Matt Fraser

A Case Study

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Background

Trade: Plumbing

Size:Sole trader – now expanded

After being employed as a plumber for almost 20 years, Matt Fraser decided to venture out on his own in 2016 with his business Matt Fraser Plumbing.

Over the past couple of years, Matt has built up a good client base, servicing and setting up plumbing for residential homes in the Whangarei area.

Starting point

Matt came into being part of Skills Business Advisor Programme with an open mind. Without undertaking any business training previously and as a relatively new business owner he was very keen to see how he was going compared to other businesses. He thought he could achieve “an easier work-life balance as a sole trader” without any additional staff. Matt hadn’t given a lot of thought to the future of his business, its directions or how grow it. However, as a one-man band Matt was regularly working extensive hours to meet his clients’ needs and it wasn’t sustainable long term.

As the former owner of a successful plumbing business, Matt’s advisor Trevor was invaluable in shifting Matt’s perspective. Matt set goals to:

    • Create a business which would support his lifestyle choices
    • Make plans and put structure in place so he’s not working crazy hours
    • Take on an apprentice for succession planning

Matt’s experience

Matt has found the business aspects of the Business Advisor Programme hugely beneficial. His involvement has given him a better understanding of how businesses work which has helped him to look at his own business in an entirely different way.

Matt explains, “this has opened my eyes to what is actually required to have a business that’s worth something in the end. It’s also given me the confidence to think about succession planning and taking on an apprentice that I can train up in the business.”

Matt comments that having Trevor come alongside him has been “totally relevant, as he also brings a wealth of industry experience.”

Results

Matt is really grasping the concepts discussed during the group and one-on-one sessions.
Matt now has:

    • A better understanding of how businesses work
    • More drive to build a business that’s worth something
    • Better understanding of the role of business planning
    • Taken on an apprentice and is putting a lot of his learnings into practice.

Concluding remarks

Being part of the Skills Business Advisor Programme has empowered Matt to move his business from one that operates in the present, to one that is planning for the future. When Matt began to understand more about how businesses operate successfully, he began to understand how his business could enable the lifestyle that he wants. Where Matt was previously hesitant to take on staff, he has now taken on an apprentice and is actively considering succession planning.

Matt’s trade-based advisor, Trevor, comments that “because Matt Fraser Plumbing is a small, relatively new formed business, Matt has been able to implement initiatives quickly and measure the results in a more direct way. This is growing his confidence and certainly his ambition.