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How To Go From Tradesman To Businessman

It’s question on the minds of all self employed tradesmen in the current economic climate; How can I possibly make more money when rates are so low and competition so high? In this post we’re looking at how to go from tradesman to businessman and make more money.

Since 2008 jobs have been thin on the ground, and faced with either the welfare line or the flight abroad, you reckoned you’d work for yourself. There are many guys like you, working for themselves trying to make enough to get by.

It’s not been easy

The construction industry is a tough game to operate in, and given recent economic conditions, rates have not been very good. The problem is there are too many guys competing for the same work with the result that margins are squeezed way too tight for anyone to make a profit.

When rates are too low it only takes a minor mishap on site to kill the small profit that a self employed tradesman has, with the result most will end up working for way less than the industry rates.

It Doesn’t Need To Be Like This

I can safely say that pretty much all tradesmen I’ve ever met have not a single ounce of business training behind them before going into business. I know it certainly was true for me. I made every mistake in the book and learned the very hard way.

The thing is, no one taught you how to be a businessman/woman and you’re going to have to do something about that. “Business” turns a lot of tradesmen off, but stay focused because you have a lot going for you. You have two very important boxes ticked before you even start.

  1. You are technically skilled
  2. You have the drive to be self sufficient.

If you take the time to school yourself even just a little bit you’ll get a good head start. Beware that not all “start your own business” courses are made for you so be sure to do your homework.

Forget About Competition

OK, so here’s the meat in the sandwich…

I know this will go against the traditional business mindset, however, if you do what everyone else does your results will not be any different than everyone else’s. The trouble with the construction industry is that everyone is in competition with each other. It takes the brave, bold and often labeled stupid, to go against the grain.

Forget about what everyone else is doing, what they’re charging and who they work for. Decide from day one that you’re not going to follow the herd. Do things differently, create a niche and set your prices at least 20% higher that the masses. It’s a bold move but if you don’t “paddle your own canoe” so to speak you’ll be scrambling around for small margins at the bottom with everyone else.

Set Your Bar High

If I could start all over again I would have focused on a niche from day one. I would set my bar high in that area and I would have commanded pole position. You must do the same in the current economic climate if you are to succeed and become wealthy in a construction related business.

There is plenty of scope to make good money if you can find a niche for yourself, and if you can’t find one, use that entrepreneurial spirit that got you going at the start, and create one!

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