Where Should You Spend Your Time As Your Business Grows?
This is an interesting question, isn’t it?
I’m sure you’re pretty busy, but are you spending your time on the right work?
Where is the right work?
I know I’ve talked about this journey of a trades business’s growth before but it’s useful.
When you start out, your focus is on getting some work and making sure you do it well.
You tend to get work through word-of-mouth which can mean through your own personal network.
You do everything at first, too (because it’s usually only you when you start out) and this habit continues.
So, early in your business, you’re finding work and quoting, spending the vast majority of your week on the tools as well as fitting that quoting and invoicing around the edges (after hours or on weekends).
As you grow, you hire people, you grow your team and where you spend your time needs to change.
What Happens When You Start Growing
A few things happen and they don’t all happen at once, of course.
You start hiring tradespeople and apprentices, so instead of being the person doing all the work, you become the person attempting to do a full week’s work on the tools as well as make sure these new people you’ve hired are doing a good job and then also doing all the quoting and admin but this is an unmanageable amount of work for one, isn’t it?
So, maybe you get a bookkeeper to do some of the bookkeeping and maybe you get some admin help too – to do some scheduling or payroll or the general admin, that doesn’t have to be you – it shouldn’t be.
Now, your responsibilities are shifting from finding work and doing it to finding work for other people to do and helping to ensure they can do the work well and all the other work around the trade work gets done properly.
This is the big shift I want you to understand.
You’ll feel very compelled to be on the tools – being there to work with your guys, pulling your weight, or doing your share.
You’ll feel like you’re cheating or dodging work if you’re not on the tools.
You’ll be horribly aware that if you’re not on the tools, you’re not making money for the business, so you have to be proud of the margins you make on your other tradespeople.
So, all this stuff is against you – emotional stuff and money pressure but the reality is you have to make this shift.
Benefits Of Shifting Your Role
The good news is, you don’t have to do it all at once – it’s a journey and you spend some time off the tools at first and grow this time as your business grows.
And, of course, as you take on more overheads (like you not being able on the tools and like the admin person and the bookkeeper and the business coach), you need to adjust your margins and increase your volume of work done (and sales made) to cover them.
And to make more sales you need to do sales better and you need to generate more leads.
So you’re shifting to sales and marketing but you also need to make sure your tradespeople are doing a good job even when you’re not there to support them.
And you’ve got a team and you need to look after them too.
Ask for our 7 Systems eBook. I explain these things in a bit more detail so you can start getting your head around them properly.
You need to build systems for marketing and sales (to find and win the work at good margins); for operations, so those other people do the work; to standard and on time and on budget; for the back office so the admin works and so you know your numbers; and you need to be looking after yourself on this transition and your team.
So your time increasingly needs to be spent on the work of building all these systems and looking after your people rather than doing the work yourself.
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.