Sole trader partnership advantages arise because of a growing problem across NSW. A lot of people are now renovating their homes. Tradesmen are in high demand, coupled with a shortage of skilled people. Thus tradesmen are put under a lot of pressure. The trades especially affected are bricklaying, ceramic tiling, plumbing, electricals and joinery.
<h3>What are the demands on sole tradesmen?</h3>
Running a trade business alone is very stressful. Below are some of the things that lead to that stress.
Many different activities all require doing, such as:
- answering emails and phone, taking messages
- advertising and marketing
- maintaining a website
- managing payments and invoicing
- finding, ordering and picking up materials, tools, machines and office supplies
- managing sub-contractors and apprentices
- meeting legal requirements
- insurance and tax, etc.
In addition there’s:
- multiple customers and project managers wanting attention and deadlines met
- needing to be ‘everywhere at once’
- big distances to cover and a lot of time and expense driving – that might not even result in jobs that cover the cost of that travel
- having to work like a slave without a break
All these demands can have a range of potentially dangerous consequences.
Daily rhythm having little room for ‘living’. That includes relationships, relaxation time, proper sleep, exercise and diet, tasks at home, etc. For example a 2017 survey found that loss of sleep due to work-related worries affects 48% of construction workers. Partners of tradies report neglect of the home and family, early rising and loss of weekends. They also complain about being frequently used as a casual secretary or personal assistant. Furthermore, tradesmen can end up feeling not in control of their own life.
Sole tradesmen commonly experience poor health and self esteem, depression, exhaustion, discouragement and not enjoying work or life. Relationships suffer. There is difficulty in marriages and kids who feel abandoned, to name a few. Suicide is a growing problem among tradesmen.
How best to move forwards from this situation? Certainly there are advantages to being a sole trader. However if the disadantages are weighing you down, you could consider partnership options. If so, what could a sole trader partnership do for you? What would life be like if someone else did:
- the construction and maintenance of the website
- all the marketing and advertising
- travelling to client sites to assess the job requirements
- quoting and booking the jobs
- project management and outsourcing
- managing payments
- customer service
- after-job inspection and follow-up
There’s a lot to be said for knowing there’s a team to support you, fill gaps, and take the load off. An example of sole trader partnership that’s working well and growing rapidly is the Professional Freddie Trade Program. As a tradesman you remain a Sole Trader with all your autonomy. And yet you have none of the disadvantages of formal partnership. Yet you benefit from being part of a team in all the ways discussed above, and more.