By Terry Sage, Trades Coaching New Zealand
Following on from last month’s piece of Booker Prize-worthy literature — or maybe not — of which you will have remembered every word — or, again, perhaps certainly not — I am going to outline the reasons behind the need for a business coach.
These reasons are many and varied and, luckily for my mental well-being, don’t always centre on businesses that are about to implode.
Having said many and varied, there are also a handful of common needs for nearly every client we help, but I will cover these in a future article.
Let’s take a look at the most common reason we get called in to work with a business, and you can see if you fall into one or more of these categories.
• The tradie who has turned into a brand new business owner.
This describes the majority of construction company owners at some stage. We have done our time and think we can do it better than our current boss, or we have that odd dream of financial freedom.
My excuse 35 years ago was that I was made redundant and had nowhere else to go. I actually wish this was the most popular reason, as it would save a lot stress for so many.
Why don’t they teach business skills during the apprenticeship? So the issue here is that we are great at building but not at business — and the fact we are great at building is a big part of our downfall.
Why? It’s because we are so good that we get busy so quickly, and have no procedures, processes, structure or cash flow in place to handle the growth.
My comment about wishing this was the most popular reason is that if we could work with the tradie and set them up with a business in a box before they go it alone, they would have all the tools to make the best possible start.
So if you are thinking of going solo, call first. If you have just gone solo call now, and if solo is not as good as it sounded 12 months ago then call right now.
• The tradie who has been doing it for years.
This guy has seen it all, had the good times and the rough times, loved every minute of it and hated every second.
They were big, then downsized and grew again. Their partner worked in the business at first and, if they were smart, this stopped and the marriage came first. If not, “hey, meet partner number three”.
This type of tradie needs help either to get motivated again or to get out. It’s a scenario that is often easy to fix, but only if the old dog is open to new tricks.
• The busted tradie.
This is the one who is still enjoying the industry and is great at the job, but the knees, shoulders, elbows and anything else that moves has stopped responding to legal drugs.
This is not so easy to fix, as most of these tradies know nothing else except their trade. It takes a while to convince them that there are alternatives.
• The hungry tradie.
Got to love these ones — they know what they want, know where it is, but need guidance on the best way to get it.
Yep, love them, but I don’t see as many as I would like. However, the ones I do see are great to work with.
• The common tradie.
By this, I don’t mean they’re not fit to meet the queen — they’re just part of the biggest group I see.
They are good on the tools and run an okay ship, but spend most of their time putting out fires.
Rather than working on and running their business, they spend seven out of eight hours each day pacifying clients, kick-starting workers, balling out suppliers, apologising for being three weeks late with a quote, sweet talking the admin person to get another day before passing on the info for the invoices that should have gone out last week — and this is all before they even start on their list of jobs today.
All sound familiar? Can you place yourself somewhere in the five categories above?
Well, if you tick one or more boxes, a business coach would be great for you. And have I got a deal for you . . .