5 New Year’s Resolutions to Help Your Business Build & Grow 
January 2, 2024

2024 is here, and we thought we’d start the year with a blog to help your business build and grow. For this article, we’ve enlisted the help of our good friend, Alison Warner. Alison is the founder of Evolve & Grow, a business coaching support service for construction and trade SMEs. Alison and her team provide sound business advice and practical tools, systems and strategies. Read on for Alison’s five New Year’s Resolutions to help your business build and grow. Over to you, Alison.

Reflecting on 2023 – by Alison Warner:

It’s no secret that 2023 was a challenging year for many businesses. The success of any business comes down to its ability to attract, select and retain good people; in my experience, 2023 would count as one of the toughest years to achieve this. Many trades businesses faced operational challenges where recruiting all positions (trades and admin) seemed particularly tricky. Businesses needed to be even speedier than usual to secure the best people.

But there were also financial challenges. Materials remained higher than in previous years, so those businesses without a solid process to quote ran the risk of coming unstuck. Labour rates also began to rise, as subcontractors could ask for higher day rates, given the shortage of skilled labour. The cost of living crisis also played a part in driving rates upward.

Read on to discover my five New Year’s Resolutions to help you and your trades business navigate the year ahead!

5 New Year’s Resolutions to Help Your Business Build & Grow:

1: Resolve to put your people first:

Consider what makes you different or could make you better as an employer. This isn’t just about pay. Good people expect to be paid well, but what else can you offer them? Examples could be profit share bonuses, extra holidays, development opportunities, and the chance to gain extra qualifications. Remember, to attract the best, you need to be the best!

2: Resolve to listen more:

Look at the quality of your communication. Both with your customers and your team. How often do you ask your customers for feedback? And I don’t mean a Google review! Similarly, how often do you take your team out for a drink, either as a team or one-to-one, ask them for feedback, and actually listen? I liken these kinds of practices to putting oil and water in a car’s engine; keeping your team and customers happy helps your business run smoothly.

3: Resolve to set targets:

Measure your gross profit, overheads and net profit as a percentage of sales, and set yourself a target to increase your gross profit by 1% and decrease your overheads by 1%. Keep setting these as stretch targets throughout the year, and note the difference it makes to your bank account!

4: Resolve to get to know your customers more:

When was the last time you surveyed your customers? Not only to measure the service you have provided but also to find out what else they want or need that you could provide. Don’t assume that people know everything you do; there could be many lost opportunities by not continually keeping close to your market’s changing wants and needs.

5: Resolve to ask for support:

What is your biggest frustration about your business right now? Maybe it is a lack of sales, maybe it feels very chaotic, or perhaps you have a succession of jobs with callbacks. Whatever it is, please don’t feel it is always down to you and you alone to come up with the solution! Involve your team, ask them and listen! Often, your team will have a great idea that could unlock potential in your business, and by involving them, they feel part of something bigger and truly valued, so double the benefits!

A huge thank you from us at Tradermate to Alison for her New Year’s Resolutions to help your business build and grow. And if you need help setting those financial targets, we can help. Contact us HERE.

Finally, here is a bonus New Year’s Resolution from us…

Buy A Book:

Make 2024 the year you invest in Alison’s Amazon No. 1 Best-selling book, Build & Grow. It’s full of Alison’s fantastic advice and practical tips to help your trade business flourish!

Charlie Mullins, founder of Pimlico Plumbers, wrote the Foreward, and our very own Claire Byrne wrote the Preface.