Plan to secure your future

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By the time you read this almost a quarter of the year has already gone — that’s 25%, 13 weeks out of 52 (just trying to get your attention here). And if you’re like me, you are still meeting people who ask “how was your Christmas?”.

On one hand it is long forgotten, but on the other it only seems like yesterday we were drinking the screwdrivers in the sun.
The point I am trying to make is if you are not careful you will be drinking on the beach again celebrating Christmas 2014 and, hey, nothing has changed. There is that dear old saying that goes, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got”.

For some of you the “same old” is just what you desire, and there is nothing wrong with that. But for most, you either want to change or really need to (for some they are not aware of this need).

Let me tell you of a chap I met recently, a tradesman for the past 30 something years (straight out of school).

He works in the sub-trades, there are only four of them operating in a town of 75,000 people, he’s scared to employ anybody, has got plenty of work, isn’t making a fortune, is doing everything himself, his wife helps out a little but has a full time job and kids to look after, he works 7am to 6pm six days a week, and comes home at night, has dinner and then hits the paperwork. Sound familiar?

His first question to me was “I can’t see any future. Another 10 years and I will be retiring. I am so tired of the work hours and the monotony, but I don’t know of anything else I can do. Where did I go wrong?”

The answer is he hasn’t done anything wrong — he’s just done what he knew. If there is any criticism to be had it could be that he should have recognised that a change was needed earlier.

To be fair though, when you are head down bum in the air, and up to your armpits just trying to keep the business going and money coming in, considering any type of change is far from the front global mass of reasoning in an overcrowded brain.

Is our man here beyond help? Of course not. He has 13 years left before retiring and that’s not a given finish line — he could still have an earning capacity far beyond 65 if the company is structured correctly. On this point, make sure you read next month’s Building Today when I will talk more about this.

Our man here has no savings, no investments, a mortgage, limited insurances, good health, and has to find a way of living for 20-plus years after he retires — a really scary prospect and one I come across regularly.

So what are we going to do for our long-suffering tradesman?

So what are we going to do for our long-suffering tradesman? First up, we are going to give him hope by putting a plan in place, then we are going to systemise the way he does business to maximise his time.

We’ll look at his charge out structure and invoicing method (no longer will invoices be sent out months after the job’s finished). His cash flow will improve, his creditors will be paid on time and his stress levels will come down.

He will no longer have to sit up until midnight doing quotes, invoices and GST. We are looking at alternative marketing ideas and new unique revenue streams for that dreaded retirement period we all crave.

It all sounds so easy scribbling it down on paper and, to be honest, it is. Because for a Trades Coaching New Zealand coach it’s what we do every day for our clients. Is it easy for our tradesman? No, it takes a leap of faith and a complete attitude change.

My first conversation lasted more than two hours with our man. He started off with a non-smiling and a slightly “whatever” attitude, but by the end there was a twinkle in his eye as he lovingly caressed his favourite pipe wrench — and that’s not what he calls his wife by the way. However, she was smiling too as she could see there was hope.

So don’t wait any longer to explore the alternatives. Call Trades Coaching New Zealand now on 09 945 4880.