Productivity • Management • Operations • Business Tips • 40 minutes

Budgets, Numbers, and P&Ls: A Business Coach’s Perspective on the Trades

December 20, 2022

Episode Overview

Of course it’s important to be a technical expert in your trade. Unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs neglect their budget–the one thing that dictates long-term growth.

Worse, many are reluctant to ask for help, says Jason Arthur, owner of Eighty-Seven Degrees Coaching.

Arthur has a wide range of experience helping companies at all levels take stock of the type of growth they’d like to create.

“I've been on the small mom-and-pop side, and I've been on the big corporate side, you know, statewide company, multi-location, large company,” he says. “And I've been through the first recession back in 2008 to 2010. I've been through COVID. I've been through all sorts of different challenges within our economy and still figured out ways to continue to grow and scale.”

Whatever your revenue level or challenge in the marketplace, Arthur says it usually comes down to creating a realistic budget that uses your history to predict the future, and developing in areas of opportunity.

“If I had to put it in one sentence,” he says, “it would be identifying your expectation to grow and then knowing your numbers.” 

Arthur says too many companies don’t possess the building blocks of what goes into realistic budget creation. Cash flow doesn’t always equal profitability. 

“I can help develop a budget, and I can also help create a process to do a budget, so you can do your own moving forward,” he says. 

The act of creating a budget calls for tracking and accountability–it shouldn’t just be an idea that gets put on a shelf when operations get in the way, Arthur says.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a successful budget, and Arthur believes a way to make one stick is to get employees involved and to refer to it all year long.

“Have your employees get involved in going through the trouble of putting together a budget,” he says. “But if they just see it sit on the shelf, they're not going to do a whole lot next year–and it just gets blown out of the water, good or bad.”

Instead, Arthur says, rally your employees around the budget and integrate it with all your processes. 

Jason Arthur recently joined ServiceTitan’s Jackie Aubel as part of Season 7 of the “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast, which included Arthur’s thoughts on:

  • Why you should reach out to a budget coach.

  • Creating an accountable budget-reporting culture.

  • Integrating employees into the budget-creation process.

  • Memorable stories from clients’ perspectives.

  • Why it’s good to have a coach with a varied background.

To hear more stories from the trades, subscribe to Toolbox for the Trades on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or anywhere you get podcasts.

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Our comprehensive, cloud-based platform is used by thousands of electrical, HVAC, plumbing, garage door, and chimney sweep shops across the country—and has increased their revenue by an average of 25% in just their first year with us.

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About the Show

Toolbox for the Trades is a podcast where top service professionals share the tips, tricks, and tactics they use to succeed in their industry. Hosted by Jackie Aubel, this podcast is brought to you by ServiceTitan—the leading home and commercial field service software.

Episodes will feature stories and strategies to help contractors grow and scale their service business.

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