When deciding to stay small as a business a typical response I hear from trades people goes like this:
“I tried going big once. It’s hard. Too stressful. I hated it. Gave it away.”
Or, “I went big once but managing staff is impossible and there isn’t enough money in to cover the overheads.”
It can sometimes be easier to let yourself off the hook and move on. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of examples of businesses that have grown, or those owners who are happy to keep their businesses small (which is a valid choice!).
But it’s important to debunk the idea that going big is impossible or too difficult to be worth the effort. It isn’t. It involves implementing new systems, being intentional with your efforts and managing risk.
What can go wrong when your business grows?
Before we do that though, let me tell you a story about what usually goes wrong.
You start small. It’s just you, your vehicle and some tools. You mostly get work through word of mouth. Life is simple. You find work, do it, get paid, rinse and repeat.
Then, there is a need for promotion: flyers, local papers, a bit of digital marketing. Another thing to do.
Now you’re hiring – an apprentice, a bookkeeper and a few other staff? Maybe you’ve built a website. The admin work is piling up with quotes, invoicing, materials, and overheads are increasing.
As the pressure builds up, you have less time and essential items start to fall through the gaps. For some people at this point after months of pushing on they decide it’s not what they want and they shrink their business. Or it starts to go wrong because of time spent chasing up unpaid invoices, which accumulates business debt.
For small businesses, particularly where staff members might be other family members, this hits hard not just for the business but personally as well. Which brings us back to the importance of systems. If you incorporate a systems-based approach when growing your business these issues can be manageable or even preventable in many cases. So what does that mean?
Effective systems are the answer
It means building systems that do your marketing properly, and maximise the return on your dollar and with no quiet periods.
It means creating systems for your sales, quoting and how you price items so you charge enough to cover all those costs without every quote needing your eyes on it.
It means incorporating systems for the work, to manage quotes, scheduling, invoicing, ordering, timesheets and variations.|
Especially important are systems for the money to measure the profitability of every job and your team every week and month so you know what’s going on and can fix issues when they occur.
There’s an ecosystem of people and businesses who can help you build your systems. When you’re building your business, it’s not something you do alone, in fact that you need to do the opposite. You need a support network in place to help you succeed!
That’s where my business comes in. I’ll help you build your systems and decide which ones to build first. I’ll focus hard on the money because it’s so important. If you’re on top of your money you can buy systems instead of trying to do everything yourself.
For GeoNext you should have a job management system
GeoNext is a great option for a small and growing maintenance trade. It will help you manage quotes and scheduling, invoicing and ordering; it will help you manage timesheets and track your staff.
It’s an electronic system you can use to reduce paperwork, reduce mistakes, and take a lot of hassle out of your hands freeing you up to focus on the important areas of growth for your business, or just spending a bit more time with your family.
You can write systems for how you want your people to do things and you can build systems to manage money and cash flow.
If you do this work then you will be able to more easily navigate those challenging pain points of a growing business. That’s because you will have systems in place with properly trained staff. Ultimately it will mean the enjoyable reality of a normal working week with a larger, more profitable company.
Why don’t you start putting systems into your business?
One way to do that is to explore coaching with Small Fish. A few options to get started include:
- Joining our Facebook group and spend a bit of time getting a feel for how we connect.
- You can also join our email list and watch our Toolbox Tip videos every week until you’re ready to engage.
- Or you can jump in with both feet and book a Money Maker call with Jon today and find out if we’re a good fit. (Recommended!)
About Jon and Small Fish
Jon Dale is the founder of Small Fish Business Coaching. It is business coaching for tradies and builders. We’re called Small Fish because that’s who we are, and that’s who we like to work with: small fish who want to grow a bit bigger and stronger to better manage those challenging currents.
Small Fish is a specialised kind of business coaching, purpose built for trade businesses that need to build systems and structures to grow their business properly. With us, your business will grow from a small and unstructured operation to a larger, well-structured and systematic one. How much larger is up to you!
Want to say goodbye to annoying paperwork?
GeoNext is easy to use, has all the tools you need and is FREE for 14 days
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