Top 3 Tips (direct from a clever plumber) On How To Operate a Better Trade Business

It’s not often that a successful trade business owner shares with other tradies their top 3 lessons on business and WHY these lessons are so important. 

Well, that’s EXACTLY what Corey and Naomi Stevens from AC Plumbing & Gasfitting in Queensland has done.

As a VIP Platinum member with Lifestyle Tradie, we had the opportunity to ask the ‘nitty-gritty’, ‘behind the scenes’, share your ‘secrets’ questions that perhaps they wouldn’t share with others.
But, they did with us….

That said, let us introduce you to Corey and Naomi… (and his top secret replies….keep reading to discover the gold!)


“Lifestyle Tradie opened our eyes to the possibility and reality of what ‘can be’ if only we were willing to change. We accepted the challenge!”
Corey and Naomi Stevens

1. Tell us a little about your situation, business, family etc.
Happily married for almost two years. We live in Strathpine in North Brisbane with our 6 year old son, Kayden. We run our business AC Plumbing QLD together from home and have three trucks on the road, servicing our local area for domestic and small commercial plumbing and gas maintenance.

2. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in the last 12 months?
In the last 12 months our biggest challenge has been regaining profitability after some expensive learning curves.

3. How have you tackled that challenge? How do you feel about it?
A little over a year ago we pushed to grow our business hiring two tradesman within two weeks, doubling our team. To drive workflow we outlaid a large dollar investment into quick response advertising. At the time we thought we were doing the right thing and the wrong people were telling us we were. Hindsight has taught us some very valuable lessons; we hadn’t hired the right staff and were not managing those staff well. We were also getting terrible ROI on the ‘quick response’ advertising we had invested in. Fortunately we were able to see and admit to our mistakes and as a result we downsized the business from 4 trucks on the road to just 1 and have since been working on what we believe to be our business fundamentals. We are happy to report that we have again started to grow the business having learnt such big lessons and are back with 3 trucks on the road and a plan in place to take on 2 more guys by years end.

4. How have you and your business changed since joining LTG?
Since joining LTG the biggest changes have occurred with our mindset, ability and willingness to make changes within the business. We realise the possibility and reality of what ‘can be’ if only we were willing to change. We accepted the challenge…

5. Where do you see your business in 5 years?
In five years’ time we see our business with a full time dispatch/admin assistant, 6 trucks on the road, Corey off the tools and spending 20 hrs per week on the business and systemized to the point that we can take extended holidays without having to worry about the business.

6. What are the top 3 things you have learnt about business that you would recommend to others and WHY?
1. The importance of planning! Before LTG we were running the business with no real plan, taking every day as it would come. These days we know exactly where we need and want to be each day to achieve our goals. With big thanks to Andy and Angela for continuously drilling this in to our heads. Now if we ever get off course we just refer back to our life and business plans and of course the all-important 90 day plan.
2. Setting goals!! A little similar to the above answer but knowing where we want to be in 2, 5, 7 years has had a huge impact on the business as well as our personal lives. Although being able to agree is sometimes difficult…
3. Knowing our numbers!!! It has taken us about 2 years of being within the group but we got there…By knowing the business numbers we are able to make smart informed decisions when making plans and setting goals. We are no longer running in the dark…a huge sense of relief. It`s a great feeling!

7. Favourite tool and why?
Favourite tool would have to be the flat rate system. Although we have only recently committed ourselves 100% to it, we are having great success in the delivery to our customers with a positive response (they love knowing the price upfront… no hidden surprises), as well as an increase in sales. We are loving it!

8. Tell us something quirky about yourself that your buddies don’t know?
Corey has a tendency to climb everything and anything. So much so on our holiday to America he came home with the name Mountain Goat because he had a tendency to sprint up boulders at Yosemite and Red Rock Canyon.

9. Who would you most like to have lunch with and why?
Tough question. If I had to choose one it would be Walt Disney. To understand his values and beliefs and to experience the passion he had to create such an empire.


Did you get it? Question 6? go back and read it now….. If you want a fabulous trade business then do THIS –

Designing your own future is the START of your Road Map. You cant go to the moon without understanding first that is the final destination!

Apply ONLY the 3 things Corey and Naomi have recommended to you. The result of this will be far greater understanding of your business, therefore far greater control which ultimately will remove any anxiety you might of once had!

Would love to hear your thoughts… tell us how you’ve applied Corey’s top 3 lessons BELOW.

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.