Based on projections from market research firm Statista, the construction industry in the UK is expected to grow, reaching £404.13bn in 2024 and further increasing to a revenue of £476.6bn by 2027. Despite the apparent health of the industry, why do numerous smaller trade businesses encounter difficulties?
Dan Pollard, the Founder of Fergus and a tradesperson, has navigated the peaks and valleys of owning a trade business and asserts that he has the answer.
“One of the many hard lessons I have learned over my years in the trade industry is that sometimes, or many times, it is better to say ‘no’ to a job, rather than ‘yes’,” explains Dan. “For many years, I said ‘yes’ to every single job that came across my plate. If we had the manpower and we could fit it in, I said ‘yes’. The truth was, despite being crazy busy, we struggled year after year with cash flow.”
Elevating the trade business in 2024 could be more straightforward than tradespeople think, thanks to the assistance of job management software. Fergus is offering four New Year resolutions designed to get your business into shape:
- Ask: Is this job going to pay?
Unpaid debts are one of the most significant challenges trade businesses face, from businesses folding or being unable to fulfil their payment obligations. You should ask, “Can I figure out in advance if a job is going to pay or not, and can I avoid taking those jobs on?”
Searching under the bonnet of your business will reveal what is profitable and what is not. Job management software, like Fergus, expedites this process by displaying the profit levels of every job.
- Get a handle on costs
Monitoring supplies is crucial; over-ordering equates to overspending, whilst under-ordering risks an incomplete job. On a hectic business day, it may prove hard to keep track. The job management software could overcome these challenges by swiftly generating accurate invoices for clients, sending automated payment reminders and overseeing stock levels.
- Figure out your high-margin, low-cost jobs
The first step to a business boost is identifying existing revenue streams. Work through your financials with ease by utilising software like Fergus to show you which jobs pay the best.
The high margin, fast turnover, and low-cost model worked for Dan; however, this is not an adaptable model for every business. One of your priorities into the new year should be to sit down and assess where your business excels and where it falls short.
- Say no to bad jobs and yes to cash flow
Once identifying low-paying jobs and saying ‘no’ start saying ‘yes’ to more lucrative jobs. The next step is predicting your cash flow by fortifying your business to become recession-proof.
Predicting cash flow manually can be challenging as insufficient data cannot accurately forecast rapid changes. Software, like Fergus, can aid this process.