Belonging to a trades group is one lay-out that is worth investing in. Gaining support and credibility, as well as legal protection are just some of the benefits that come with joining a trades organisation.
The Federation of Master Builders is one of the most popular trades groups in the UK. It lends a lot of credibility to a business as new members are required to pass a strict vetting and independent inspection process before joining to ensure they meet the high standards of a Master Builder. But what is the FMB? And what are the benefits of joining?
What is the FMB?
The FMB was formed during the war in 1941 when there were construction challenges in London rebuilding after the blitz. Today it has grown to around 7500 members and is the largest construction trading association in the UK. Typically their members employ between 10-12 people, and these smaller companies are the ones that really can benefit from the support the FMB gives.
With good links into government, the FMB represents the issues of their members. At the moment they are in talks about material price rises and skills shortages, two challenges that many construction business owners are facing at the moment. They are also fighting for licensing for the building industry, supporting the idea of a licensing scheme so that work will be checked across the board before someone can set up as a builder and trader. These issues and more are represented for the small construction business owner through the FMB.
It’s about winning work ultimately, increasing the confidence consumers have in the business. The building industry doesn’t always have the best image with consumers, and they need additional reassurance that the project will go well and will give them the result they want.
During negotiations with clients, telling them you are a member and have been vetted, can often be the thing that pushes business to you rather than another business.
Members can pick and choose between jobs more and the leads that come to them are of higher quality. We all agree that it’s not always about volume, but the type of traffic you get.
What are the criteria?
In order to join the FMB, all companies must meet the standard and criteria. They need to:
- Be trading for 12 months at least
- Have desktop and financial background checks
- Have online reviews checked
- An Inspector will look at a current project
- Checked feedback from clients
What are the benefits?
While they do offer specialised memberships, the FMB is of the most benefit to general builders. Some of the main perks of membership are:
- Credibility – this is often the most important reason why businesses join the FMB
- Support – legal, taxation, and an insurance support phone line. They also offer template contracts that are easy to use with domestic clients that are clear and straightforward, along with sub-contractor contracts, commercial contracts, and different versions for different countries. There are also HR and Health and Safety documents in their library.
- Network and community– You can connect, share best practice and ask for advice online from other members and experts in the FMB community.
- Webinars – Training on a variety of subjects is offered every month.
- Debt recovery service
- FMB awards program – showcases quality work in a range of categories from apprentice of the year to largest renovation of the year. Great press coverage for the winner, and prizes.
- Find a builder – directory service on the website to look for a builder.
These are just a few of the benefits that come from being a member of the FMB. So if you want to increase your credibility and also receive more support as your business grows, joining the FMB is a great move for you and your business.
If you would like to learn more about the FMB and why it is beneficial to join, check out this month’s episode of Develop your construction business Podcast HERE.