As an entrepreneur in the fast-paced tech industry, I often find myself stumbling from one goal to another and yet another, with no time to catch my breath or look back to appreciate how far I've come.
But as the sounds of festivities get louder and I find more time on my plate with nothing much to do than sit back and enjoy the hustle as the year comes to an end, I find it the perfect opportunity to reflect on the lessons this big year taught me with each day.
And most importantly let every bit of it sink in before I get ready for a fresh set of challenges that await me in 2019.
2018 has been an incredibly valuable learning experience for me so here I am sharing my insights hoping that you can also pick a thing or two and implement it in your business.
Let me be honest. What i4Tradies offers is a complete business process management solution for Tradespeople (Tradies) that existed already in the market place. Not one, not two but plenty of providers claimed to provide exactly what i4Tradies offers. However, I was not convinced. I knew there was a gap in the market that could serve as a bridge between all four stakeholders (Trades Business Owners, Employees, Facilitators - Property Managers/Facility Managers and End Users), and it was something only i4Tradies could fill.
The Tradespeople were struggling with not just managing their work in the field but also getting enough leads to sustain their business on an on-going basis. With both Tradespeople and their customers and employees looking for a smarter way to communicate, that's when I realized that technology is only a facilitator to address the bigger challenges Tradespeople and the other 3 stakeholders are facing.
If you are so busy that you are actually turning potential customers away because of it, are you still running a great business? I doubt so.
Being busy does not always translate into being profitable, because you not only lack a system to assign and schedule tasks that you cannot handle on your own but you most definitely lack a system to track revenue and costs for the jobs.
That's where i4Tradies comes into play with a fully integrated cloud based accounting system for your field management.
Just as I learned this the hard way with my own business, I think it is a great take away for Tradies as well who are juggling between labour rates, too many jobs at hands and very little time on their plates.
When you are new into your business, it's easy to get excited about every business opportunity that comes your way. Sometimes you even go out of your way to accommodate people who don't fall anywhere close to your ideal customer persona. But as much as it hurts to let a potential customer go, when they are actually gone, you realise it happened for a reason.
As i4Tradies branched out to other states in Australia, we came across companies that showed interest in our solution. As the year wrapped up we were there with forward thinking trades business owners as investors and partners, who really believed in i4Tradies true potential and how it can transform the Australian Trades services industry in the days to come.
At i4Tradies, we believe in the people who we are doing it for.
Self-awareness starts with the community. Our community group Tradie Life is all about building relationships, lifting individuals, extending help where needed, caring for those who don't ask for it and finding work-life balance which we lose somewhere in between those hectic days and work pressures.
We have had our fair share of doubts and fears when going global.
What started out as just something for the plumbers in Australia, turned out to be something Tradespeople from all fields were interested in. And not just in Australia but in United Kingdom too.
We got the attention of many Trades business owners who wanted to be a part of journey and guide us to understand the inside of Trades business challenges and flexibility we needed to implement in i4Tradies.
One lead to another and by the time 2018 wrapped up, we were well poised to get recognitions from the Trades organisations as well large Real Estate groups and Global Franchise organisations. This positioned us well not only in Australia but also globally in our journey ahead starting from 2019!
An important part in finding out what the future holds for you is to get ready for it and say “Yes” when the time is right.
Yes there have been times when I have been through self-doubt. Why? Because someone out there presented their solution better than I did. Because I felt had I got more time on my side, I would have perfected a feature even better. I've second-guessed my actions and my decisions. But it only puts you and your business down.
So ‘No'. The time is never right. And the stage you are in is never the best and the outside factors are never favourable. The only thing that keeps you to push further one step at a time, is your belief.
So don't lose sight of your goals and you will get there.
As we witnessed 2018 unravel into days to months and finally the end of the year, it's amazing to see how so many Tradespeople know where they are right now and where they would like to see themselves in the future.
They now realise that hard work alone is not going to get them the results they envision for their business. It is the smart work that will not only push their business towards growth but also leave more time on their plates to enjoy the life they dream of.
i4Tradies has played a huge part in making that happen!
But before we bid farewell to 2018, we hope the next year will be even bigger and better for i4Tradies, our investors, our customers and everyone else who believed in us.
We hope the lessons we learned this year, will continue to shine through every decision we make moving forward.
i4Tradies is a first of its kind technology platform connecting Tradies and customers, so the latter can check their credentials including licenses, ABN, insurance and website, get written quotes and track job progress. With i4Tradies customers can now have the peace of mind knowing they are dealing with a trusted provider.
Get a 2 Week Free Trial with i4Tradies and watch how you can enhance efficiency and transparency with your customer base on every aspect of your job service delivery.