Top Tips for the Experienced Tradesperson: Building Your New Trade Business

Trade Business in Australia - New Trade Business Startups Brisbane Queensland

If you’ve been working in your trade for many years, chances are, at some point, you’ve thought about starting your own business. If you’re not starting from scratch and already have an extensive contact list, maybe it’s time to stop thinking about striking out on your own and actually start doing it? You already know you need to come up with a company name and register it – you probably already have a few ideas in mind. Before getting too attached, make sure to check out ASIC and ensure your favourite isn’t already being used by someone else! But what’s next? Read on – we’re going to step you further along the road to setting up your own trade business.

Here are some of your first steps :

Top Tips for the Experienced Tradesperson

  • Build a company name and brand which tells your customers what you do well. You want to be able to showcase your name and experience through using a tagline. Something like: “Joe’s Cabinetry: Building quality cabinetry for over 20 years.”
  • Think about your point of difference. You’ve got the experience now to see what works and what doesn’t. How are you going to do things differently from what you’ve experienced previously? How are you going to do things better? You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, so take what works and change what doesn’t to make this your point of difference.
  • Before you start drumming up work under your company name, make sure your accreditation is up to date. Depending on what trade you’re in, you’ll need to maintain qualifications and may need permits for the different types of jobs you’re hoping to land.
  • Now to get some work! Well, if it was that simple everyone would be doing it wouldn’t they? But your huge advantage is that you’ve already got the experience and contacts. And you’ve probably worked for different companies and employers too. Your first priority is to tap into that primary network to win immediate work and ideally, have a three month block of work ahead of you. Leverage off the people you’ve worked with previously and keep an ear to the ground about upcoming tenders that you could bid for on your own. If tendering is out of your skillset, don’t shy from getting professional support, at least for the first few times.
  • Going it alone, doesn’t have to mean doing it all completely alone. Consider partnership opportunities or aligning yourself with strategic contracts. For example, list your new trade company with one of the major real estate companies or with major insurance houses. You’ll need to ensure you package up your expertise in a way that demonstrates your professionalism and experience.
  • Similar to advice we gave the fresh apprentices, think about your why. With years of expertise, why have you decided to set up your own trade business now? Maybe you’re looking to take control of your life or start to build your own legacy. Maybe you’re just looking for more job satisfaction or a challenge. Whatever your ‘why’ is, keep it in the forefront of your mind when things get tough.

And all the Digital Stuff

You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Even hands-on tradespeople need digital skills.

  • Customers want to see what they’re getting. Set up a website or at the very least, a social media profile which can demonstrate your experience and skills, and the work you’re capable of.
  • Invest in SEO. Search Engine Optimisation just makes it easier for customers to find you. It means when they search for someone with your skills, good SEO will land you on the first page of their search. 
  • Invest in social media marketing. Ensure you are regularly posting and interacting with your customers. Showcase the work you’re doing for your clients. Don’t be shy to ask your clients to rave about you on your social media accounts and to always ask for their feedback.

Find the (Other) Workers

  • You’ve heard the saying about working on your business and not always in your business. Taking on apprentices means you can spend more time coaching and building capability, than doing the work yourself. That way you can focus on getting the work in, managing it well, and scaling up.
  • Give yourself more time to win work by bringing in contractors. It may mean slimmer margins for you in the short term, but a greater volume of work is a win in the long run. Finding contractors you trust means that apprentices can learn from them. Or consider hiring a supervisor to guarantee the quality of work for your clients, while you continue developing the business.
  • Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you have to. Speak with the experts to help you set up your new business right – whether that be accountants, social media or website specialists so you can spend your time where you are going to get the most bang for your buck.

We recently wrote other articles on setting up your own trade business when you’ve just finished your apprenticeship or have been working in the trades with just a few years experience. You can read about it here and here.

If you would like to get more advice about how to best showcase your years of expertise in your new trade business, contact the team at Consultya on 0428 20 40 50 or info@consultya.com.au.

Service Location: 1/10 Albert Ave, Broadbeach Gold Coast Queensland 4218, Australia.

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