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Finding it tough

by Matt Downs

A survey from Armstead has said that multi-skilled trades professionals have topped the table as the most challenged trade in 2019.

More than half (53 per cent) admit that getting new customers is harder now than it was five years ago, with a significant 59 per cent claiming that social media has added more challenges to them than anything else in the past decade.

Across the board, the survey from Armstead, which polled painters and decorators, plumbers, electricians, builders and multi-skilled traders, revealed that securing work was harder than ever, with the increase in customers using social media to look at work online before booking (54 per cent) and the rise of DIY (45 per cent) causing fewer enquiries.

The survey from the trade paint specialists also highlighted product choice as a key issue, with over half of multi-skilled tradespeople revealing that the most important factor in purchasing product for their jobs is durability (63 per cent), their trust in a product based on previous experience (56 per cent) and ease of application (52 per cent).

Alex Briggs, Senior Marketing Manager at Armstead commented: “The most important thing to any trades professional is the quality of their work because it directly impacts their reputation.

Whilst it’s easier for specialists to demonstrate the type of work they do, it’s a challenge for a multi-skilled professional who could be working on an end-to-end job installing a kitchen that requires knowledge from decorating to tiling and carpentry to plumbing.

“That’s why, not only do they need to keep an eye on the latest trends across multiple sectors, but they also need multi-purpose products to protect their bottom line, without risking the quality of their work.

“Armstead paints are designed for this purpose – multi-functional and tested to the highest standards so that trade professionals can be confident that they’re choosing the smart way to get the job done.”

Painters and decorators were second in the league table, with the continued rise of DIY leading to greater competition between professionals, whilst plumbers were ranked least challenged, as one of the most specialist trades in the UK.


  1. Multi-skilled tradespeople
  2. Builders
  3. Painters and decorators
  4. Electricians
  5. Plumbers


  1. Customer payments (64 per cent)
  2. Securing the next job (39 per cent)
  3. Customer reviews (34 per cent)
  4. Completing necessary paperwork (28 per cent)
  5. Social media profile (22 per cent)

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