Big thinkers,
small business.

Our insights started with interviewing Australia's most ambitious tradie small business owners.

Meet the next generation of leaders.


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Aimee's career began as a mechanical plumber on sprawling commercial sites, where she witnessed a work culture in which her bosses lived solely to work.

As a result, Aimee decided to partner with her brother to launch Tiny Stays, tiny rentable homes that she builds and maintains, where tradespeople (and anyone else) can go to get a break from running a business.

She’s set on inspiring the next generation to uncover their own personal "why," so they can feel fulfilled every day.

A young blonde female tradie smiles at the camera
Why Relationships Matter most

Bek Bishop isn’t just about building homes—she’s building foundational support for all kinds of tradespeople, from women entering the industry to building experts who need clear information so they can move at speed.

To Bek, each home Elite builds is a privilege she takes very seriously. She’s committed to bringing the customer along the entire journey and extends that sense of hospitality to other business owners.

Bek believes a rising tide lifts all boats, and works wth R U OK? And the Master Builders Association of Victoria as a Council Member.

A female tradie smiles at the camera in front of a brick wall

Byron’s dad wanted him to take up a trade, but in his youth Byron wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps and become an accountant.

He hated it and became a plumber with a view to running a sustainable business that combined profit with ethical operations.

Byron’s passionate about this balancing act. Plumbing is competitive and finding leads is
harder than ever. By keeping on top of marketing costs, assessing long-term benefits and making sure his service is up to scratch, he’s growing Zebra Plumbing sustainably.

A male tradie wearing blue gloves smiles while working
Why I Love Being A Plumber

Cameron and Clarissa are committed to ensuring Human Electrical Design is a different kind of electrical business — one built on solid workflow systems, diverse experience and an unwavering dedication to positive culture, which comes from witnessing poor practices in their own apprenticeships.

Together, they’re dedicated to looking after apprentices, fostering a culture of care, and emphasising mental health days.

Their approach is rooted in patience and guidance, ensuring young people are nurtured rather than reprimanded for mistakes.

A male and female tradie in branded uniforms smiling
Boosting culture through giving back

Ed and his business partner Dan trained in carpentry. When a close friend lost their battle with mental health, they pivoted to found TradeMutt workwear and This Is A Conversation Starter (TIACS) — two businesses that support tradies in this area. ​

TradeMutt’s high quality, attention-grabbing workwear starts conversations on site. The profits fund the TIACS mental health helpline, with an emphasis on early intervention and continuity of care.

Smiling male tradie wearing vibrant shirt
The importance of supporting new starts

James tried his hands at a few trades before settling on painting. After his apprenticeship and a couple of years working under someone, he went out on his own.

In painting, work that's low standard is immediately obvious to the customer. That's why James sets his quality bar high and focuses on training his staff to deliver next-level finish and service.

He's noticed his peers seem to be struggling to find business expertise and advice, whereas he seeks it out to avoid learning by doing where he can.

Selfie of a bearded male tradie
Quality & Professionalism

Joe’s father was in the trades as a roof thatcher in the UK. Where his dad is part of a rich tradition spanning hundreds of years, Joe’s electrical business is devoted to the future, specialising in sustainable and renewable energy.

For Joe, the internal culture of the business is a cornerstone of delivering quality service.
He’s passionate about solar and battery-stored energy and being an early adopter of the tech means he got a head start on the competition.

Energy Culture has won several awards for business leadership, which is a testament to Joe's efforts developing a brand and mission his team believe in and work to achieve.

A male tradie smiling with a cap on against blue sky
Getting involved in renewables

Joseph’s calm, considered approach to running a business came from working under others who were the opposite. As a result, Next Gen is founded on a culture of mutual respect, support and responsibility, from apprentice to boss.

The other side of building a positive culture is making getting the work done easier. Joseph invests in job management and automation so that everything works smoothly.

This makes the experience better for his team, leading to healthy working relationships and long-term employees.

