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St. George Bank research reveals female tradies' business concerns

07 August 2019

Chicks On The Gos Lara Bury On Left

New research by St. George Bank on tradies reveals an encouraging but unexpected result: 40 percent of the research’s representation came from female tradies. Proving, there are women in the trades business, and they worry about similar things to their male colleagues, including the importance of cash flow budgets.

The St. George Bank Tradie Economy Report surveyed more than 600 people across Australia who identify as a tradie or someone working in the trades field. The most prevalent roles were in the fields of building and construction, electrical, followed by landscape and gardening.

Business concerns

St. George Bank revealed the top major business concerns for tradies were being paid on time, profitability, followed by the ability to pay bills and manage their cash flow. Tradies were least concerned about the political landscape, competing with larger businesses, and having a succession plan. Around a third of respondents do not pay themselves superannuation.

Chicks on the Go

We nailed down Lara Bury (above left) from her all-female business Chicks on the Go and one of the respondents in the report about some of the issues she faces running her own business as a woman.

Chicks on the Go @chicksonthego0708 is a house cleaning and lawn mowing service providing cleaners and gardeners to the Penrith Warragamba area in Sydney.

What do you think your business does differently that has led to your success?

I don’t think we do the work differently in any specific way. It’s more that 99 percent of our customers are women and they like having other women around. They feel safe and they feel they can trust us more easily. 

Is there something you do better in business that helps you succeed?

I like to think that as a woman I have a better customer service approach to things, and possibly I’m more organised, but then everyone’s different. These two areas are something I’m good at. 

What are your business concerns?

My major business concern is trying to get ahead. We are still a young business - only 4 years old. They say it takes 3-5 years until you start to make any money. So, even though the business is doing well, I’m still in the red. I don’t pay myself what I should, just the bare minimum. I don’t pay myself super, which is a goal for me this financial year. I want to get ahead so I can start paying myself properly and pay myself super. 

My other concern is finding the right people to work for me. People say it’s easy cleaning houses, but customers have high expectations. It’s not as easy as people may think. Turn-over in this business is high. 

I’ve let people go if they don’t have an eye for detail because customers do.

Have you planned for retirement or business succession?

I haven’t planned for retirement yet. I am setting goals to start paying myself super in this financial year. As for business succession… I’m aiming to have people working for me as managers and possibly even franchise Chicks on the Go.

Westpac’s Business hub has tools, checklists and information to help overcome obstacles, see here.

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