Systems – Why They’re Important In Your Trade Business
What are systems and why would you need them in your trade business?
I talk a lot about systems. I’m a business coach for builders and tradies who want to put systems and structure in place to grow your business properly. And systems are a large part of what I’m going to have you do if I’m your coach.
There’s always a lot of talk about systems. All business coaches talk about systems.
We all think they’re important and that’s because they are.
I used to find them intimidating — systems, systematic, systematised. It made me think of robots, spaceships, or factories with big equipment. And it was something I didn’t think about applying to small business.
But I was wrong.
A system is an organised scheme or method for doing something. That’s not really that intimidating or complicated at all.
It’s a written process, procedure or instructions for tradespeople to do the jobs — instructions for them to follow so they do the jobs properly.
In many ways, a system is about doing it our way or your way.
There are many ways to fit an air conditioner, dig a drainage trench, or build a house. But there’s your way.
And if your trades people don’t do it your way, you’re not really a business. You’re not providing a consistent level of service. You’re just some nice people in matching polo shirts with a brand.
A set of systems helps you provide a consistent level of service and helps you be a more cohesive business.
That’s a good thing.
It also helps you maintain the standard of work done by your people. They start to sound more appealing, “I want one of these systems”.
What happens if you don’t have systems
If you just send your tradespeople out and hope for the best and leave them to it, you can get all kinds of different results.
- Spend a bit of time with your new hires, showing them how you do stuff and hoping they pick it up, like doing it your way and follow the rules or do it to a good standard.
- Run around supervising and do quality checks.
- Run around sending people back on your dollar to fix up defects.
- Put systems in place.
I’m imagining that it’s not very appealing and you’d like to put systems in place. You would rather your people went to site were doing the work to your standards and following your systems and procedures and were being diligent, and not forgetting anything (that’s a large part of what systems are about – not forgetting things), without you having to supervise as much.
I think that’s what you want.
What a system looks like
So a system goes like this:
- You write the system — the procedure and instructions
- You train everybody – “This is how we’re going to do it in our business.”
- You teach them why it’s important
- You give them accountability tools
- You hold them accountable for the results
Teach them why that’s important that we do it like that. That’s important.
“We clean up after ourselves because that makes our customers happy”
Recommended Reading: The Best Way To Manage Your Team Of Tradespeople
Give them accountability tools like a checklist. That’s about making sure they can’t forget things, like sweeping up, turning the water or electricity off, etc so they can’t forget any steps in the procedure.
Hold them accountable for the results.
You can have them attach photographs of the work they’ve done, hold random inspections or sign checklists. Make sure they follow that process.
If they don’t follow the procedures then you coach them and help them follow the procedures.
Remember my business is about helping tradies grow and scale and put systems in place.
There’s only so far that you can grow without putting systems in place because there’s only so much supervising, hand-holding and fixing up defects you can do. That’s why you need systems so you can grow profitably.
In the Tools Down Workshop I’ll talk about systems…
How you write systems, train systems, decide which systems you need to write and how you use them for your people.
The next Tools down Workshop is coming up. Why don’t you come and check it out.
See you later.