Q&A: Andy and Angela Smith
With two businesses to run, two kids to wrangle, and a national live event series to prepare and present, there’s never a dull moment for Lifestyle Tradie co-founders, Andy and Angela Smith.
In this week’s Q&A-style article, Andy and Ange explain what motivates them to educate tradies to be profitable trade business owners, with a trademark tough-love approach full of truth bombs.
Q1. How do most people handle the truth bombs?
Andy: Well, sometimes it’s interesting. To be fair, mostly, it makes tradies sit up and listen. I usually get stuck in when they don’t know their numbers – and I’m taking about profit, not revenue.
There are some people who find this approach confronting, even a bit uncomfortable. Once they realise I am coming from a place of wanting to help them, most people are okay with it.
Q2. What trade business owners struggle with?
Andy: Most trade business owners work really hard. They’ve got an excellent work ethic – there’s generally no problem there. Where they get unstuck is having the wrong business model.
This is why they’re not making any money. What we see is tradies working harder when this happens, not smarter. In the end, they’re pretty fed up with it all, and their family is, too.
Ange: It’s not their fault. It’s important to say this. Even though most tradies plan on starting their own business, they don’t get any formal training on how to do it. It’s no wonder they struggle!
Being a business owner is bloody hard. Having our own trade business, DR DRiP Plumbing, almost broke us 20 years ago. We’ve survived and thrived thanks to fixing our business model.
Q3. What’s the problem with their business model?
Andy: Tradies are go-getters on the tools. We love our tools. We don’t love Profit & Loss Statements and hiring headaches. The only way to win at business is to set up the right business model.
You’ll see we’ve developed the Lifestyle Tradie Business Model. It looks like a game of Trivial Pursuit. You’ve got to master all the pieces of the pie. The problem is, most people skip the steps.
I forget the exact words of the quote, but it’s something like: Nothing worth achieving is ever easy. It comes down to whether a tradie wants to get ahead or continue to struggle along.
Q4. How quickly can tradies expect to see change?
Ange: For the tradies who are willing to listen, learn and implement – they experience immediate and ongoing results. If you’re expecting miracles without having to do the work, forget it.
Transformation takes effort and commitment. There are no shortcuts. While getting your model right sounds a bit dry and boring, it really is the difference between making profit (and not).
Andy: That’s true. Tradies don’t like to put their hand up for help. Sometimes, ego gets in the way and it can all feel too hard. I guess it comes down to how much you want to change.
Q5. Most tradies want to make more money, right?
Andy: Yep, they do, absolutely. Still, there’s one big problem: making more money is not the same as making more profit. When I ask tradies how much profit they make, many don’t know the answer.
Knowing your numbers is the only way you can know whether you’ve got a profitable business. Understanding your finances is a non-negotiable, even when you have a great accountant.
Q6. How does Lifestyle Tradie work?
Ange: In a nutshell, Lifestyle Tradie is an award-winning education program and community for trade business owners who want to make more profit and fast-track financial freedom.
Andy and I started Lifestyle Tradie in 2009. We’d invested in working out how to run our own trade business a better way – and we wanted to share this knowledge with other tradies.
Andy: As I said earlier, there’s some tough love involved! But mostly, Lifestyle Tradie is a great community of members who want to work smarter and spend more time with family.
Lifestyle Tradie’s live event series, Next Level Tradie is for trade business owners who have plans to start up, scale up or sell up. The one-day event provides practical information tradies can apply immediately.
Key topics include:
- How to convert more quotes
- Strategies to encourage repeat customers
- Knowing your numbers
- Technology to streamline your day
Register now for free tickets to our last ever Next Level Tradie tour.