Thomas Murdock was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and has lived there all of his life. None of his relatives had any experience in carpentry or construction, and therefore Thomas did not really discover his knack for these trades until his early twenties. Thomas attended school for numerous different vocations, such as tool and dye, mechanical engineering, accounting, and eventually he did a semester in advanced homebuilding. Meanwhile, as he was in school and working part-time, Thomas had a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the comfort of his childhood home. His mother, who lived in a 1960s home that had never been updated, asked Thomas to help her with some renovations. So, she bought Thomas some tools and he started doing work on the basement and kitchen. Soon enough, Thomas would renovate the entire home. During this process, Thomas realized that he was following the wrong career path as he discovered his love for renovations.
Thomas’ Thoughts on Working for Others
Throughout school, one of Thomas’ part-time positions was a construction job under his soon to be father-in-law. There, Thomas was eventually offered a full-time position, which he accepted. Under the supervision of his father-in-law, Thomas worked on projects such as small cottages or second homes, where he was lucky enough to see first-hand the basics of home construction. Thomas learned a lot at this job, but after a few years, he felt unhappy. Ever since he was a child, Thomas says, he had dreams of being his own boss. And, as he started becoming more comfortable and knowledgable about the work he was doing, he felt that his job was not challenging him enough, and therefore was no longer as beneficial as it once was. So, at age 25, Thomas decided to start his own business.
How Thomas Used Youtube as a Learning Tool
Thomas says that of all the resources that helped him learn the tips and tricks of renovations, YouTube videos were one of the most useful. In his early years of learning construction, Thomas approached YouTube to learn the basics of his work. Although YouTube was a great resource for him, Thomas admits that most of his success has stemmed from simply having common sense, or a gut feeling, about the work he was doing. In fact, much of the work he was doing involved trial and error, and even when he failed, Thomas embraced those experiences of failure as learning moments.
How Has Thomas Grown His Business?
Pioneering his first business was not easy, Thomas says. As a new face in the construction world, he had no reviews from former clients or a functioning website yet. This forced him to take any job he could get, including tasks such as roofs and decks. Additionally, Thomas cautions of the importance of subcontractors as a new contractor, and knowing the people you hire for these collaborative tasks. Unfortunately, Thomas has learned this the hard way, especially from negative experiences of working with unreliable subcontractors, which has in the past led him to find an entirely new crews at the last minute.
When it comes to Thomas’ working style, “present” would describe him well. When inspections are happening, he says that he is always there, without fail, in order to immediately fix any issues. With clients, he dedicates time to meet in person about proposals. And, this dedication to great service is crucial, because his clients’ satisfaction is key in growing his business. For instance, when he finishes a job, Thomas always asks for reviews via e-mail. In this way, his business relies on client referrals to gain even more clientele. Through testimonials, references, and before and after pictures, potential clients can get a taste of what working with Thomas will be like before they hire him. Thomas says that he makes it as easy as possible for clients to review his business online, and because of this, almost half of his clients will review Thomas’ work.
Social media platforms like Facebook have been useful to Thomas as well. Thomas says that on the business’s Facebook page, he often shares behind-the-scenes footage of the work he does. He says that people appreciate the honesty of it. Giving potential clients the means to actually see Thomas’ work with other clients really encourages them to work with Thomas in the future.