Building a successful trades business requires more than top-class tradie skills. You also need a head for business management and the know-how to keep head office operating efficiently. Avoid these common mistakes to keep your new trade business on the path to success.
1. Taking on too many tasks
Running a business requires different skill sets. Even the most gifted tradie might feel out of depth when swapping the job site for a desk. It’s important not to try to take on everything yourself, so don’t be afraid to accept help. Recognising your weaknesses and recruiting people who can fill your knowledge gaps could turn into your business’s greatest strength.
2. Over-capitalising on equipment
Over-investing in tools and equipment can quickly burn a hole in your pocket. Of course, you’ll need access to everything you need to complete your projects, but beware purchasing big-ticket machinery that you’ll only use occasionally. It’s important for new businesses to keep a close eye on expenses. Over-capitalising on equipment could take a fatal bite out of your cash flow, especially, when hiring less frequently needed equipment is an option.
3. Confusing your unique selling point
As a hard-working tradie at the helm of a new business, it’s tempting to take on any and every project that comes your way. This is a mistake. Being selective and staying focused on the work and clients that match your core service offering can be more profitable than taking on others that don’t quite fit the bill. This will allow you to showcase the skills and expertise you can offer over and above your competitors, often referred to as your ‘unique selling point’ (USP).
4. Ignoring social media
It’s easy to dismiss social media as a nothing more than a plaything for people with too much time on their hands. However, it’s actually a valuable tool to drive potential clients to your website and build your profile as the go-to expert in your field. What’s more, it doesn’t have to take up as much time as you think, thanks to a range of time-saving tech tools.
5. Letting admin weigh you down
Invoicing, payroll, tax compliance – these are all time-consuming tasks that, while vital to your business, will take your time and focus away from what you do best. The good news is that implementing an accounting platform like QuickBooks Online can automate many of those unloved admin tasks. For example, tracking your mileage, lodging expenses and chasing up unpaid invoices – to just name a few.
Building a successful tradie business is very similar to completing a job onsite. It’s all about sticking to your plan, avoiding distractions, and knowing when you need help to deliver the best outcome. Avoiding these common mistakes will help stir your tradie venture towards future success.