Intelligent Home Success Story
After a 16-year relationship with Intelligent Home, Gary Lightbody, one of our residential cabling contractors, has announced his retirement. We spoke to Gary and asked him about his career as an Intelligent Home contractor and growing his business in Perth.
What has your experience been like working as an Intelligent Home contractor?
There have been plenty of benefits to working with Intelligent Home. The team was happy to provide training, mentoring and education, which is essential when running a small business. You usually don't have time or the budget for that. Johnny and the techs supported my business with training, and Mike helped manage my schedule. The team has always been open and honest if I had a problem on site. They would step in and get involved if I had issues with supervisors.
Financially, the payment has been regular and on time for 15 years. The fact that it has been consistent has given me the confidence to know that it is coming in, and I don't have to chase the money. That's been a huge thing, meaning I can plan for the future. It also gave me the confidence to take on some other work independently. Most contractors fear not having a regular income.
I am still friends with Brenton and the rest of the team here. So that in itself tells me that it has been a positive experience.
What has it been like to have your own business?
The initial few years were hard work. But, the steadiness and volume of work meant that I had the confidence to employ people, and I could take apprentices on from my second year in business. I have had 15 apprentices over the years. You need to have continuity of work and income to do that.
You also have to want to be the master of your own destiny. Most people want to be told what to do, take a paycheque, and then go home. I didn't want that. I wanted to control my own world. So that's the sort of character you look for in a contractor.
Owning my own business has given me a certain amount of freedom. If I wanted to go home at 12pm, I could. So, working for yourself is entirely different from working for someone else. It requires a completely different mindset.
What is your advice to cablers wanting to start their own contracting business?
In terms of where you start, it depends on whether you want to be a one-man band or a tradie with a mate. That's also different from being a tradie with a mate, together with 4 other teams. It depends on what your appetite is for business. If you're a real go-getter, you may want to employ people, but if it's just you and your mate, you just hit the ground running.
My advice to people wanting to start contracting is to focus hard for your first 6 months. Also, use the right tools, listen to what other people tell you, take advice, and accept training from people more experienced than you. I often asked the team at Intelligent Home what to do because they'd done it a million times.
It has been a really positive experience for me. It might not be that way for everyone, but it was a good fit for me, and everything worked well. You get past that stage where money is the concern, and it becomes more about relationships. That has been great. Being a contractor can be lonely as you're on your own - but I have friends and support here.
Some of the best things about contracting with Intelligent Home have been an open dialogue and a sense that the team wants me to succeed. As much as we have had differences from time to time, we always manage to get through them.
Do you have what it takes to become an Intelligent Home contractor?
Then, if you are ready to take the next steps and start your own business, our team is ready to support you. Contact Brenton Morris on 6363 8744 to learn more.