tradesperson.

Small businesses certainly appear ‘Good for Leeds’ on a number of levels. The simple generalisation goes that smaller companies often offer a friendlier and personal service, and that they spend money locally in a way big companies don’t; both in terms of buying supplies and spending their income. And they are certainly much less likely to park profits in a complex tax avoidance scheme via a shell parent company in Amsterdam. As they grow, they generally recruit locally, helping secure stronger links with the communities from which they draw their profits.

But buying small or local is no guarantee of quality, especially when it comes to picking a tradesperson out of the yellow pages. For every local hero we enthusiastically recommend to all and sundry, there’s probably at least one horror story of cowboys, extra charges and unfinished jobs.

Anthony Caine of A Caine Electrical is a member of an affiliate organisation, The Trades Hub, which he considers gives both small construction businesses and customers what they need.

Businesses pay the Hub to join, and in return get access to a network of other businesses in the construction profession as well as training, coaching and advice in areas like marketing. It works on a local basis, so Leeds has its own Hub. Members form across the construction industry use the networking meetings, company profiles and the social media accounts to pass work to one another. Anthony says the hub’s exacting standards, joining fee and reliance on the network for future referrals, keeps the cowboys away.

“Because you’re in an affiliation, you don’t want to let anyone down. It stops all the things that can go on, like the bad jobs, people not turning up, when you’re trying to organise a job with other tradespoeple who you don’t know, or if they aren’t governed by anyone. There is a strong focus on high quality and better customer service.

“It brings a high calibre of tradespeople together all working to the same kind of goal. It costs to join – but you more than make that back from the work it generates – and they say clearly that you can talk the talk all you like; if you can’t walk the walk you’ll probably be asked to leave.”

Anthony thinks the Hub offers vital support to small businesses that he hasn’t seen anywhere else.

“It has a completely different feel to anything else out there. I’ve met people I’d never have met, and got lots of work with other like-minded people. They get you to think about where you want to be in 10-15 years and then accelerate it. There can be a lot of animosity between tradespeople, but this removes that.”

Customers can see the Trades Hub members’ directory.  If you use it for a referral, please drop on here and let us know if the Hub delivered.

A Caine Electrical provide Electrical Testing and Installation to commercial and domestic customers. Find him @ACaineElectric and@TheTradesHub on twitter.

We’ve featured The Trades Hub because Anthony got in touch. If you want to share the story of a business or service which you think is ‘Good for Leeds’, contact us through our directory or email good4leeds@gmail.com.

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