Review of business coaching

From Michael Ewald,
m. ewald building

M Ewald Building Logo
Michael Ewald - M Ewald Building
M Ewald Building Logo
Michael Ewald - M Ewald Building

I’m a builder based in Queensland, specialising in renovations and extensions. When I started my business there was a lot of insurance work, so I took a fair bit of that on because it was available. The problem is that insurance work can be like a drug; it’s all about volume. You’re busy all the time so there is lots of jobs on the go which makes you feel like you’ll get a lot of money. Oh, there’s lots of money alright but it’s not yours. You make between 3%-5% and you only realise how much you’re NOT making when your bank account doesn’t grow even though you’re doing all this work.

I was recommended to get business coaching

I imagine most builders have heard about business coaching from someone else in the trade. Lots of tradies do coaching with different coaching outfits but the results seem mixed, so I wasn’t sure it was for me.

I thought my business was working ok. I had 2 employees and some decent subbies. Nothing was really broken, but it was only just ok. To grow, I knew I needed help. I know I’m a good builder but like a lot of trades business owners, I didn’t learn business acumen at TAFE.

A plumber I worked with told me about his coach, Darren, so I set up a meeting with him.

In that first session Darren made it very clear what coaching for a renovation builder would do. He got my business straight away. We started working together in September 2019.

Coaching shifted the gears from going hard to growing well

I started using a virtual assistant and that freed me up so I could spend more time working ON my business with Darren. He showed me how to unpack my P&Ls. We went through the profit and loss and he helped me work out what was working and what wasn’t.

Because my time was spread so thin before, I couldn’t do anything at 100%. I was taking the insurance work even though my ideal projects were high-end renovations and extensions ($300K+). I didn’t have time to go after those tenders, and when I did, I wasn’t winning many of them.

Before coaching my conversion rate for my ideal projects was 5%. I was always under the pump, so my quotes weren’t great. In coaching we worked on getting my quotes more accurate and improving the quality. Now my conversion of high-end projects is closer to 30%. Darren improved our process for pre-quote and process for backend which has made a huge difference.

Every project I do is different. With coaching we documented the processes so that even though the builds are unique, the processes can be done repeatedly and consistently. This what you get with a business coach who knows building and construction businesses.

My business coach is a sounding board and accountability partner

I learnt this early on: you need to surround yourself with people who are in your corner. Good people, who you feel safe with and that they have your best interests at heart, who you trust to give you honest advice. In business we need same types of partnerships.

Being the boss can be tough – you’re pretty much on your own. My wife has her own career, she’s not involved in my business. You don’t want to go home to your wife and make her stressed. None of my friends have a business like mine so I can’t run things by them, and you can’t talk to employees. That’s one of the big advantages of having Darren as a business coach, you can be completely honest, tell him all your stuff, no filter.

A business coach is like a personal trainer at the gym, they won’t do heavy lifting for you, but they’ll spot you, tell you how to improve, hold you accountable to what you want to achieve.

Like going to the gym, my coach mapped out a plan of what we need to do and we build up. You slowly work your way through it. It’s not just a job for Darren. He’s interested and invested in what we do. We’re both accountable for the business getting results.

The results of business coaching speak for themselves

Business coaching has improved every aspect of my business:

  • Revenue has more than doubled (x2.6)
  • My gross profit has increased by 22%
  • Net profit has tripled

My team has grown and is performing at higher productivity levels.

I wasn’t measuring productivity levels before (to be honest, it wasn’t something that I knew about) so I couldn’t say exactly how much we’ve improved but we’re running more efficiently on sites.

M Ewald Uplift Business Coaching

The future of my business is clear: I can see the big picture

I’ve always known I’m a good builder and now we’re building a big picture for the business. Darren is essential to making that happen.

I’ve got one of my guys, Logan, stepping up. Darren’s now doing management and leadership coaching with him because that’s part of our strategy to get Logan managing more of the business. Like most tradies, Logan doesn’t come from management background so we’re investing in his capability. It’s like he’s doing a tradie business coaching course specifically for M Ewald Building.

If I knew then what I know now, I’d be so much further ahead

The sooner you involve a builder business coach specialist like Darren and Tenfold, the easier it is to adapt. You’re more motivated when you’re younger and you get the advantage of having more time to get results which multiplies year on year.

A good business doesn’t just happen, you’re growing something. If you’re not willing to invest in your business, you’re not going to grow it. Working with a Tenfold Business Coach is worth every cent.