In 2011 I decided that I was going to go out on my own. We were working on a major commercial project & I felt I was bringing a little bit more to the table than some of the chippies I was working with.
I approached the boss & made my case for a rise, in fairness to the guy he explained that I was above his carpenters rate & really there wasn’t much more he could do. So full of confidence I decided, fuck this I can do this on my own.
I approached my brother & decided we would team up & go into business. What I didn’t realise at that time was that I was beginning a new apprenticeship, a one in business. We huffed & puffed and really struggled to make anything of it, looking back I know why, we had no roles in the business.
Here’s the thing, whether it’s just you, a partnership, or you & some staff, everybody’s got to clearly know their role & be 100% responsible for delivering what’s expected of them.
We failed miserably and I can clearly pinpoint where it all changed for us. Niall was a better Carpenter than me, & better organiser of jobs and had an extra 6 years experience over me so I had to audit what it was I was actually contributing to the business. Was this a fair 50 – 50 partnership ? I had to admit although I could hold my own on site it just wasn’t an even partnership.
So I began to study business, I began to look at what it would take for me to come completely off the tools in a role where I was 100% responsible for bringing in the work. That’s not easy, but we had a plan. We wanted me out there finding the work & Niall also off the tools organising the work.
A couple of years later we achieved this, I must admit however there were days when it was all hands on deck, but you the game, sometimes we’ve all got to just get stuck in to get a job over the line.
Get clear on your roles, even ifs it just you but you want to grow. Think about what would your ideal business partner or employee look like, what skills could he / she add that could get you to the next level. This is a critical first step from transitioning from tradesman into profitable business.