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How to Stay Motivated as a Self-Employed Tradesperson

Rhino Trade Insurance 04 March 2023

Times are uncertain, and managing your trade business is becoming increasingly complex and time-consuming. With the changes in the industry over the past three years, the new normal has affected various areas of our professional and personal lives.

Whether it's your mental health, stress, motivation or productivity, the team at Rhino are here to share how to best cope with the demands of your work and what practical solutions you can use to stay ahead of the curve. 

The best ways of staying motivated as a self-employed tradesman or woman

Setting and Achieving Personal Goals

You cannot navigate the choppy seas of the trade business world without knowing which direction you want to go. Being sure to set yourself some personal and professional goals is vital to staying on course to running a successful operation. Consider the following: what do you want to achieve with your business realistically?

Plot out points over the period of 12 months, two years and five years. Once you have an overall idea of where you want to head, be specific and utilise standard practices like SMART to stay on track.

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realist and Time-bound. Take a look at these simple examples:

  • Vague goal: "I would like more time for admin."
  • SMART goal: "I will set a list of tasks for the day to be done by 4.30pm, so that I can be home and spend time with my family."
  • Vague goal: "I want more money."
  • SMART goal: "I aim to increase my business turnover by 80k in the next 12 months and I will do this by focusing on x, y and z."

Once you have an exact picture of your goals, your next step is to explore different ways to achieve them. 

Building a Support System

Drawing in experts to develop your business is crucial. Whether you are an Electrician, Plumber or Carpenter, you can continually develop and utilise the help of people with more experience or expertise. When running a business, you can only do so much, so delegating tasks and seeking help and advice from your contacts are crucial. Focusing on your strengths and finding support from reliable tradesmen and women in your area or online is a great place to start. 

If you want to build your business in other ways, such as marketing, accounting and more, plenty of useful companies can help you thrive. If you wish to outsource your social media or get some training in the best practices for managing your cash flow, you can find all this and more online. 

Staying Organised and Managing Time Effectively

If you are ever struggling for time, then it's highly likely your business is biting off more than it can chew. If you are putting out fires daily and finding it hard to cope with your workload, then it may be time to reevaluate your business, cut back on your workload and write down a plan of your most important goals. 

Taking into account every task your business handles will help you decide what is essential and what can be avoided. You ultimately want to build your business sustainably. Consider reading our articles on time management techniques and streamlining your operations here

Continuing Education and Staying Current in the Industry

Offering to upskill your workers or your own knowledge is a potent tool when running a business. In the trade industry, technology moves fast, regulations change, and better ways to do your job present themselves. That's why it's crucial to stay on top of the industry's advancements and ensure you or your team are trained to the latest specifications. 

As you are trying to grow your business, staying ahead of the competition and offering up-to-scratch services can be the deal breaker for your customers. Expertise and quality of work will always stand you in good stead when quoting for a job. 

Investing in yourself and your team instils motivation and creates a positive atmosphere in that you are there to build bigger and better things. 

Finding Inspiration and Staying Positive

Staying motivated and positive will help you work through your day's tasks. Adding a reward system to your daily grind could spur you to power through the work (especially if it's admin). Think of it like this, if you have come up with goals to reach in the next 12 months, break that time down into smaller segments for you to work on and reward yourself when you accomplish a task that goes towards your overall goal.

Consider giving yourself a nice lunch (Greggs steak bake sounds lush), or take a quick coffee break once a task is complete. They could also be a reward in your personal life, promising your partner a meal out once a job is finished, calling your best friend, visiting your family, or watching Netflix. Whatever it is, use it as a reward and help keep yourself motivated to complete more step-by-step tasks. 

If you are prone to procrastination (which we all are), consider that this leaves us with feelings of anxiety and stress due to the progress of your business stalling. Remembering this can drive you on even more, knowing that you are 1) getting a reward for finishing a piece of work and 2) avoiding an unpleasant feeling due to getting your work done. 

Maintaining a Work-Life Balance

Making sure that your life is independent of your work is imperative. If you allow this to happen, you will start to feel stress, cause fractures in your relationships and miss out on important moments. Ensuring you have a healthy work/life balance is vital to ensuring that your business is run at its optimum and that you are staying on top of your game. 

Meeting deadlines, doing social media, fitting odd jobs in, and more is all well and good, but once it becomes too much, your personal life will take a hit. Making sure you take time out to focus on the things that matter outside of work is key. Relaxing, going to the gym, exploring a new place with your family, walking the dog, playing on the PS5. 

Fundamentally, learning to say no when your business is booming is key. Focus on what can realistically be done, and always remember to take time out and focus on your own well-being. 

Setting and maintaining a consistent routine

Having the motivation to achieve your business goals is one thing, but staying the course and implementing work habits that keep you steadily producing results will help see your trade reach its potential. 

Habits become natural, just like brushing your teeth; you automatically do this every morning and night. Transferring this mantra to your workplace has been proven to heighten your work and increase the likelihood of hitting the goals you have set. Consider basic things to help: reminders on your phone for tasks, diaries to plan out your daily work, and wall calendars in your unit to plan jobs; countless methods can be used. It just depends on what you prefer. 

Why choose Rhino Trade Insurance?

And just like that, this article comes to an end. With ideas on staying motivated and keeping your trade business on track with its goals, we hope you can get the ball rolling and expand your business in whatever way you see fit. 

It's a very exciting time to be a tradesman or woman, the industry is booming, and the demand for skilled workers is through the roof. Customers are constantly looking for ways to improve their homes or workplaces, and you, as the professional, are the first point of call. Take advantage of the methods available, and let's grow your trade today! 

On top of this, you will need a bulletproof insurance policy to protect your work. If you are growing, it's worth exploring what you cover protects and whether you need to level up. Check out what you can insure with Rhino Trade Insurance today. Our experts will keep you right and are available six days a week. Call us: 0116 243 7904 or visit our website today. 


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