Trades coaching — what we actually do within a client’s construction business

Terry Sage of Trades Coaching New Zealand

By Terry Sage


Here it is — Part three of this epic trilogy of articles! Part one in June dealt with why tradies need a business coach and, last month, part two outlined the top five types of tradies we see on a regular basis.

I’ll finish off with this — and it’s totally worthy of an approach by Hollywood, or TVNZ at least, if only.

Back to the real world, part three is focused on what we actually do as a coaching company within our construction clients’ businesses.

Number one on the list — and this beats the rest by a country mile — we listen. And, no, this isn’t some new age daffodil from the 60s method of coaching. It is a simple fact that being a business owner can be a very lonely place.

There’s nobody to talk to about the problems, stress and everything else. You can’t talk to the staff — well, actually a lot do, but this can cause more problems than you started with.

Taking it home is not a great idea as you walk through the door and get hit by all the daily problems the family have had, and yours get pushed way down the list — even though, in reality, yours are probably way more important.

Is not having a client pay the latest invoice of $45k which, in turn, means your supplier account is now on hold and, by the way, the mobile might be cut off tomorrow, less important than your little princess falling out with her bestie?

It’s a tough call, and I mean that seriously. Princesses, and princes for that matter, should come first, so what happens to your problems?

They get bottled up and taken back to work the next day, and there you are yet again not having anybody to talk to, and “alone again, naturally”. (I’m sure that’s the title of a famous song from the 1970s?)

So that’s where a business coach comes into their own — we are the sounding board for all lonely business owners.

Two sayings come to mind here — the first, a problem shared is a problem halved. This is decades, possibly centuries-old, and mums use it every day to find out what’s in their kids’ heads. Yes, it does work!

The second saying is something I was told decades — no, not centuries — ago.

It was a simple throwaway comment when I was stressing about some trivial thing, and this rather smart young lady said to me, “95% of the things we worry about never happen.”

I have to admit, at that very moment in time it was a sideways glance and a what on earth do you know about the world thought that went through my head, summed up in four easy words — shut the …. up.

But over the years I have always remembered these wise words, and used their wisdom over and over again. If only she had become a world leader.

As I said, this part of coaching is by far the biggest thing we do — we listen and offer sound and simple advice.

So I’m nearly at the bottom of the page and only covered number one on the list, and there’s a reason for this.

Once we get all the issues out of your head and on a piece of paper, they can then be prioritised and worked on. Sounds so simple right? Can it really be that easy? Yes, it can.

Things such as cash flow, staff issues, systems for quoting, communication blah blah blah are all fixable, really they are.

You just have to take that first step and talk to somebody about it — and let’s face it people, what’s so hard about that?

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