Tips for Starting Your Own Successful Tradie Business

If you’ve been a tradie for a while, you might be starting to think about flying the coop and branching out on your own.

If so- well done! 

It can be a scary step to take but one that’s well worth it, as long as you do things properly. 

Getting started can be an overwhelming and confusing process, so we at OHS Compliance Solutions are here to guide and support you. 

In this series, we’ll be giving you some tips on getting started, some important things to remember, and some guidance on growing your business. 

1. Get Your Ducks in a Row

Before you do any work, you need to do some research. 

You know you’ll need an ABN (Australian Business Number), but how will you set yourself up? Will you be a sole trader or a partnership? These are important decisions to make. 

You’ll also need to be aware of the nitty-gritty things you’ll need, like permits, licences, insurance, and anything else that keeps you on the right side of the law.

2. Know Your Numbers

Not everyone is a numbers person, and that’s ok. Get yourself an accountant or bookkeeper to help you ensure you’re keeping compliant with the ATO. 

And although it’s a good idea to have someone help you, don’t hand it all over and trust it will work out. 

Your business is your baby, and you should always know what’s happening with it financially. 

3. Get Compliant

If you’re here and reading this, you know we’re all about compliance. 

Getting your policies and procedures in place from the get-go can prevent tragedy and accidents further down the line. 

In an accident situation, every second is valuable, so having the procedures in place beforehand could mean the difference between a moderate injury and losing a limb. 

Some of the jargon associated with being a tradie business owner can be a bit confusing. 

If you find yourself itching to Google, “What’s the difference between a policy and procedure?”, no need! 

This guide will take you through all you need to know. 

You can find out more about SWMS here too! 

4. Know Your Worth and Price Accordingly

When starting out, it can be tempting to take on any and all jobs, no matter how big or small. 

And while it may seem like a good idea to take every bit of work that comes your way, you can find yourself taking on work for clients that won’t pay, want you to do the work for “exposure”, or want a massive discount. 

It’s important to remember that as you get more experienced, you’ll get faster at completing your work. 

Make it a point to quote your customers what you know you’re worth, not what you think they’ll pay- if you’re good, the work will be there at any price, as long as you’re fair. 

5. Learn How to Spot a Time-Waster

When you’re starting out, you may find yourself eager to please, going above and beyond for every query. 

While it’s an excellent work ethic, you don’t want to spend all your time drawing up time-consuming quotes for people who are only asking for interests’ sake or because they want to compare their own prices with yours. 

If you’re meeting potential clients in person, learn to read their body language. 

Over the phone or email, you can often filter by listening out for specific phrases, like, “My manager asked me to gather some quotes” or “We don’t want to meet until we know your prices”. 

But most of all, go with your gut. 

Your instinct will always be your greatest asset in business- learn to trust it.

6. Never Underestimate the Power of Good Marketing

Being a tradie, you might hear that word of mouth is the best way to get new clients. 

While that may be true to a point, a good marketing strategy can take your business to new heights. 

You may choose to begin with an online presence. While having social media is often beneficial, having a website is vital. 

You can create one yourself, but outsourcing to a web designer will add an element of professionalism that you won’t get with a DIY website. 

An additional option is to work with a digital marketing specialist to develop an entire strategy.

The most important thing is to ensure you come across as authentic. 

Potential clients can detect fakeness from a mile away, so remember to be yourself no matter what.  

Bonus Tip!

One word – outsourcing. 

When you’re starting out, you might want to have your hand in every single aspect of your business, but don’t forget that you’re just one person. 

Whether you choose to rely on your partner to do your books or website (appreciate those wives fellas!), a friend to walk you through the ABN stuff, or hire a professional to do your OHS compliance, you’ll be a better business owner when you lean on those who can help. 

If the idea of trying to make your business compliant when it comes to occupational health and safety makes you shudder, contact us at [email protected] for a consultation

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