Why 2022 is the Year for Tradies to Start a Business in Australia (and How to Do It)

start a business in australia

Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business? Being the one that’s calling the shots, making the decisions and picking the jobs that you want to take? Running your own tradie business means building your own success and reputation and, even more importantly, freedom from wages so that you can start making real money

But why are you letting that dream sit waiting for some far-off day in the future? We’re here to tell you why 2022 is the year for you to start a business in Australia, and how you can do it successfully.

Why now is the best time for you start a business in Australia

People are crying out for tradies in Australia right now! There just aren’t enough tradie businesses to meet the demand.  Why?

  1. Demand is high for repairing/rebuilding damage done to properties through catastrophic fire and flood events across the country.  
  2. Demand for new builds and renovations surged during the COVID-19 restrictions over the last couple of years, and this demand has not waned at all.  Some people have been waiting for more than a year for a tradie.    
  3. A shortage of trades coming through the system coupled with restrictions on migrant workers has added to the delays.  

Now, more than ever, is the best time for you to seize the opportunity to start your own business in Australia.

What do you need to think about first, before starting your business?

Doing your homework first means being prepared and going into business with your eyes wide open. Just because the demand for your services is there, doesn’t mean you’ll be an instant success. There’s administrative groundwork to lay first, to ensure you’re properly set up.  It’s also a good idea to be very clear about which customers and services you are going to offer.  You will have competition, so it’s best to target a defined niche first – and become the big fish in a small pond.

By asking yourself a few simple questions first, you’ll be starting off on the right foot.

Who could be an ideal target market? 

Having worked as a tradie to date, no doubt your boss has sent you out on all kinds of jobs and you will have experienced working with different types of clients - probably in both the residential and commercial sectors. 

When starting your new trade business, it’s going to be hard to enter a market where you have several competitors.  They already have a client base, marketing assets and marketing systems, and a network of mates who give them referrals.  So rather than try and compete with all of them, consider being a bit different to everyone else. Think about how you can “specialise”.

  • Is there a gap or very little competition for a specific type of trade service in your area?  Eg:  You might be a sparky who has good experience in outdoor lighting, or you might be a plumber who specialises in blocked drains etc.  Promote yourself as a specialist.
  • Is there a gap or little competition to service specific types of people, but a definite need?  E.g. you might be a builder with lots of experience in adapting residences for people with disabilities.  Become the disability adaption expert.

Focus on your experience and the best opportunities to start with, and once your business and reputation has been established, then you could think about expanding your service range or niches. 

It is also helpful to have a clear idea of who your ideal customer is, and is not.  This will make marketing your business a whole lot easier.  

How can you get the edge over your competition?

It is very important to know as much as you can about your competitors, so you have a clear understanding of where they might win work over you, and where there is a gap that you could fill.    

This doesn’t necessarily mean beating them on cost; work quality and outstanding customer service will give you the competitive edge.  People expect you to do your job properly, but are ecstatic and grateful if they get fantastic service.  

Another strategy is to be available to smaller customers; the ones that the bigger tradie companies aren’t interested in.

Where is the best place to set up?

Setting up from home is usually the best way to get started as you start off with minimal financial outlay up front in premises and equipment.  To get going, you need to be investing in marketing to  build your profile, and have a system in place to generate ongoing leads and nurture a loyal client base. 

Once you’re established, you may wish to set up a workshop or showroom, depending on what kind of trade business you’re in. 

What do you need to do to start your trade business?

set up your tradie business start a business in australia

Prepare your business plan

This will help you work out what you need to get started – funding, staff, equipment and other assets like a work van and tools. This is especially important if you know you’ll need a business loan to get set up. A business plan includes:

  • A short summary of your business goals (called the Executive Summary of your plan)
  • A description of your business
  • Evidence that you’ve done some thinking and research into your target market
  • A summary of any employees or directors (that’s you, and anyone else that’s going to be involved in setting up and managing the business)
  • A simple marketing strategy, that outlines the marketing assets and campaigns you’ll use to attract customers

Register your business

Registering your business with the Australian government is relatively straightforward, and will give you an Australian Business Number (ABN). You can also register for GST and other relevant taxes at the same time, although get your accountant’s advice on this first. There may also be licenses and permits that you need to hold, depending on your type of business.  Check with your trade associations and state authorities.

Find your funding

You may be in a position to start small and self-fund as you go.  If not, then there are some grants and funding programs which you may be eligible for – so take the time to investigate. 

Otherwise, it’s time to talk to the bank. This is where your business plan will be needed. Getting funding up front will enable you to start your business with the tools and assets you need, so you can hit the ground running.  But, of course, you will need to be able to afford to pay it back.

Get your basic systems and operations management sorted

One of your best investments will be to get organised with systems early. Waiting until you’ve got lots of work coming in is not the time to think about systems and processes to help you manage it all. You’ll need a job management system to help you efficiently manage:

  • Estimates and invoices
  • Contracts and signatures
  • Mobile and email payments
  • Dispatching and time tracking
  • Customer communications
  • Xero sync
  • Inventory
  • File/photo storage
  • Maintenance plans
  • Recurring jobs and payments

How do I get word of my business out to potential customers?

Marketing your business is critical – it’s how your potential customers will find out about you, and how you’ll  build your business. Marketing that’s done well will help you build your customer base, and drive enquiries, sales, reviews and referrals. 

The most effective way to market your business is online, with a solid website and engagement across social media channels. You don’t need to start from scratch yourself – with Instant Tradie Websites, the hard work is taken out of the entire process. This means you can focus on what you do best – deliver great service to your customers. 

Find out more today about how our professional and affordable instant websites are invaluable for you as a tradie. Whether you’re looking to start a business in Australia, or are already in business and looking to attract more customers and increase your profits – we’re here to help. The opportunity is there for you right now to set up your own tradie business, so stop waiting for one far-off day to make your move; make 2022 the year you create your own success. 

About Annette Welsford

Hi there. My passion is to inspire and help business owners to create the type of marketing and customer service that makes their business irresistible. I'm privileged to have a talented team at Commonsense Marketing who create and execute beautiful websites, engaging social media campaigns, and fantastic email campaigns that deliver results for our clients. And it's wonderful that many of them have said lots of nice things about the work we’ve done (see our case studies). We love to work with the owners and teams of small to medium sized business who are motivated to become the best in their niche and achieve more than they ever thought possible.