Build up your tradie business by nailing down admin 

Jarrod Brown
By Jarrod Brown
4 Min Read

Subbies looking to grow their business into 2024 and beyond will need to master more than just the tools of trade.

Whether you’re a solo sparkie branching out on your own or concreter with a few years of subby work under your belt, every successful tradie business is going to have to tackle the same question – how to deal with the growing admin workload?

According to industry research, piling paperwork, job scheduling and invoice management are responsible for holding back hundreds of small trade businesses from standing on their own two feet. 

42 per cent of Aussie tradies reported struggling to track project progress and deadlines, while 33 per cent face issues generating quotes and invoices – and who can blame them? 

The bulk of construction careers are spent with boots on the ground, drawing in apprentices with the promise of a lifetime away from the very computer screens responsible for keeping the business wheels turning. 

So in order to tackle convoluted admin tasks, tradies trying to do it all are stuck learning a whole new set of skills that are sure to cost them precious time and their business money. 

Leaving money on the table

The truth is admin work can be as complex and time-consuming as a day on the tools.

A recent survey by tradie marketplace Hipages revealed three-quarters of tradies (74 per cent) spend up to five hours per project on admin tasks alone, which roughly adds up costing to $500 of labour.

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of tradies also reporting actually losing work due to the amount of time they spend on admin.

But the impacts go beyond your bottom line. Tradies trying to ‘do it all’ by shouldering the burden alone are left tackling admin long after it’s time to clock off, which is sure to impact your downtime and can even lead to feeling the dreaded business burnout. 

Stick to what you know

The simple solution is for overworked tradies is to outsource the admin to people—or programs—who know what they’re doing.

While accounting firms and administrative hires are a must for larger businesses with hundreds of employers, smaller subbie outfits might find that job management software is a more practical solution to wrangle the admin challenge.

By incorporating some intuitive job management software into your organisation, tradies can easily:

  • Speed up the invoicing process and massively reduce the risk of errors that can lead to troublesome customer disputes or delayed payments.
  • Automate routine tasks, like scheduling, invoicing, and client communication.
  • Streamline communication with systems that automate messaging, appointment reminders, job progress updates and post-service follow-up. 
  • Match jobs with available slots, taking into account location, job duration and the tradies’ specialisation.

The end result? A more streamlined, efficient and profitable operation that can adapt quickly to client needs and leave tradies with more time to spend on the job that they love.

Share This Article
Jarrod Brown combines his background in journalism, copywriting and digital marketing with a lifelong passion for storytelling. He has a strong passion for new and emerging consumer technology within the building sector. He lives on the Sunshine Coast - usually found glued to the deck of a surfboard.