One of the fundamental issues facing the construction sector for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) is the lack of business knowledge.
While this is probably generally true for all SMEs in any sector, the complexities of managing a construction business make having sound business practices even more essential.
There is a lot of talk about the boom and bust nature of our sector. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a much smoother curve and steady growth so we could grow our firms without the stress and worry the boom/bust cycle brings?
Well folks, all I can say is that while that is a nice ideal, it will never happen. It is a cyclical sector — perhaps even more so than many — and that’s the nature of it and the nature of economies in general.
Every Government would love a similar scenario, but is just doesn’t happen, so we have to learn to cope with it.
At the Registered Master Builders Federation we believe we are better off providing training and support to our members so they obtain the skills to manage their businesses better, rather than relying on what the Government might be able to do.
However, we also know there are plenty of business programmes and courses out there, but none are “trade-centric”.
We know providing a business course that does not meet the needs of the participants is a waste of time. We also know that tradespeople learn better in groups where they can share and discuss things, and that being able to apply their learning to their actual business is the best way to appreciate and understand how a business works.
So to ensure we’re providing this for our members, Registered Master Builders has partnered with Master Plumbers and Master Electricians and, in conjunction with the Open Polytech of New Zealand, developed a trade-focused small business programme.
It is Government-subsidised, and an absolute must if you are starting out in business. We will be launching this shortly, and our aim is to lift the business skill levels of all our members so they do not learn the hard way through the “school of hard knocks”.
We want to make members more profitable, competitive, have more spare time and to be able to retire earlier. Indeed, it wasn’t until I did some proper business training that I realised what I didn’t know, notwithstanding I had spent many years in business.
I wish I had done a course when I was younger — who knows what might have happened?
We also realise that we need to nurture, support and mentor individuals right through their construction career. From April this year we have opened up our membership to individuals and building companies who contract to other building companies.
So no matter where you are in your building career we have a home for you, and you can access all of our offerings and benefits so that you can be as successful as possible. Full use of the brand, access to the business training programme, legal advice, huge savings, networking, advocacy — you name it.
There are thousands of LBPs out there that need to keep abreast of all the changes that are going on in the building space otherwise they will be left on the sideline — and we cannot afford that as a building sector. It is not healthy for us.
Construction professionals can also join (QSs, project managers etc) as we appreciate the professional element in construction is essential.
We don’t want to rely on Government to solve our issues. We need a healthy and vibrant construction sector, and the best way of helping to create that is taking control of it ourselves.
So look out for the launch of our Business Training Academy, and talk to us about membership and how we can help you.