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Tradies rarely turn to spouses for business advice

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
13 February 2020 1 minute readShare

Aussie tradies are shunning their spouses when it comes to making business decision, a new survey has shown, revealing that while tradies favour family members when it comes to who they employ, their spouses are mostly kept in the dark.

Business coaching organisation The Game Changers has revealed that while 50 per cent of owners of tradie-related businesses employ one or more family members, only 10 per cent consult with their spouses on all or most business decisions.

Barry Magliarditi, founder and CEO of The Game Changer, said the survey — which aimed to uncover the inner workings and challenges of these industries — provided some surprising insights into how these types of businesses are being run.


“The statistics show that family-run businesses are still very prevalent in Australia. While the percentage is only small, it’s interesting that 2 per cent of respondents had at least four family members working for them, which is quite unique,” he said.

“In stark contrast, it seems this trust in the business isn’t being extended to spouses, with only a small percentage consulting their spouse on business decisions.”


Optimism high

The survey also revealed that the biggest pain points for Aussie tradies such as builders, carpenters, electricians and plumbers are cash flow and achieving a healthy profit margin.

However, despite these challenges and the fact that 2019 saw the sector suffer serious deterioration in trading conditions and profitability, small trade-based business owners were optimistic about their businesses’ future.

An encouraging 63 per cent expected to be in a better financial shape in the next 12 months, and a further 24 per cent anticipated performance would remain the same, while only 13 per cent forecast the business would be in a worse shape.

Weak points 

Mr Magliarditi said the survey revealed some important insights into where these business owners needed support.



“Interestingly, 31 per cent of respondents said they established the business because they were good at what they do, but struggled with the business side. A further 49 per cent said that while the business was in good shape, there was more to be done to improve,” he said.

“Surprisingly, only one respondent described themselves as a strong leader of a business in great shape with no need for any changes.”

Furthermore, 72 per cent of the survey participants admitted that they could improve their business by working on it and not in it.

“This research highlights that as is often the case with businesses, particularly trade-related businesses, the owner is good at their trade, but not very good at running a business. They haven’t actually been given the tools to run a profitable business that ultimately works without them, which should be a goal to aim for,” Mr Magliarditi said.

Other ways business owners consider they could up their productivity include building a strong client pipeline (64 per cent), having a written business plan with measurable targets (62 per cent), attracting good people (51 per cent) and enhancing their leadership skills (51 per cent).

Tradies rarely turn to spouses for business advice
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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of My Business. 

Maja has a decade-long career in journalism across finance, business and politics. Now a well-versed reporter in the SME and accounting arena, prior to joining Momentum Media, Maja reported for several established news outlets in Southeast Europe, scrutinising key processes in post-conflict societies and enabling citizens to influence decision-making.

You can email Maja on [email protected] 

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