Do you want to grow your trades business?
Here are 4 things we think you need to focus on:
Being your own boss and owning/operating your own business is the goal for many if not most tradespeople. So, what stops those tradesmen and women from starting up on their own?
Put simply, it’s the fear of knowing they’ll need to manage multiple jobs at any given time, and just that point alone, never mind all the financial tracking aspects can stop even the most competent, and skilled tradesperson from going it alone.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think. Here’s why:
Help is out there in many different forms, you just need to look for it. Check out our 4 tips for growth. They’re applicable whether you’re just starting out, or you’re already running your own small trades business.
KNOW WHAT YOUR NEXT JOB IS, AND WHAT IT’S COSTING YOU
When you run your own trades business, most people believe that more jobs automatically equate to more money. We hate to break it to you, but that’s not always that case. Sure, being busy is great, but only if you’re busy with the right kind of jobs. Knowing what type of work to take on, and what to pass up isn’t rocket science, yet it trips so many businesses up. Having money and materials tied up in jobs that end up being far less profitable than you imagined is a genuine problem for lots of small businesses.
Trade Chimp can use your own data to display exactly what monies you have tied up in labour, materials, and give you a clear picture of just how profitable that job is for you. It will even tell you how productive and efficient your technicians are.
Never underestimate the power this kind of knowledge gives you. Being able to make informed decisions on actual data to determine what work you take on will give you a huge competitive advantage.
MANAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS
Congratulations, you’re super busy with lots of profitable work you’ve just completed. Your customers are happy with the service you’ve provided. Everything’s rosy, but when should you send an invoice?
Do you leave a printed invoice with the customer on completion of the job? Have you even had time to work one out? Or, do you have someone in your office who’ll email an invoice directly to the customer?
What’s your system? Do you even have a system?
It’s not unknown for a tradesperson to forget to raise an invoice, or even kept track of payments because they’re busy doing other jobs. By the time they realise that they need to sit down and go through timesheets and material lists, invoices have been left for far too long, and their cash flow is taking a major hit.
Having a system in place to ensure this isn’t a problem for you is vital. Trade Chimp have a free downloadable app that lets technicians submit their time and material sheets electronically. It saves TIME, MONEY, and RESOURCES. Letting you raise accurate invoices quickly and efficiently.
KNOW YOUR SUPPLIERS
It’s no big secret that your customers are going to want the best job you can provide, at the lowest cost, you can offer. It’s all about value for money.
We’re not saying “cheapest”, because nobody wants a cheap, quick fix to a problem which will more than likely reappear if the quality has been skimped on.
This leaves the question: how do you keep your customers happy without sacrificing quality, or a healthy profit?
The answer: Use the right suppliers.
It’s that simple. Using the right suppliers will make life so much easier for you. And, if you’re tracking what you have outstanding with your suppliers, know what you pay for your materials, and manage this effectively, you can stay competitive. An ideal supplier will give you reliable, durable products at a better than marketplace cost. This will make it easier for you to offer competitive quotes, without sacrificing your profit. If you’re continually tracking your suppliers, you’ll know if and when you need to switch them.
KNOW YOUR TEAM
Do you have the ambition to get yourself off tools?
It’s what most tradespeople who start their own business want to achieve. To stop doing jobs, and start managing them instead. Bringing in the right technicians will free your time so you can focus on growing your business.
Do you track your technician’s efficiency? If you’re shaking your head, don’t worry, you’re not alone. But, why?
Your technicians have the power to make or break your business, so not knowing their real cost to you is insane. Here’s what we’re talking about:
You’ve hired Chris, an electrician, and you currently charge him out to your customers at £25ph
Chris costs you £11.50ph
Chris works a 40h week, so in your mind, you make £13.50ph for each hour he works. It’s a fair assumption that you make £540pw from Chris.
It’s also a wrong assumption.
Do you KNOW how many hours you can actually charge Chris out at once you factor in his downtime, travelling to and from jobs, and trips to wholesalers etc.?
You can’t manage what you can’t measure, and guesswork isn’t a great way to conduct your business. With the touch of a button, Trade Chimp can tell you this information EXACTLY.
Trying to grow any business without first having a solid understanding of precisely what makes you profitable, where your money is coming from and where your strengths and weaknesses lie is pretty much impossible! The truth is that these problems can be overcome, as long as you know your business, and have the right business intelligence.
How do you measure and track business performance? For small business owners, there are a few options:
Do it manually – and spend hours more on adminPay a business consultant to do it – at great expenseUse a software programme – like Trade Chimp
The Trade Chimp platform has powerful business intelligence reports built in. It takes the data you enter, and transforms it into useful, easy to read intelligence reports, full of info that you can use to benefit and grow your business.
Start a Free Trial today, or, click to register your interest and learn more about how Trade Chimp can help you.