I work with people in all trades, in various stages and sizes – from their first year of trading, to their tenth. They may have recently gone
from being an employee to having a vehicle, tools, and possibly an apprentice. Their business might also be further down the line – with an existing customer base, a fleet, and full-time employees. Either way they are looking to step up their organisational efficiency, grow their team, take on the jobs they really want, make money, and have a life outside of work.
Understand your challenges
One of the biggest challenges for tradespeople is simply staying in business. That can be caused by undercharging – because they feel like they have to. They may also be taking on jobs they don’t necessarily want to do in the future. Customers might be unhappy with the process or end result as well – which is a big blow for both the business and the owners. Staffing is a key issue, as trades tend to have high levels of turnover – which risks leaving big holes in day-to-day operations. On a personal level, owners getting to enjoy a life outside of work is so important but it’s one of
the very first things to go out the window!
Take the right approach
Often tradespeople will just start their business and get busy working and growing, without forming an overall plan. We’ll get together to look at the bigger picture, and uncover what your professional and personal goals are. We’ll focus on the next three years, and then where they will lead in the next ten. Systematically reviewing the inner workings of the business’ current operation is vital. We’ll unpack all of your current processes and systems, such as your customer service practices, IT, recruitment, marketing, inventory, finances, and billing. That will mean redefining your ideal customer base, targeting and developing services specifically for them, and establishing the internal systems that will take you there.
Coaching tailored for you
After your free Introduction & Assessment Session, we’ll set aside a half or full planning day to get stuck in. I’ll then write up a formal Action Plan with specific achievable goals, and set timelines. Going forward, we’ll then do some sort of regular catch up, depending on what you need. That could be weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, or annually – to measure your progress, help you stay on track or make adjustments as new challenges come up, and deliver on your targets. In addition, I’m here to support you when you need it – I can work directly with staff, attend important
meetings, help with recruitment, or just put out the fires!
Create new success
With a strong plan in place, your business will begin to really turn itself around, and you’ll rediscover your passion. The organisation will have the structure it needs through strong management of your invoicing, cash flow, fleet, and staff. You’ll be confident to delegate more responsibility to those underneath you, while maintaining and even improving quality control. Your staff will have more buy-in, and feel a better team culture. It won’t be the end of the world if a staff member leaves, and you will become more attractive to new employees. Your pricing will better match the true value you bring, while ensuring healthy profits. You’ll know exactly what steps you need to take to find your ideal jobs. Not only that but through better systems, your customers will be happier. Your branding and marketing will reflect your vision for your business, and increase brand awareness. Getting tapped into my tremendous professional network means you will also gain working relationships with highly-capable service providers. You’ll have more time to work on the business rather than in it, less stress, and the chance to actually enjoy your personal life, and maybe even take a break!
I’m the owner of Straight Flush Plumbing. We are plumbers, gasfitters, and drainlayers covering the Wellington area. Before we started with Steve a decade ago, the business was in its infancy. I was a oneman band, with my wife Ngaire’s support, and working out of an office in our house. We really wanted to build towards having a bigger company eventually, but weren’t sure if we were heading along the right track. We wanted to put plans for the future in place at the start of the company, rather than making them along the way, to avoid traps like buying assets and then having to upgrade them as we expanded. And as an owner-operated business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, so being held accountable to our plans was really important for us too.
Early in the business, we chose to do business coaching with Steve to set our business down the right path from the start. We first sat down for a planning day to talk about what we wanted to achieve. We created a five-year plan and worked backwards from there. We looked at the key activities, broke them down into different stages, and worked out how to achieve those stages – right down to weekly bullet points. We continued on by having weekly meetings, and Steve was really good at holding us accountable. He also introduced us to other like-minded businesses, and gave us referrals for people and services that could help us out. It was good having someone to grow with, we knew we were making the right decisions. As we became more confident, we went to meetings once a month, and would call him anytime to bounce ideas off him.
With Steve’s coaching, we had immediate results. We were able to focus on the dayto-day aspects during the week, then in the coaching sessions we’d look at the overall growth of the business. Now it’s nice to see that we are achieving the long-term goals that we set out at the start. Our business is medium-sized in this industry – we have eleven staff, with three in the office, and it’s
ready to take the next step. We are quite confident that we can self-manage a lot of that. We’ve been introduced to an amazing network which means that we have got people we can rely on, and can go to for different aspects of business. Ngaire and I have created an actual business, rather than just a job for ourselves. It’s turned out exactly as we planned, and our key outcomes have been achieved. That’s all down to Steve’s help in the beginning.
“I think you have to see business coaching as an investment yourself. As tradesmen we don’t invest in ourselves enough. We invest in tools and work hours, but we don’t seem to invest in the
business side. It’s something we don’t get taught along the way, because there is not a big emphasis on it. I do see it as a great benefit, and Steve has definitely got a good insight into the trades,
along with the other general business services he can help with – he’s always got a man for the job! His style is real positive too. We found that he has a down to earth nature, and he’s a pretty straight shooter, so we related really well with him.”
We’ll discuss your business, review your systems, and consider your
goals. It’s a great chance to take a fresh look at your business, and
discover how coaching can add real value for you. I look forward to
chatting with you, and finding out more about you and your business!