I know I’m not alone in being frustrated with a long list of tradesmen who I’ve called to do various jobs around the house. Carpenters, plumbers, electricians, the jobs may be different, but the outcome is nearly always the same.
The postman may always ring twice, but tradesmen never do.
Occasionally you might get an initial call back, on even rarer occasions you might even get someone to your house to look at the job. But then they simply disappear, never to be heard from again.
Crazy when you think about it. Not just turning individual jobs away, but turning away any future opportunity of doing a job for the person who called them.
It got me thinking why this would be. What would cause someone to stifle the long-term future of their business.
1. They’re incredibly busy, have more work than they can handle, and prioritise big jobs over little.
Like many solopreneurs (I so hate that term), they are completely overwhelmed; too busy being busy to recognise that those little projects done well, or even turned away with a bit of honest communication, might well turn into big projects, maybe even a lifetime of projects for the same customer
2. They have no support – no one to share the workload with, no one to take calls, no one to do their admin.
Like many one-man-bands, they don’t get that the only way to grow their business sustainably is to have a support team. People who have your back, who look after your prospective customers, deal with the day to day organisation of running a business, perhaps do some of the project work with you or for you. An admin person who doubles up as a book keeper, an equally skilled tradesman, an apprentice. We all need support.
3. They have no systems – just a long list of jobs that have to get done. Like a hamster on a wheel, there’s no real plan, they haven’t thought about where they’re going, what they want from the business beyond the cash that it brings in, how they can sustain the work they have.
What they really have is a job, and one that probably causes them way more aggravation than a ‘proper job’ would.
Now of course, I’m generalising. There are some great tradesmen out there who have built successful businesses, who give great customer service and who communicate really well. But there are way too many who fit my stereotype.
And here’s the real question…do you?
Are you working alone, without support, without systems, too busy being busy to grow a business?
Do you just have a job? Something to think about maybe.