8 business principles that built a multi-million dollar trade empire

As a trade business owner, who wouldn’t want to know the insider secrets from a self-made millionaire?

You could have heard a pin drop listening to the stories Sherard Kingston shared from the stage at one of Lifestyle Tradie’s member events. Sherard is an incredible rags to riches story.

He travelled from England with the clothes on his back. Since then, he’s built several national multi-million dollar businesses here in Australia. One of which is the fastest growing electrical wholesaler, Tradezone, which he owns with his son Robert.

Sherard claims his business success boils down to 8 simple business principles through which he has reaped rewards:

1. Think positive, be positive

Sherard believes it’s important to be positive, always. He claims your people follow positive and decisive leaders.

To remain positive and cultivate a positive workplace:

  • Follow the theory of ‘mood elasticity’ – positive people in the workplace influence others to be positive
  • If asked for advice, answer immediately to cultivate an open and positive relationship. Don’t say “I’ll get back to you!”
  • Distribute a monthly staff newsletter with an upbeat message in every paragraph

2. Avoid waste

A dollar saved is a dollar earned.

Don’t buy unnecessary items. Look to make savings wherever you can; turn off lights when not in use, buy a sensible car (especially when you first start out in business), and invest in a house that’s not going to break you on repayments. When you’ve made the profit, only then buy the ‘toy’ you’ve always had your eye on.

3. Develop a sense of empathy

When dealing with others, always ask yourself, ‘How would they feel about your actions and decisions?’. This applies equally to your team members and your customers; put yourself in their shoes before you proceed with actions or words. Don’t be quick to judge, rather invest the time to understand the situation.

4. Handpick your team

Have total control over who works for you. They are the face of your company and an extension of your philosophy. If you can’t have complete trust and respect for them representing you, they probably shouldn’t be working for you. You need to know they have the same morals and values as you have.

Sherard is still personally involved with every interview and contacts references of successful applicants.

5. Always pay your bills on time

Paying on time will earn you the respect from your suppliers. Once respect is earned, they’ll be more lenient if you’re in a rough patch, offer you the best deals first and/or recommend your company to others in the industry! This results in a total win-win situation!

6. “Yes” is a better word than “No”

“Yes” opens up opportunities while “no” closes them. Not to mention people respond much better to the word “yes”.

For example, if a customer calls and asks for same-day services, what do you do if you’re already booked up? Respond with: “Yes, we can complete the work, however…”

7. Prioritise everything!

Prioritise everything in your life.

Spend 10 minutes daily (weekends included) to make a list of everything you need to get done that day. Number them 1 through 10 (etc.) in order of importance. Get to work ticking them off. That’s always a rewarding process!

8. Run your business as if you are preparing to sell it in 3 months time

This is a worthwhile task because it forces you to view your business from a buyers perspective:

  • Simplify your business by building systems that others can easily follow.
  • Watch your financials like a hawk. Scrutinise expenses and account for every dollar.
  • Tidy up loose ends. Never leave an email or any other task for ‘later’. Do it now.
  • It makes you put a value on your business and this helps motivate you to increase the value of your business every quarter or every year!

If you’ve ever wondered how you can spend two months a year on a yacht in the Greek Islands with your better half, like Sherard does, then try applying all of these 8 simple business principles and they will surely help you on your way.

Thank you again Sherard for sharing your wisdom with our Lifestyle Tradie members. It is an honour to know you.

Who is Sherard Kingston?

Sherard is a hard-working, determined, self-made millionaire.

His first business was a service station at the age of 22, which escalated to two additional businesses in Australia; Endless Greenery and All Interactive Distribution.

A gap in the electrical supplier industry saw Sherard, with his son Robert, start the fastest growing online electrical wholesaler, Tradezone in 2015. Holding over 11,000 different products and $12 million  of stock, it’s a one-stop online shop for the savvy sparkie.  It offers seriously fast delivery, aggressive and consistent pricing and simplicity for sourcing and ordering.

Interested in learning more success secrets for your trade business?

     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.