Paperwork — don’t hide it in a file!


Welcome to what I hope will be an ongoing feature in Building Today.

Why do I hope it will be ongoing? Well, it’s good for the ego seeing your name in print, and a great opener — “What do you do?” “I’m a writer . . .”
But besides making me feel better, I am hoping to share with you endless tips on business coaching and some case studies from actual clients.
Now I know you think you are very special, and what you face is absolutely unique to you. But trust me when I say most businesses, construction or otherwise, are very similar in their wants, needs and concerns when it comes to the business side of their business.

This being the first of, hopefully, many articles, perhaps I should start with an introduction of myself and my company, Trades Coaching New Zealand.
I am, in fact, one of you. By that I mean a qualified carpenter and joiner by trade — however, many people say I don’t look like one.
This has always concerned me, as I have never been sure which way to take that — do I look better or worse than a builder? Is being a builder a good look? I am sure it is, in which case I wish I did look like you.

Anyway, I’ve had 16 years on the tools — 12 of which were telling other people what to do with their tools — then a string of other businesses until after a short and hugely satisfying bout of semi-retirement (well, not really, I just had no idea what to do next) I started a company called Business Coaching New Zealand.
That was nearly eight years ago and is still going great guns, with more than 100 clients past and present. It was while coaching a well-known and respected Northland construction firm that the owner said “you should take this concept to the construction industry”.

I thought I had under the Business Coaching New Zealand banner, but after further talks we came up with the idea that players in the construction industry would relate better to one of their own, rather than a stuffy ex-banker or accountant (apologies to all non-stuffy ex-bankers or accountants).
So Trades Coaching New Zealand was introduced to the unsuspecting construction industry. What is it? Well, it’s Business Coaching New Zealand with a different name and different company colours, and the reason it can be the same is because business coaching is all about the business side of any business.

For instance, if we were coaching an engineer we would not tell them how to use a lathe, or if it were an optician, how to fix an eye.
Likewise, for any tradesperson we do not show you how to lay a drain, swing a hammer or paint a wall. What we do do, and do extremely well, is help you with all the other stuff that goes on somewhere in your office or perhaps the kitchen table.

The majority of trades companies throughout our land are owned and operated by tradesmen and women — and this not earth shattering news, I’m sure. However, most of the owners would have had the best possible training for their trade but very little training in how to run a business — yet run a business you do, and quite successfully.
With the help of a Trades Coaching New Zealand coach who not only understands your industry but has been trained in the art of business coaching, we will show you that a construction company is more than building.

And that the paperwork side is not something to fear or hide in a file but, in fact, is the part of the business that can make you more profit than the build itself.
If you are now thinking that if you don’t build there is no money coming in, so in your company paperwork takes second place, well, you’d be right — sort of.
Yes, we have to build, but if we can build and run an efficient, streamlined, well managed and — wait for it — profitable business, would you think again?
Stay with me over the next couple of months and read the case studies I present, and I bet there will be many out there in construction land that say “yep, I know that feeling”.

Next month: Planning, and why you need to write a plan even though you know what you want.

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