It’s 4pm, you’re stuck in traffic running late to a meeting, and alongside you in another lane is a tradie. They’ve knocked off for the day, they’ve got the surfboard in the back and life is good.
For 34 year old carpenter and business owner Matt, it’s not a daily reality – but every now and again it can be pretty sweet indeed!
Matt’s a man on the go.
With four employees and three extension, renovation or build projects on the boil at any one time, this is someone who knows how to keep a lot of balls up in the air. The day starts before 7am – he’ll be on the tools until lunch time and then usually the second half is spent running from site to site quality controlling, nipping any problems in the bud and just generally keeping an eye on things. Sure he might knock off by that golden hour of 4pm, but then as a business owner that’s usually prime time for hitting the books and getting plenty of the paperwork done.
Running his business is so much more than quality carpentry.
A substantial part of the pie is managing efficiencies as jobs get bigger and more people are brought on. It’s Matt’s job to not only keep them all happy, but the clients happy as well. If he can score that hat trick, then he’s a content man. Ensuring quality across all the jobs is always top of mind – he can’t physically be on every site at every hour of the day, so a lot of his work is knowing how to manage and prioritise time so he can be there when it’s most important, and when checks and balances are key. Probably the least obvious but increasingly demanding role for Matt is financial management – with staff, suppliers, contractors, invoicing going out, invoicing coming in; it’s all one big balancing act.
Matt wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s fast-paced and frantic at times, but then he and the boys will finish a job and they’ll celebrate with a bbq at the client’s – a great chance for them to soak up what they’ve achieved .
At the end of the day, Matt’s the kind of guy who walks through the door of his own home and feels great about getting so much done. In his words, sitting around doing nothing isn’t healthy.
You get the feeling there’s pretty much no sitting around with Matt. So how does it all come together?
The Holden Colorado LT is a pretty important link in the chain for Matt. It’s a bit like his mobile office, his most powerful workhorse and his family mover all in one. The day we caught up with Matt he was relocating a Bob Cat. It might not have surpassed the car’s 3.5-tonne towing capacity, but wasn’t exactly light as a feather, either. Having a reliable vehicle that can do serious building grunt work is one of Matt’s most important assets. It’s a Bob Cat today, but tomorrow it might be a few wheelbarrows and the day after that it could be a bunch of tools or a load of timber.
He also loves never missing a beat. One minute he’s loading the Bob Cat, the next he’s towing it to another job and making calls to suppliers as he goes. The steering wheel activated handsfree calling means he can make and receive calls safely, and when he’s not trying to reach a cast of thousands, then he can stream internet radio or just enjoy a bit of rare peace and quiet! An unexpected feature that appeals to Matt is when the car’s descending and he feels the brakes automatically engage a bit; that sense of security and control has been a real added plus. In fact the only real challenge with this car has been getting his wife out of it – she absolutely loves it.
We don’t chat for long, and Matt takes off ahead of schedule. The bike’s in the back and we’ve got a feeling he’s about to squeeze in one of those cheeky midweek rides. Why sit around…