Creating and Executing a Business Plan For Trades Business Success

Business plan and strategy are two essential elements in successful business development. They’re also two of the most neglected aspects of a business, particularly in trade and construction. Planning and strategy are crucial to business success whether you’re just starting your new venture or have been in operation for years.

They asked me: “what’s more important, great vision or execution?” The answer, of course, is both.
You’re passionate about your trade, but that’s only half the equation. A great vision is nothing without a rock-solid business strategy for growth. Remember, you’re no longer a tradie. You’re a business owner. Why is planning important for business success? The business planning process is crucial because it is the first step towards your trade business success. You wouldn’t go straight into building the walls of a house. First, you need to lay a strong and stable foundation. A business plan is the core of your business success system, from which all processes stem.

It can help you reach your goals faster. As your company grows, the amount of work you have to do increases. Planning allows you to see what needs to be done to ensure everything works smoothly and reduces the chance that something will fall through the cracks when there’s too much happening at once. It helps you think through all areas of your business and make better decisions, which prevents costly mistakes.

How to start a business plan

For some, hearing the words “business planning” can be like hearing nails on a chalkboard. You don’t want to spend days writing a 57-page document that gets filed into a drawer, never to see the light of day again. But your plan doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it shouldn’t be! Because if it is, you’ll probably never use it. The key to successful business planning is specificity. A plan that is general and non-specific is usually a mud bath. But a goal narrow and deep is where diamonds are found! Think of a plan as setting the stage. For each strategic decision you make, you must know the following:

  • What the objectives are
  • How do we achieve the objective 
  • Who is responsible 
  • When this is completed 

For example, You want to increase sales by 5%. It is the ‘what’. The ‘how’ will be achieved by reducing the time it takes for quotes to be turned around and introducing a new referral scheme.

The project manager is now responsible for creating quotes after you’ve delegated this task, and you, the owner, are responsible for developing and setting up the referral scheme. It will complete the referral scheme in 2 weeks, and the projected deadline for your 5% sales increase is the end of next quarter.

All these steps need to be clear and as comprehensive as possible, taking into account any risks or challenges and some well-thought-out Plan B’s. The important thing is to be transparent over clever.

Measurable milestones

I recommend breaking down significant goals into 90-day bitesize chunks. Creating a shorter plan will give you and your team deadlines or stakes in the immediate future, which are crucial to maintaining focus and pace.

It’s hard to maintain focus and a sense of urgency on the whole vision because it’s often far into the future – 1 year, five years, or even ten years away. Having an idea is often not enough business motivation. It’s much easier to break these down into smaller bitesize chunks and celebrate the wins along the way.

Start with your first goal and ask yourself what you need to achieve in the next three months, moving you closer to that goal. Then, the list above outlines the how, who, and when. Repeat these steps for your other goals.

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How to execute your business plan

Having a plan doesn’t mean instant success. The plan is like a paintbrush or a cement mixer, and it’s a tool. You use the tools to execute a project.

At this stage, the focus becomes essential. Most tradie business owners are gung ho with a vision and plan but lose focus with the follow through – being distracted by shiny bright objects. They get caught up in the daily monotony and lose sight of the overall objectives.

Review the plan regularly at your team meetings. Keep everyone accountable and stay true to the plan. Small, consistent steps will move you closer to your goals.

As famous business executive Jack Welch once said: “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

team meeting motivation

Planning will help you measure your progress.

When you plan, you can measure your progress. When you track results and see how you’re doing with your goals, it’s easier to see what needs to change and adjust accordingly.

It’s also important to measure growth because that indicates sustainability and long-term viability.

When measuring success for a business owner, think beyond profit margins and sales numbers. Success is not just about the bottom line. It’s about how happy clients are with their experience when they do business with you, as well as how many people can benefit from the work done in your industry.

Include and motivate your team

Having buy-in from your team is essential. You cannot deliver this vision on your own.

Explaining the ‘why’ helps motivate your team because they understand the reasons behind the decision-making.
Embrace an open and honest communication culture in your business. Encourage feedback on your goals, and ask for input around problem-solving and improving your products/services.

Showing that you care about your team beyond their ability to do their job will create an environment where everyone is motivated to push towards goals rather than settle for less.

Don’t put off your business plan

By using the right planning tools and strategies, you can avoid many common pitfalls small businesses face. You’ll know exactly where your business is headed, which will help keep you focused on building a solid foundation for growth in the long term. And if you get off track from time to time (we all do!), having a solid plan in place will give you confidence that there’s always another way forward—and it might be better than before!

Let’s Refine Your Vision and Execute Your Plan Together.

Do you fear wasting time and cannot focus on executing your business plan? Is your vision clear? Are you certain? Do you need a small business advisory? A trades business coach would provide advice to help you move forward, inspire your business vision and execute a successful plan.

Business Benchmark Group specialises in advising SMEs in Australia and New Zealand. Our specialist coaching programs will accelerate growth using our tried and tested business advice. Test drive our services free of charge with a Business Evaluation session. Contact us today.

How do I develop a growth mindset?

The difference between the two mindsets is how we interpret and act on our setbacks” – Carol Dweck.

In other words, people with a fixed mindset tend to stop trying after failing once or twice; those with a growth mindset keep going until they succeed. It took James Dyson 5,127 attempts across 15 years to create the vacuum.

What would have happened if he’d quit after 50 or even 500 attempts? What if he packed it all in after attempt no. 5,126?  He kept going until he succeeded. That wasn’t luck – it was his growth mindset!

We know that we can develop a growth mindset. The key is nurturing them, so perseverance and determination become second nature until the question isn’t if you’ll succeed but when.

How to develop a growth mindset

The key to developing a growth mindset is remembering that it’s about learning and improving. It’s not about being perfect but rather about building on your understanding to improve your future performance.

Setbacks don’t mean anything over time—they’re just part of the process of getting better at something.

A growth mindset is a long-term strategy that requires resilience in the face of setbacks and failures. It rewards those who stay true to their goals and use constructive feedback from others. 

If you want to develop a growth mindset, start by challenging yourself. Set yourself a goal that seems overwhelming at first, and then take small steps towards it, celebrating each victory. 

Learning new skills takes time and practice. If you fail at something, don’t let it discourage you. Instead, use it as an opportunity to try or learn from your mistakes, so they don’t happen again!

Developing a growth mindset is like training a muscle. Use it consistently, and push yourself to the edge of your comfort zone. The more you practice, the more your mindset will develop, and your actions will become a habit.

How can developing a growth mindset help you succeed

I know right now might be as challenging as any other period you’ve experienced. But your challenges help you grow, your failures help you grow, pivoting enables you to become something you weren’t before, and just because you don’t have an ability now doesn’t mean you won’t have that ability forever.

Having a growth mindset allows you to grow your business indeed. It will enable you to adapt & become bigger and better over time. True triumph comes when you don’t just give up because you’re frustrated or it feels too hard.
You can strengthen your mindset, and so can your abilities.


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