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The top 10 reasons a tradie business fails

Blog, Guides

Written by Joey C

Nov 12, 2021

“Starting a company is like chewing glass and staring into the abyss” – ELON MUSK
“The way to build a big business is to take care of people” – TOM BILYEU 
“Do or do not. There is no try” – YODA

The Top 10 Causes of Small Business Failure according to Forbes are because small business is

  • cashflow strapped
  • overwhelmed by administration and red tape
  • long hours from working weekends with little to no work-life balance
  • confused about customers
  • lacking in inadequate business processes
  • poor management of customers, the team and risk to the business
  • lack of strategy and reactivity
  • weak marketing
  • don”t have the right team
  • not responsive enough

The stats prove business is damn difficult. In our article Why is being a tradie so hard, we search the data for the answers. 

Business is hard, but being a tradie business is harder.

In addition to the usual running of business, the physical labours in a price-driven industry bound in red tape frequently sees massive collateral damage with our families and, most importantly, our wellbeing.

As the standard, tradies are

  • working from spreadsheets and paper based “systems”
  • cashflow strapped
  • misquoting projects costings and hours
  • missing sales conversions
  • experiencing a shortage in skills alongside high employee turnover 
  • not tracking or managing customer engagement, finances, business processes, teams, assets and risk
  • disorganised with processes and administration
  • overwhelmed by red tape and administration
  • not reactive enough
  • time poor from working weekends with little to no work-life balance 


And the result?

Mengage writes “Around the world, suicide rates among those employed in blue collar occupations such as construction are higher than those in other occupational groups…”
The Australian Bureau of Statistics particularly notes stressful life events remain among the top causes for suicide, with tradies one of the highest suicide risks.

More than 2,800 Australian lives per year are lost to suicide and the leading cause of death among 15-44 year . Young men and small business owners lead this drive.

Time-poor tradie business owners, managers and growing teams are bogged down in non-dollar productive activities, lacking the consistent, repeatable and scalable tools to expand and make income better, faster and seamlessly. 

We need work-life harmony, celebrating business and managing our customers, processes and risk while maintaining self-cafe and family.


It’s time to switch the script and make a change.


Let’s level the playing field between big and small brands by reclaiming the power of small business.

We need to know what our power is and how to use it to our advantage. And it’s time to start making business work right for the tradie. Because it can be done.

It is possible to sustainably run a business and balance self-care and family.

It starts with knowing the power of small business – especially our local serviced-based business – by

  • delivering a top-of-the-line personalised product and customer service
  • being reactive, quick to pivot and make quick but effective decisions 
  • knowing our strengths and carving out our niche
  • staying connected to our customers and our team
  • using our small local status to our advantage with strategic partnerships within the community or local industry

 Sure business is hard, but tradies were made for this – cos no one does business harder.

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