Hybrid work: What tradies can teach other small businesses about flexible working

- October 28, 2021 3 MIN READ
A tradie with a clipboard

It can be argued that tradie small business owners were the first to implement hybrid working. They don’t work the traditional nine to five and quite often they have no choice but to be flexible in the way they work. The result? They have a stronghold on operating on the go, writes Roby Sharon Zipser founder of hipages.

There are, however, many small business owners across various industries who have been peddling so hard since the start of COVID-19 that they’ve either lost track of what flexibility in their business looks like or they are so busy that they are struggling to get it back. The good news is that there are small changes that can be implemented for a big impact on the way they approach their day-to-day life.

We have over 31,000 tradie business owners subscribed to our platform and through seeing how they operate flexibly, I’ve created a few valuable points that all small business owners could learn from.

5 things your tradie can teach you about flexible work

1. Build your network of contractors now

Tradies always aim to have their ‘subbies’ in the wings. Know your skill level boundaries and the best use of your time. Often, the thought of hiring another set of hands to carry out work can feel like an unnecessary cost but consider what you could be doing while performing a task that someone else could do in half the time. Line up a network before the job comes through the door. This will be your A-team ‘black book’ and will allow you to move quickly.

2. Tradies quote quickly

A huge part of a tradie’s world is quoting jobs. We recently asked over 1,000 independent homeowners what the deciding factors  are when choosing a tradie. Second only to a tradie being local, respondents chose when the business is able to provide a fast response with quotes (62%). Tradies on our platform quote based on images, a written brief, cost and urgency of the job, but some also follow up with a video call to assess the job remotely. Think of what elements you can ask your customers to provide upfront to help you quote faster.

3.  At tradie doesn’t work office hours

Tradies are famous for their early starts to the day. If operating your business means creating a schedule outside of the traditional, then explore how to make that work for you. Hold yourself accountable to the tasks that you want to achieve in these hours by mapping out a solid project management plan (another key tradie tool!). Align it with your life goals and highlight the times when you think you’ll get the most out of speaking to customers versus your business admin.

4. Be loud and proud

Behind every great home, you’ll generally find a tradie that has worked hard to deliver their best work. They show their pride  by embracing online tools that make it easy to share photographs of their work and invite their customers to publish feedback online. The few moments that they take to do this immediately after a job, saves them hours (and dollars) on marketing in the long run. Find a platform that speaks directly to your customer base and update it within a few days of completing the job.

5. Find ways to let leads come to you

Tradies are generally speaking to their next customer 2-3 jobs ahead. Their new business pipeline is very valuable and they manage this well. Lead generation apps such as hipages take the time out of cold calling or relying on referrals. Guarantee your leads by exploring platforms that are applicable to your industry. Contact them to have an open and honest conversation about what you need for your business and your goals. They may have plans or trials tailored to your specific needs.

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