How to Start a Trades Business (The Right Way)
I’ve scaled my business from half a million dollars a year to twenty million dollars a year in under three years. One of the crucial things that I did in being able to scale like that was I removed my tradie thoughts – yes, I used to be a sparky.
And too many trades businesses never scale because there’s an old-school tradie mentality holding them back. So I got rid of it and changed my perspective around:
- Hiring another tradesman – that’s an extra wage on the books
- Buying another vehicle – that’s just capital straight up that’s gonna crush you.
The first thing I did was increase sales. You need to get out there and start selling yourself – adopt a script with s story. The next thing I did once I had this story and I had a script written was introduce another sales rep.
Now you’re probably thinking why would you want to do that – that’s another wage. Well that’s where you set them up from day one to work on commission only. That’s right, you only pay them for the amount that they bring in.
So you work out your fixed costs and profit then you give them a set price with how much cheddar is in that for them. Now the money they make is only capped by their efforts. If you build up a sales empire where it’s kind of like a waterfall effect – they all just start pouring into your business.
Then you bring on another sales rep, train them up. It’s not costing you anything. Once you’ve got this system worked out, subcontract. Now this is where it gets great. There are a lot of guys out there happy being contractors. These guys are gonna make you rich.
Now you want to have control of that with a scheduler. You want to organise schedulers to be on your team. They’ll have the details of your subcontractors and they’ll schedule the jobs.
So now you’ve got sales coming in for nothing and you’ve got installs happening with no overheads. They only get paid when the job’s done – which is fine for you if you have systems in place that ensure your clients pay you on the day.
Then you just slowly start to expand. And you’ll start to find when you have good communication with these young guys or whoever you have working for you, you can start to negotiate better rates. And they may even be happy wearing your uniform or putting your logo magnet on their truck. It’s exactly what I did and no one’s none the wiser.