It’s Tradies National Health Month, the perfect time to focus on taking the pressure down a notch or several.
For many guys and gals on the tools, this is low on the To Do list. Around the country, scores of tradie business owners are hard at it, putting in long hours and even longer weeks, to keep their operations afloat.
In today’s times, that’s quite an achievement.
Since the Covid crisis kicked off, the construction sector has been in a state of flux. After the federal government launched the 2020 Home Builder subsidy scheme, business began booming and tradies rapidly found themselves up to their ears in work, and short on workers to help them do it.
By 2021, the industry was suffering from its worst skills shortage in almost two decades, according to The Housing Industry Association. Widespread east coast flooding in early 2022 compounded the issue and, right now, only an extreme optimist would expect to be able to get a job done in a hurry.
But being flat out, as so many tradies have been for the past two years, doesn’t mean the good times are rolling, and the money’s rolling in. Finding staff has been challenging and so has sourcing materials. Everything, from trusses and engineered wood products to bathroom tiles, is in short supply and prices have shot up accordingly.
Builders whose quotes haven’t allowed for these fluctuations have had to wear the losses and many have gone out of business as a result. When that happens, subbies who’ve been wishin’ and hopin’ for their overdue invoices to be paid, inevitably share in the misery and, in some cases, are sent to the wall themselves.
Little surprise then that so many trade business owners are feeling hard pressed. More than 60 per cent cite work pressures as their greatest stressor, according to OzHelp’s latest National Tradie Wellbeing Survey published in January this year.
But while labour shortages and supply chain dramas may be impossible to control, there’s lots trade business owners can do to make themselves feel more relaxed and comfortable.
Becoming more systemised and achieving greater visibility over their financial positions, for starters. At the small to medium end of the construction sector, highly organised leaders are in the minority and there’s plenty of back of envelope quoting and shoebox accounting still going on. It’s an inefficient way to operate and one of the reasons so many trade business owners are mired in paperwork at night and on the weekend.
Streamlining the process of winning work, tracking costs, getting invoices out and keeping on top of compliance obligations is a sure-fire way to take back those hours and spend them doing something relaxing and enjoyable instead: catching up with family and friends, pursuing hobbies and leisure activities or simply chilling out off the tools.
Enter construction job management software: digital technology that automates quotes, timesheets, job scheduling, invoicing and back costing. It integrates with popular accounting packages, making it easy to price for profit, control costs, and keep on top of compliance and financial management. And it’s user friendly and affordable, for any trade business owner with a smartphone.
For those who want to stay solvent and sane during the uncertain times to come, there can be no better investment.