Finding the right direction

SHORE CONTRACTING

A six-day working week and a lack of direction encouraged Paul Marsden to seek help through business coaching. Now, his company Shore Contracting has gone from strength-to-strength, and he has more time to spend with his family.

Listen to the case study interview:

THE CHALLENGES

BACKGROUND

Established in 2010, Shore Contracting is an excavation and earthmoving company located in Helensburgh in NSW, with core services in civil construction, demolition and vegetation
management.

Shore is Paul’s first business, and he was experiencing some serious challenges in the running of the enterprise, with the most notable being a lack of direction and clarity. He
also saw many of his tradie mates working 70-80 hours per week, and while he thought long working hours were the ‘norm’ for tradespeople, he also thought that there must be
a better way!

So about three years ago, Paul decided it was time to call in some expert help.

1. Lack of Direction

Paul felt the main problem here was “being a tradie” and not understanding the next step in running a business. Essentially it could be boiled down to knowing his trade well, but not necessarily having the right
skills to run a business.

Solution: Our Exceleration Programs enabled Paul to establish better direction for the business and for himself. This included the development of new and better systems to run the business, such as CRM (customer relationship management) software, project management tools, and estimating software, which help to organise the time, activities and resources of the business.

2. Lack of Clarity

Paul also felt that the business lacked clarity – there was no clear picture of what the business was all about.

Solution: The Exceleration Programs helped Paul to understand the who, what, where and why of the business better. He says the main area where he gained clarity was in relation to himself – such as identifying who he is, what he wants to do and why. He recognised that without knowing himself better and getting into the right headspace, the business would continue to suffer. He likened the business to being
a ‘bystander’ – he needed to get himself right first before he could solve any challenges it faced. He now recognises that when he bounces back from difficulties, so does Shore Contracting.

3. Working Long Hours

Prior to coaching, Paul was working 60-65 hours over six days a week in the business. He thought it was normal for tradespeople to work such long hours, or else they would be a “bludger.” This led to lack of family and rest time, as can often be the case with business owners.

Solution: New staff members have been employed to take on many of the tasks that Paul was often previously attempting to tackle himself. This has not only enabled him to work less hours, it means he gets to enjoy himself more at work, as he can get away from the parts of the business he doesn’t like and is not particularly suited to working on anyway.

OUTCOMES

Paul says the Exceleration has helped him to understand himself better and to establish clearer direction for the business, to enjoy work more and to concentrate on working more on the business instead of just in it.
With new systems and staff in place, as well as new equipment, vehicles and machinery, he now gets to develop a forward direction for the company instead of surviving day-to-day.
There have been some strong tangible benefits from coaching. These include:

• Doubling of growth each year for the last few years.
• Putting plans in place to push for even greater growth going forward.
• Having a lot more fun and enjoyment at work, and having time to chase more new work.
• Enabling of the business to diversify into new areas.
• Greater time efficiency. Despite the growth within the business, Paul is now spending less hours working in the business rather than more – working four days a week and having every Wednesday off.

Paul also said that one of the main benefits of being a part of the MaxMyProfit Exceleration Programs for him was having a support person to rely on and to contact any time for help. He says having a mentor to talk to works better than speaking to family or friends, as any advice given is without emotional attachment or bias, and so will be clear and unambiguous.

Coaching has also helped Paul to persevere during the rough times. For instance, he indicated the last 12 months had been personally difficult in some ways, but the coaching helped to keep him on track and gave him the drive to keep going. It also prevented him from throwing in the towel – as he probably would have done before.

Lastly, when asked what he would say to a business owner considering the Exceleration Programs, Paul said he would be happy to sit down and talk to them personally! He says you don’t know what you don’t know, so it’s important to find the help you need, get out of your comfort zone, and “have a go.”