Ben's Story - Surfie, Tradie, Entrepreneur
Ben was a high achiever at school and he loved living on the Sunshine Coast where he could surf all year round before and after school. Life was great. Ben's parents were sure that Ben would head off to Uni after high school to do an Engineering degree but Ben had different ideas.
Every morning as Ben headed for the break he would see tradie trucks lined up, some even had custom-made trailers attached. The tradies were taking their boards off their trucks and heading out for a quick surf before work.
Ben decided at that point that he wanted to be a tradie, he wanted the truck and he wanted to stay on the Sunshine Coast and surf every day.
There was no way he was going to "drive the Bruce" every day to Brisbane for work.
After finishing high school, Ben headed off to TAFE and was lucky to pick up an apprenticeship with a local firm who was involved in some major Electrical projects on the coast. Again Ben was a high achiever and was well respected by his peers and supervisors.
After completing his apprenticeship, Ben stayed working with the local firm but as time passed he started to be frustrated by the lack of drive and commitment from management, the poor work ethic of the business in general, the toxic work environment and more than anything, he hated facing the customers who were generally not very complimentary about the way they were being treated and the slow response time.
Ben decided it was time to leave the nest and branch out on his own. He knew he could do to a better job and he wanted to be accountable for the way his customers were treated. Finally, Ben had started to realise his dream and bought the tradie truck and the trailer with a sign stating "Ben's Electrical" in bold letters, he started to build his customer base and life was starting to fall into place.
There were highs and lows in the initial stages of the business but Ben pushed through the barriers and was developing a great reputation for his level of service and customer satisfaction. This led to increased business and Ben was growing but on many occasions developing processes "on the fly".
After a few years of growth and increasing the number of employees, Ben started to feel frustrated with the amount of effort that was required to "juggle all the balls at the same time".
As Ben's business grew he started to notice some changes in the way the business was running and he found himself spending a huge amount of his time redoing work, addressing issues caused by low employee morale and general slackness in the way the employees were operating in HIS business. He was starting to act like the management team of the company he had left and this was not where he wanted to be.
It suddenly dawned on Ben that the reason things were falling apart and why profits were “leaking out of the business” was because he had expectations of his employees doing things the way he himself would do them.
Ben realised he needed to document his procedures and processes so employees would understand the way he wanted things to be done, especially in relation to customer service. But where was he going to get the time to do that?
At about the same time that Ben was lamenting about how he was going to improve the business, to stop the leak of profits and remedy the poor attitude of his employees, a rumour hit the grapevine that a major construction company was hiring subbies to work with them on the new Sunshine Coast "Smart City" in Maroochydore.
Ben did some investigation and realised that this was exactly what he was looking for to grow the business to the next level so he started looking into the requirements to work with the construction company. Downloading documents for the project he realised that they required their subbies to have Quality, Health and Safety and Environmental Management systems. Ben decided that if he really wanted to meet his goals, he would have to make some hard decisions but how would he get started?
He was told by a mate over the weekend that there was a business who could take away the pain and help develop a solution to improve the way he did business and, simultaneously, have a third party certified integrated management system developed and delivered within 8 weeks and the company provided a 100% guarantee of success.
Ben decided it was time to take action NOW!