Hey there. Talking about growing your business and in particular should you hire an apprentice or a tradesperson? Now a trades business as I said many times is a people business. You’re going to grow by hiring more people and by them doing the work of your business. That’s really the only way you’re gonna scale your business – hiring more people. And an obvious choice is to hire a tradesperson or an apprentice? Let’s compare the two. Tradesperson is usually grown up, experienced, highly skilled and expensive and an apprentice is usually the opposite, inexperienced, unskilled, often young and juvenile and a bit immature but, quite cheap and even subsidised by government. It’s easy to see why they might be appealing because of that cheapness. They’re inexpensive so it’s low risk slow is for you because if it doesn’t work out doesn’t matter and it doesn’t really matter so much for them either because they’re young, they’ve got commitments and financial obligations and they leave home so if he doesn’t work out, it’s not a problem for them and you don’t feel so bad if you let someone go. Whereas if you’ve got a tradesperson and they’ve got the family and a mortgage and things like that, letting them go is a bigger deal for you and for them so if it doesn’t work out, it’s more problematic for everybody and it’s a bigger risk. And apprentice can also feel like kind of cheap labour. They do the fetching and carrying and do the kind of the low-level jobs that you might consider a labourer might do only cheaper and they’re learning the trade on the way and it can feel like a win-win and in many ways, it is. They can do the fetching and carrying while apprenticed to a proper trades person and the tradesperson can be doing the higher-skilled work, do you have to pay them that extra money for because they can do it? So there’s a lot of appeal, however, they’re useless too, aren’t they? They need extra supervision. They need to spend time being trained. You can’t leave them alone, you need to make sure. You have a responsibility to them to train them, to look after them, to keep them safe, to keep them busy, to tell them to get off their phones, all that stuff. You have a responsibility to these youngsters and it’s not really the cheap labour that we kind of imagined when we’re going an offsider to help us. So I want you to remember that. Not they do they require more supervision and support from you – that responsibility but they’re not that great at doing the work. If you only got somebody who can do those lower-level jobs it’s a limitation. And I’m not trying to discourage you from having apprentices. I’m a fan, like I said it’s a responsibility to the apprentices and to the industry in general that you guys have -training people, you all got trained. It’s an important thing. But if you go in your business and you want to grow your business, you need to think. You can’t just keep hiring apprentices. You’ll have people who don’t know anything. You’ll be unable to leave them on-site while you go off and do quotes or whatever. They come with restrictions and nothing you need to balance it out. For lots of people, they hire an apprentice as kind of your first hire as your offsider to do your fetching and carrying and I think perhaps your next hire should be a tradesperson and so on. And I would encourage you to think in terms of an operational unit, this is why I encourage my clients to do as they grow. Think of an operational unit. What’s an operational unit of your business? Is it one tradesperson in one junior person out there together in a vehicle? Doing jobs together? Is it 2 tradesperson with a junior assistant, 2 tradespeople even with a junior assistant doing the fetching and carrying? What is it, what’s suitable for your business? What’s right? Is it a crew of 5 with 3 choice people and 2 apprentices or is it a crew of 5 with one tradesperson and 4 apprentices being different stages. You call it but understand those
restrictions- don’t need supervising, they can’t sign off on jobs, you need to protect them and look after them alone understand stuff as well. So think it like that. They’re not just cheap and handy, they come with responsibility and they’re not very good at stuff necessarily because they haven’t learned it yet. So they’re a beautiful thing – apprentices. Cheeky little buggers with their Monday clubs and their phones, their irresponsibility and all that stuff, they’re great but use them with care. Don’t just think they’re a cheap way to get sh*t done. You will be frustrated and if you’re going to grow your business, if you’re going to get 5 and 10 people, you’re going to be restricted if you have to do too much supervision. So consider tradespeople and apprentices and don’t just think of them as an easy quick win. I help people grow and scale the trade businesses, apprentices and thinking through decisions like this is a very small part of it. If you want to find out more about the business coaching, book a 10-minute chat, we’ll talk about whether it’s right for you right now. Maybe come to my next Tools Down Workshop and I’ll explain over 2 days the framework they use tell people grow and scale. Or you can subscribe to these emails and get these videos delivered every Tuesday. See you later.