How did you get started in the building industry?
I actually started in the building industry as a young child helping my plasterer father. It was my job to mix plaster and wash the buckets all ready for the week ahead. My second entrance into the building industry came when I met and married my builder husband. I began with admin in his family company before we branched out and began our own company where I have worked my way up to now be our business manager, spotlighting as a labourer and site cleaner along the way.
What is a typical day?
I am not sure there is ever a typical day! Most days I begin work between 4 and 5am. With 5 kids 4 of which are still teenagers our lives are crazy busy, and this early time in the day helps me get that crucial head start. At that time I am generally working on our marketing or answering emails. I have a blog called The Builder’s Wife, which requires several hours a day. Sometimes that may be writing content for the blog, speaking with other women in construction, managing our social pages or Facebook groups. Having the blog has totally changed the way we do business, the clients we attract and our contract values, so therefore a very important part of our business.
Once the bogging part of my day is done, it is straight into the project management aspect. This takes the form of site visits, client meetings and organising suppliers and stock for site. My favourite part of my job is assisting our clients with their selections. As I am currently studying to be an interior decorator, helping clients with their selections is more fun than work.
I have recently been able to let go of the administration side of my job, as we have employed a part time administration assistant who is worth her weight in gold. This little extra freedom means I can spend more time on site keeping up with the day to day of a job.
What lessons have you learnt?
- Outsource when and where you can. It really isn’t possible to do everything yourself and while letting go can sometimes be challenging, the rewards far outweigh the challenge.
- Treat your staff well, they are the face of your company. Be prepared to listen to their ideas, make them feel a valued part of your team and they will bring your company the loyalty and stability it needs.
- Don’t be afraid to try new things and never stop learning.
- Lastly, find a niche and become the best in your chosen niche. Once we made the decision to focus on renovation of Queenslanders only, our business tripled. While it does narrow the field, it actually increases your demand as you are seen to be an expert in what you do.
Any tips for new business partners or starting out in business?
Network, network, network! Join Facebook groups with likeminded people. Expand your horizons and listen to any advice you are fortunate to receive. Ask another business partner you admire to mentor you, most will be happy to share the lessons they have learned along the way. Most of all, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Future plans for the business
Our business is set to expand in the next 12 months. We are in the process of hiring a site supervisor to assist us with the workload. We hope in the next 12 months we can transition the business to the point that Adam and myself are not required to play such a labour intensive role in our business. Adam is moving towards training and I myself am looking towards taking on more of the opportunities that my blog has delivered us, like public speaking, writing and interior decorating consultations, the fun stuff