Top 5 tips for tradies starting their own business

Launching your own business is both an exciting and nerve-wracking time with so much to think about, plan and get into motion. One of the great things about starting your own tradie business is that you will always be in demand, no two days are ever the same, and you get to call the shots by being your own boss!

After putting in all the hard yards of going out alone, you want to be around for the long-haul. Here are a few things to think about when you’re in those early stages of starting out and how to stay successful in the future.

1. Make sure you have the capacity

While the first stages of starting your tradie business may be a bit of trial and error, it’s important to understand your limits and capacity. It may be tempting to say yes to every job that comes through, but the issue of overcommitting and under delivering can cause more harm than good.

By having control and things in order, you can avoid running the risk of becoming burnt out too quickly and potentially damaging your business reputation. Keep these tips in mind when trying to work out and manage your workload.

  • Do you have enough staff for the jobs?- You may need to hire external help to get the job done, especially if they have a different skill set from you. For example, a landscaping project that needs the assistance of a plumber or a job that requires more hands of deck to meet a deadline.
  • Have you got the right tools and equipment?– If some of your jobs require specialist equipment you may need to look purchasing these down the track. For the interim you can always hire or look at purchasing these second hand to help keep the finances under control.
  • Checking your financial capacity– If you find your business is growing quicker than your cash flow, it might be worth sitting down and having a chat with a business banker. They can provide advice and guidance to ensure your business is on track and provide different options if you need to increase your financial capacity.

2. Create a blueprint for your business

Having a vision and some guideposts in place for your business, is a smart move for anyone starting up their own business. Going in blind without any idea, goals or systems in place can lead to disaster very quickly. These are some of the areas that your business plan may focus on:

  • Your finances are in order
  • Create a marketing plan with some strategies on how you are going to promote your business and drive customers
  • Set some goals and milestones that you would like to see your business achieve and more importantly how you aregoing to achieve them
  • Understand your competition and think about how you can position your tradie business to stand out from the crowd

3. Be compliant

Ensuring that your business is compliant is essential for the sake of its future success in the Australian trades industry. Some of the things to keep in mind include:

  • Make sure you have the right registrations and licenses- These can change varying from the state or territory you are working in and the kind of trade you perform. Visit your trade association website for your industry to find out more details of what is required.
  • Be aware of your health and safety regulation- Safe Work Australia is a great resource to find more information about industry regulations and ways to check your business is being compliant with these.
  • Understand codes- Complying and understanding the codes of practice in your industry are essential. Not a heeding to these rules can result in hefty fines and even disciplinary action.

4. Have systems in place

When you’re starting your own business there are going to be many aspects of your business that you will need to manage from finances to marketing, payroll and customer details. Starting fresh is the opportune time to implement systems and get some good, organised habits happening to keep on top of it all.These are some areas of your business where systems will help make your life a whole lot easier:

  • Tracking jobs – From the moment you accept a job to receiving final payment, having a system which allows you to track the stages, time required, costs etc not only helps you stay on track, but can help when it comes to forecasting for future jobs.
  • Marketing – You don’t have to be a marketing wizard when it comes to getting the word out there. Sites like Instagram, Facebook and Google all offer insights and systems into how your website or marketing channels are performing. Reports can be easily generated providing valuable details on your customers, where they are coming from and how you reach out to them.
  • Invoicing – At the end of the day, you’re not working for free, so keeping on top of your jobs and having a simple invoicing system in place is vital to keeping the cash flowing in. There are many different types of programs and systems available suitable for different levels of complexity and accounting set ups.
  • Booking system – You want to make it as easy as possible for customers to get in contact with you when they need your services. Employing the assistance of a booking service helps get your customers in touch with you in the click or a mouse or a simple phone call.

5. Get your insurance sorted

Well before you even consider picking up your tools and heading on site, it’s important to get your business insurance sorted. Not only will it provide you peace of mind, it will also give protection against unwanted claims to help you stay in business for the long run.

Some of the typical types of insurances you may need to consider as a tradie include:

Whether you are a plumber or a chippy, the tradie industry is full of varying potential risks that could cause havoc for your business. From getting your tools stolen to accidentally causing damage to a customer’s property while on the job, business insurance is there to provide peace of mind, protecting your business, its reputation and your back pocket.

Get your business insurance sorted today at BizCover. We believe in making insurance easy, with no fancy lingo or forms to fill out. Jump online or have a chat to one of our friendly agents today, so you can compare multiple quotes from some of Australia’s leading insurers. Select your cover options and receive your policy docs in minutes- no snail mail required.
*As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.

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