5 Pillars of a Sucessful Trades Business
There are roughly 5 pillars of a successful trades business. They are all very important jobs, and together they make a well-balanced business that is set up for success.
The first pillar (keep in mind we are discussing construction) is the carpenter, who of course is a skilled laborer. This is the guy who knows exactly how to build what he is trying to build. He knows the specific tools that are needed and is meticulous about his work area. The carpenter wants to complete the job as quickly and effectively as he can. He is an expert in his field, but more importantly, he is all about quality construction. Doing it right is the only thing that matters. This is your master carpenter and every construction company needs to have one.
The second pillar is the Manager. This is a detail-oriented person. This is the person who wants a process in place to do a job in an orderly fashion. He or she appreciates structure in their daily job and wants to help build processes within the business structure. The manager is the person who is able to oversee other people, manage the construction process, and make fine tweaks to those processes as you build your business.
The salesperson is the third pillar. This is arguably the most important position and could be listed first, but we are building a foundation here – not just flashing starting only through sales. This person is a go-getter. This is the person who wants to accomplish as much as possible while maximizing their time and getting their most profitable output for their effort. Salespeople are all about the money. They want to know what the profit is and how much of it they can make. This person is free-spirited and don’t care much for paperwork and time clocks. They are interested in signing deals and getting money as quickly and as easily as possible. They are essential to any business; without sales, you don’t have a business.
The fourth pillar is the finance person or, the bookkeeper, whose importance cannot be overemphasized. This is the person who watches the money; they count the money going in and coming out of the business. This person is detail-oriented and analyzes the data, analyzes the financials, and makes business decisions based on numbers, not gut feelings. He or she makes decisions based on what things are going to cost and not what the return is going to be. Oftentimes, this person has a conservative approach to spending money and is always looking at ways to cut costs rather than increase expenses. That’s the mindset of the bookkeeper.
Last but not least, the entrepreneur is the fifth and most important pillar of all. The entrepreneur is necessary to build and develop a successful trades business. The entrepreneur is the visionary for the company. They have big ideas – the big picture vision that leads the charge. They want to take over the world. This person is often (but not always) the person who starts the company. A person with this type of personality is generally not very detail-oriented, and one who thinks about the end result rather than the process and steps necessary to achieve the desired result. This person is focused on the solution and not the problem at hand.
The important thing about these five pillars is that while each pillar is unique, they also correlate with another in a number of ways. Think of the pillars not as job titles, but as personality traits. You are not going to just start a company and have 5 different jobs with titles right away. There are features of each one of these traits within each of us as business owners. Oftentimes, our inner entrepreneur gets us to start a business, but we may not be a natural carpenter, bean counter, or manager. We may just be a natural-born salesman.