EP #4 – Is a Work-Life Balance Even Achievable For Tradespeople?

by | Mar 14, 2024

Overview

Join host Tulloch Priest as he chats to Michele Ibbs from I’m Your P.A. in this episode of the FieldRocket Podcast.  

Michele is one of the most experienced people in the UK when it comes to business admin help. Her company offers call handling, admin support, virtual office services and more to trades businesses across the UK – now working with a team of 19+. 

Learn more about your admin support options as a trades business owner, what’s the most cost effective, and lots more. 

Listen to the episode:

Highlights

Background
  • Michele talks about her background and the story of starting I’m Your P.A. (0:30)
  • The business initially started from her home, but they eventually moved into an office and now have a team of 19 (2:05)
The problem with admin work
  • A lot of tradespeople are incredible on the tools, but aren’t interested in admin work. But it still has to be done (3:51)
  • They’re constantly trying to fit things in at the end of the day, meaning it eats into family time and they don’t have enough time to properly follow up with clients (4:15)
Building up a database of contacts with software
  • Software makes such a difference to their work. Michele did a calculation for one of her customers, and it was costing them about £500 more a moth doing things manually (8:08)
  • Younger gas engineers, for example, do heavy work fitting boilers. Getting older, if you follow up with clients you can shift to more servicing-based work (7:00)
Some of the options available
  • Find a full time staff – Michele explains the costs associated with this (10:20)
  • Talking about how viable a part time staff member is (11:50)
  • Tradespeople can hire a virtual P.A. for about £300 a month instead (13:00)
  • A few companies go from having a full time staff to using her services (16:20)
Why do people hesitate?
  • People hesitate because its letting go of their baby – their business (17:35)
A life without admin work 
  • Michele had a lovely testimonial from a client that said he had his first holiday in 15 years thanks to her business’ help (19:40)
  • We all get difficult customers, but having someone else handle them can make life much less stressful (25:30)
  • Michele tells the story of one of her clients that asked her to help with insurance claims (27:26)
Hiring new staff
  • Michele walks through the process of hiring new admin staff, and how to determine whether they’ll be good at the job (28:40)
Bonus tips
  • Advice on organising your business when you’re VAT registered (35:40)
  • Networking does work and can be very lucrative (36:40)