Look After Yourself (Episode 2) – The Best Ute (Vehicle) For You

It’s All About You Episode 2- Utes

I’ve been talking about looking after yourself and how important it is to look after yourself. And specifically, today I want to talk about utes.

What sparked me off was an ad I saw for a new Mercedes ute – the X class. And it’s this big, muscular-looking ute and the tagline on the ad was, ‘Let there be dust’.

It’s an $80,000 ute, that’s its starting price. And I was a bit outraged and a bit horrified, frankly. There’s a few things that bother me about this:

  • One is the shameless macho bit.
  • The other is the ‘f#%k’ em’ attitude that it conveys – “I can afford an $80,000 ute, f*ck everyone else”, that kind of thing.

I don’t like it. I don’t like the way it glorifies that kind of attitude.

And I don’t like all global implications about the increasing divide between the rich and the poor.

And I particularly don’t like the suggestion that if you have one you’re okay and if you don’t you’re eating dust. It certainly how it made me feel.

The power of advertisements

Most of the tradespeople I met aren’t like that.

I haven’t met very many trades business owners who generally display those kinds of attitudes.

I don’t think being caught like that is a prevalent personality in our industry and yet they’re marketing to you like that.

Still, that sort of advertising has some power over us. It’s easy to feel that pressure:

  • That if you don’t have a fancy, shiny, Mercedes ute, you’re losing in life or in business.
  • To buy those status symbols.
  • The need to buy one to be successful, or to feel or look successful.
  • To buy them so you don’t feel like a loser.

And I think that’s the more powerful message.

I’ve got clients who bought more expensive vehicles than are strictly required for the job and who paid a price later in stress and cash flow problems by having a big loan when they could have saved some money and not had so much stress.

Recommended Reading: Vehicle Signage – What Does Yours Say About You?

I’m not restricting this conversation just to vehicles. There’s a broader point that I’m trying to make about resisting marketing pressure, and resisting temptation and making decisions driven by your ego. We’ve all got that susceptibility.

Resist marketing pressure

What I want to say to you as the business coach is to try and resist that stuff. And when you’re making decisions about investments to make, tools to buy, vehicles to buy, try and make a clear-headed or cold business decision, not an emotional, ego-driven, marketing pressured, social pressured decision.

I’m not clear that there’s a business need for an $80,000 ute in a trade business when you can get a sturdy ute or van for $35,000 or $39,000, and your business still looks good and the vehicle is still fit for purpose.

What I’m saying is to make informed decisions, and separate your business decisions from your ego and your natural susceptibility to your marketing.

How to make business decisions

One way to do this is to run a decision by your business coach (that’s me) before you commit yourself.

Another way to do this is to get someone in your business to have like the Financial Controller role. It could be your wife or your partner, it could be an admin person in your business.

I have two people in my business. I have Lindsey who manages the finances of my business, and I have Michelle, my girlfriend, who doesn’t like some of the purchasing decisions I make. I’m told I drive a selfish car, for example.

But with either of these people on board – a business coach or a financial controller type to curb your baser instincts, you can make your decisions with structure. Before you decide what you’re going to buy, think about what the purpose of the purchases you do. Let’s call it a ute, a van, or a vehicle for the moment.

If you’re going to buy a vehicle:

  • What’s its job? 
  • What’s it going to do for you?

Decide what it’s going to do and then look at what the options are that will allow it to do that job and what vehicle will be fit for purpose rather than the other way around.

Don’t think, “Oh, it’s getting a bit old, I’ll give it to Dave and I’ll go and buy shining new Mercedes.”

Say this:

  • “What do we need for the business?”
  • “What should I spend?
  • “What is the least I could spend and get the business need met?” 

That’s what you should be doing – protecting yourself from your ego and making business decisions that don’t make you spend more of your business’s money than you need to because of course, don’t forget your business’ money is your money.

The more the business spends on utes for you and your team, the less there is left over for you to spend on holidays, or paying off the mortgage, etc.

So if you want help with using the money you didn’t waste on utes to grow your business and make more profit down the line…

There are four ways you can engage with me:

1. Subscribe to these emails and get them once a week in your inbox so you never miss a video from me.

2. Join the Trades Business Toolshed Facebook Group where you can watch these videos, ask me questions or talk to your peers.

3. Attend my next Tradie Profit Webinar.

4. Book yourself a 10-minute chat with me. We’ll talk about whether coaching is right for you now and if it is, we’ll go further into the process before you have to make your mind up.

See you later.

Click here to book a money maker call with Jon.