A male tradie in a branded polo against a brick wall
The importance of 1:1 relationships

Matt set out to build a trade business where everybody has opportunities to lead. He realised other business leaders were ignoring fresh ideas and instead wanted to be the first to adopt them. This means learning about new technologies and embedding them into how he does business.

Matt’s Plumbify podcast gets thousands of listens. His TikTok following means he gets the pick of talented apprentices who find him on the platform, where he’s inspiring the next generation of plumbers.

Portrait shot of a male tradie in a branded Kathmandu vest
Speeding up tasks with ChatGPT

Mitch’s background is in real estate, so when he and his brother joined forces and went into business together, they applied a ‘location, location, location’ approach to finding work.

Their secret to success is creating systems that make it easy, efficient and enjoyable to get work done.

Legendary Plumbers embraces automation, digitised admin and polished service, resulting in smooth maintenance plumbing service that customers are willing to pay for.

Bearded male tradie smiles with cap on
Automation and paperless service

Monique built her business alone, without support or mentorship. She had to learn the ropes the hard way, tackling business growth without a clear strategy.

Facing burnout, Monique found a new format to express herself; a tradie podcast called ‘Let’s Talk Tradies’, where she shares her own journey and unpicks challenges others have faced.

The show provides a platform for tradies to share stories about business management, key lessons and what it’s like being a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field.

Young female tradie smiling
Challenges of being a female boss

Robby is passionate about quality, sustainable homes that outlive their owners. He's dedicated his company to being one of Australia’s leaders in passive homes, championing new building technologies and products from local and European suppliers.

A key driver is learning new, better ways of doing things, which means using a business coach and upskilling his team to build to increasingly high standards.

Collaboration is central to Evobuilt. The old way of keeping your books closed is dead and gone, and the team share knowledge with anyone who asks.​

Male tradie smiling in branded polo shirt
Networks for sharing expertise

Tyrone went through the classic path for a self-employed brickie—apprenticeship, working under someone for a year, then going out on his own. On this journey, he was struck by how outdated or incomplete his training was.

Ty launched his social media channel, Bricks by Ty, to bridge the educational gap he experienced as an apprentice.

Through relatable and digestible tutorial content, he's looking to share his own hard-fought knowledge with young people entering the industry.

Young male tradie smiling
Youtube as a learning platform
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Expert acknowledgements

Rob saw a stream of older tradies exiting the industry with injuries or unable to cope with the physical demands of the job. He thought there must be a better way to build without the physical grit.

Rob’s company Preformed Walls has developed prefabricated walls that reduce manual handling and repetitive lifting. They’re still in the early days but seeing strong results in trials.

He’s hoping that innovations like
Preformed’s technologies can keep
experience in the industry for longer.

Male tradie smiles into camera against sunny backdrop
Learning from others' expertise

Sally co-founded her business in partnership with her husband in 2017, but her background in the technology sector meant she wanted to do things a little differently.

She places a huge emphasis on relationship building, encouraging her team to say “we’ll find a way” rather than “no, that’s not our job”.

Sally believes that discovering the right niche has been key to Alykan and Speedheat’s success, letting her optimise the businesses entirely around the right size of jobs that they can handle, to deliver high quality, great work that customers love.

Female business owner smiling at camera, close-up

Toby grew up in a family electrical business, developing a strong work ethic, an understanding of customers needs and supply vs. demand.

Previously, he drove strategy for major tool brands and trade wholesalers, where he saw so many problems with the flow of construction projects, he founded BuiltGrid as a solution.

BuiltGrid is a platform for builders and builders and suppliers to manage procurement.Trades and suppliers access projects with improved visibility, and builders connect to trades and suppliers to get projects done.

Toby wants professionals to maximise work and minimise downtime, saving money and
enabling more homes to be built efficiently.

Brown-haired male tradie smiling at camera
Working with recyclable products
Download the full report to explore all themes and mindsets for 2024.