Think like a business owner not just a tradie

At TAFE, tradies get taught the rules and regulations of their chosen trade. Their employer has taught them the skills necessary to be good on the tools. There has been nobody to teach them to think like a business owner.

Effective business people make strategic business decisions using financial figures. They constantly evolve their leadership skills. They’re always looking for ways to improve their business’s efficiency and productivity to make more profit (and that’s just a few of many great characteristics). Since you’re reading this article, you embody or would like to embody these characteristics yourself.

The purpose of this article is to encourage you to see through the eyes of a businessperson (and not ‘just a tradie’) when it comes to business development. With particular regards to trade business owners’ attitudes to implementing new ideas and how to inspire innovative business process without reinventing the wheel.

This will hopefully instigate a think ‘outside-the-box’ mentality. In turn, prevent a stagnant, uncompetitive trade business in an increasingly competitive industry.

To help with this thinking, there are three easy actions you can take as a business owner.

1. Search for proof it can’t work

A competitive trade business is ahead of the crowd when it comes to implementing new ideas. The only barrier stopping trade business owners from accomplishing this is their attitude.

It’s easy for business owners and employees to dismiss ideas when they see the implementation of such as being too difficult or not worthwhile. The thing is, until one has tried an idea and can fully understand the true value of it, how can they prove either of these reasoning to be true?

We constantly aim at lifting our trade business and Lifestyle Tradie to the next level through trialling and adopting technologies, strategies and ideas as they surface.

Sure, sometimes these technologies, strategies and ideas don’t work (and other times they are complete game changers!) but one thing is certain – the words “It can’t be done” or “No, it won’t work” are not acceptable responses when these suggestions are made in our office.

Until there is proof that something “can’t be done” or “won’t work” it must be given the benefit of the doubt.

2. Mimic your way to success

Businesses are not successful by mere fluke!

So, why not make the most of the abundance of trade businesses in your area and leverage off their successes?

Whether they offer your exact service e.g. plumbing, or whether they offer a different trade service e.g. you’re a plumber but they’re an electrician, study them and mimic what they do differently to you now and what they have previously done differently to you that may have equated to their success.

This is where the beauty lies in Lifestyle Tradie membership. We have done the hard yards figuring out what works and what doesn’t work, and pretty much delivered it on a silver platter. When you can see proof of results there’s no stronger reasoning to mimic.

3. Let other industries inspire

Don’t let the fact that you are a trade business draw your focus to information on the trade services industry alone. There are lessons to be learnt in places you least expect it (as we realised with a visit to a dumpling bar)!

It is important to see outside your trade, outside the industry, and absorb the wider lessons that can be learnt on a daily basis.

Fortunately, access to case studies and business transparency means that you can easily source education from outside the trade services industry, and innovate your business process without having to dream up something new.

The ability to be an effective and productive businessperson and not simply a ‘tradie’ is what will lift a business from ordinary to extraordinary – exactly the mentality that is needed in this increasingly competitive industry.

Perhaps its time you looked ‘outside-the-box’!

What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.

Visit Next Level Tradie for our schedule of live events.