Earning a trade is a pretty bloody solid achievement. It takes up to four years of hard yakka and steady learning. By the time you finish it and work a few years in the industry, you’re about ready move on, become your own boss and never let anyone tell you what to do ever again.

But how do you go from working your trade under a boss to running your own show? Surely it’s not that easy. Well, we’re not gonna lie, it’s certainly not easy. But if you’re serious about being your own boss, here are a few pointers to get you started on setting up your own business. You might be ready to dive in or just interested in having a browse for later down the track.

Before you start…

You’ll need to ask yourself a couple of questions about your business plan.

  • Do you have all the tools you need to start your business and work?
  • Do you have the licenses and insurances necessary to run your business?
  • Are you willing and able to do jobs on your own and take responsibility for anything that could go wrong?
  • Are you comfortable with quoting and charging customers for the work that you do?
  • Do you know how to calculate your overheads and costs to know when you’re making a profit?
  • Is there enough work available to keep your business afloat?

If the answer to all these is “yes” then you might want to consider undertaking a short course, such as the Builders Office Management course offered by HIA. It takes 4 to 6 months and covers basic business operations, tax, insurance and marketing. It’s the perfect way to equip yourself for a business in the building industry.

1. Get advice and stay ahead of the competition

One of the best ways to get started in business is to seek advice from those who have done it before. Making connections with people in the industry will not only help to get your business up and running, but it will also help in getting your name established. The benefits of joining an industry association like HIA is that they will happily help you access information and advice to keep you up to date and ahead of your competitors. They’ll also have plenty of industry connections for you to meet and grow your network.

2. Write a business plan

From there, you’ll need to write yourself a solid business plan. This should include your goal, your mission and some market research on how many customers you’re likely to have. It should also clearly detail the costs of starting the business, including equipment, materials, transportation, labour, payroll and any other costs you might incur. At that point, you need to project how much profit you’re likely to make and measure it against your costs. If the difference is enough to live on comfortably, your business sounds like it could be worth pursuing.

You can find out how to write a good business plan here.

3. Get funding

So you’ve got your idea, you’ve written it all down and costed it all out. It looks like it just might work out as a successful business. The next step is to secure yourself some funding. This might mean saving a tidy lump of cash, taking out a business loan or applying for a government grant.

Good luck m8s.