Ben got into plumbing when he started his apprenticeship in 2012. Once he was fully qualified he worked for a couple of plumbing companies that weren’t very professional, saying that “They were great plumbers but had very little business focus or business skills which resulted in a poor customer experience”. Following this experience in the industry, Ben saw that there was an opportunity for him to start his own business with a more professional approach.
Ben Wong says, “The motivation behind my business was to avoid making the same mistakes that other businesses were making: being late, inefficiency, bad manners, late payment and being slack on the bookkeeping side”. Ben’s business ‘Platform Plumbing’ is a high quality plumbing service that incorporates timeliness, great customer service, plumbing experience and technology.
Ben connected with another plumbing business owner who became his mentor. They shared the frustration of the trade industry being under professionalized. Ben’s mentor had worked with a business coach from Outcomes Business Group. Ben observed where his mentor’s business was now; he was in a nice office, he wasn’t stressed, he was a really calm businessman and was always in complete control. Ben says he hadn’t seen a business like it: A high amount of professionalism, providing great service and still growing. His mentor’s success was proof to Ben that business coaching was worth exploring, so when his mentor suggested that he meet with a business coach it was a resounding yes!
During coaching Ben mapped out his organisation and delegated certain roles to different people, which made it clear where Ben needed to employ new staff. Ben says “back then I was the one man doing everything, business coaching showed me how I can build systems and processes to employ people who I can trust, which allows me to scale the business. “
Ben credits coaching as changing everything for him. When he began coaching, Ben was working from home, didn’t have any staff, processes for customer service, or method to check the quality of the work. Platform Plumbing now has their own office, 3 cars on the road and Ben’s current goal is to increase the size of his team. With his current team of himself and 7 others, he is currently putting systems and processes in place and making them a “well-oiled machine” and plans to replicate them. Ben is well on the way to his goal of having 10 staff in the foreseeable future.
The idea of changing and improving is of high importance to Ben, as he recalls a saying from his coach, “have you been in business for 20 years or 1 year photocopied 20 times?”. Ben says that “Every single question I ever had was answered through coaching, and he guided me to where I am now. “
Ben now has a lot more time dedicated to improving the business rather than just doing the work. With the addition of new staff he is now able to focus more on how he can improve the customer service experience, to make sure the numbers are stacking up and they are making a good profit.
…$16,000 to $50,000 per month in 4 months…
Coaching for the last 4 months has also seen a significant increase in revenue. Before coaching, $16,000 a month was standard, but last month they hit $50,000.
Owning a business and thinking he knew how to run it, then having a third party telling him to do it a different way was challenging for Ben. He says that being able to let go of preconceptions of how to run a business and allowing his coach to give feedback on what he should be focusing on was probably the hardest adjustment he had to make. The way Ben’s coach taught him to run his business was different to any of the businesses he ever worked in and very different to how he thought a business should operate.
Ben says he has not only seen benefits of coaching within his business but also personally. Prior to starting business coaching, ben was “stuck in a rut”, frustrated with the long hours he was working for what he feels was little reward. Now, Ben feels good as he can quantify his recent success and growth, and has all of his goals set out so he can see where his business is going and how he is going to get there.
Ben’s advice for anyone wanting a business coach is “Open your mind up to coaching, leave the past thinking at the front door, go in with an open mind and all of the information and advice is there.”