“Brainiact is the best thing that’s happened to our business.”
– Andy Mackay, Managing Director, Australian Air Conditioning and Electrical (AACAE)
Andy Mackay and Luke Walsh began working with Brainiact seven months ago and have made significant progress. Starting off without a business structure and clear direction, their Brainiact business coach implemented clear procedures and identified short-term and long-term goals that they could work towards.
“Before we began with Brainiact, we were very disjointed, unorganised and lacked a clear direction,” explains Andy. “From the moment we began, Brainiact provided us with structure. They helped us identify our goals and create an organisation chart, job descriptions, and branding – everything we knew we needed but couldn’t figure out on our own.”
However, it wasn’t an easy decision to get a business coach from the beginning. “I wasn’t convinced we needed a business coach even though Andy felt we needed it,” shares Luke. “But once we met with our Brainiact business coach it became clearer what they could offer us and how they would support us. After I met with our coach, I was on board and excited about the future of AACAE.”
The major challenge Australian Air Conditioning and Electrical faced was a lack of structure and goals. Neither Andy nor Luke had ever owned their own business before or created business procedures designed for long-term success.
“We were just going through the motions thinking let’s give owning our own company a crack,” explains Andy. “We never considered how hard it would be and the importance of implementing structures in all areas of the business.”
Changing their mindsets along with their business practices was another critical component to improving AACAE and ensuring success. Prior to Brainiact, both Andy and Luke were on the tools still trying to do it all. Shifting their mindset from being a tradie to being a business owner helped ensure their business was moving forward and growing, rather than staying stagnant.
“It was a hard transition,” explains Andy. “Before we were two tradies and now we’re two business owners. Once we had that figured out it became easier for us to move into stronger leadership roles which also helped our overall company culture.”
“I’m finally making the transition from being on the tools to having a stronger presence in the office,” shares Luke. “While I know it might be difficult at first, as I love being on the tools and working directly with clients in that way, I’ve also shifted my mindset to understand that in order to grow the business and succeed I have to work in a more managerial role, which I’m also looking forward to.”
Another aspect holding AACAE back from achieving their ambitions was their lack of a marketing plan and strategy. Like most trade businesses, a lot of work can be gained through word-of-mouth marketing, which is an effective strategy but not one that can be scaled. Creating a website and implementing cohesive branding across all communication channels, and in the team directly through uniforms and vehicles, were important steps.
“We knew what we needed to do but lacked the support and understanding of how to do it,” shares Luke. “Our Brainiact business coach offered us the resources and motivation to get these final steps done, which has made a big difference.”
“The main thing that Brainiact has helped with, is we’re no longer running around in circles; we know exactly what we need to do and when we need to do it,” adds Andy.
Another area Brainiact has worked on with Andy and Luke is not only ensuring they keep track of net profits but also ensuring they are quoting jobs accurately and being paid what they deserve. One of the most difficult areas many small to medium-sized businesses struggle with is identifying how much they should charge. Understanding your worth can be difficult and a key area in which a business coach can provide that additional support.
“One thing that our coach always drilled into us was, ‘sales are vanity, profits are sanity’,” shares Andy. “Prior to jumping on board with Brainiact, we were not only underselling our skills but not accurately understanding the profits of our business.”
“Our Brainiact business coach has really helped in this area and explained things in a way that’s easy to understand. There’s no confusing jargon, everything is broken down so it’s simple to get our heads around.”
More than just a business coach
Brainiact prides itself on being a support system for its clients. Working alongside small to medium-sized business owners for extended periods of time, means that the team at Brainiact form strong connections and develop a vested interest in seeing them succeed.
A Brainiact business coach has been working with Andy and Luke for over seven months. This has helped contribute to the success of AACAE, as Brainiact can make real and meaningful change, with a deeper understanding of their goals and overall objectives.
“Brainiact is more than just a business coaching company,” shares Andy. “I’ve had chats with our business coach outside of hours or about things that aren’t directly related to the business. I’d say our business coach has become a trusted friend and confidante which has really helped our business prosper.”
“Our Brainiact business coach has been great for Andy and I, as they’ve been able to be an unbiased third party,” explains Luke. “It isn’t always smooth sailing when you go into business with a mate, so our coach has been really beneficial in helping us make decisions when we may not always see eye to eye.”
Forging strong relationships between business coach and client is always the end goal for our team at Brainiact. When you get to know one another on a more personal, deeper level it becomes easier to give both constructive feedback and positive reinforcement. When you are a business owner, constructive feedback is critical to your progress, but so is positive communication. You need to know when you are doing a good job and where you can improve to build a strong and profitable business.
“Knowing our business coach has our best interests at heart at all times makes it easier to take on the constructive feedback and not lose motivation,” says Luke.
“The best part about working with our Brainiact business coach for so long is that they can tell it how it is,” explains Andy. “There’s no sugar-coating it. If we haven’t reached our targets, we need our coach to tell us honestly where we can improve and what we have done wrong. In the same way, when they tell us we’ve done a good job I believe them, and it helps to motivate us even more.”
Improving leadership skills through positivity
Our Brainiact business coach has helped improve Andy and Luke’s business through strengthening their leadership capabilities and managerial skills. While Andy had some previous experience, Luke had not run his own team prior to starting AACAE, so both had room to grow and expand their skillsets.
“It has been a big transition, but one I have really enjoyed,” shares Luke.
“While I had experience managing teams, I knew how I spoke and explained concepts to my team could be improved,” explains Andy. “Before Brainiact, I would sometimes micro-manage my team a little bit, but after working with Brainiact I’ve found better ways of communicating with my team. As our coach has said, ‘praise in public and criticise in private’.”
No business owner is ever going to be perfect in business, but gaining a coach can help improve areas that individuals may be lacking. Brainiact’s main goal with the team at AACAE was ensuring a positive workplace culture, in order to help improve overall efficiency and longevity. Their Brainiact business coach worked to improve Andy’s communication skills and guide Luke to take on a more active leadership role.
“It was difficult at first,” explains Luke. “I usually would work alongside the boys and let little things slide, like if someone wasn’t wearing their uniform. But working with Brainiact showed me that I needed to take more responsibility in my leadership. I began ensuring that all our team maintains our high standards and meets our expectations.”
Building a community of like-minded business owners
One unique aspect of Brainiact is the community it has begun building amongst its clients. For AACAE, their growth and success has ensured they can pass down the knowledge and skills they’ve learnt to other business owners and Brainiact clients. This sense of community and teamwork means that more businesses can succeed and continue to expand.
“Clients help each other out at Brainiact,” says Andy. “We’ve been in contact with some business owners to help them out with how to quote accurately, and also have been put in touch with other business owners to see how we could work together.”
“This sense of community amongst clients has meant that we have been able to gain more support and helped support others, which has been a great feeling,” adds Luke.
Final thoughts and advice
What Andy and Luke have loved about having a business coach and working with Brainiact is the accountability. While some of the information Brainiact shared was not new to Andy and Luke, having a coach ensured they actually implemented these structures and procedures.
“Knowing what to do and actually doing it are very different things,” says Luke. “Our Brainiact business coach forced us to be accountable and responsible for actually doing the things we set out to achieve.”
“Our Brainiact business coach always pushes us to hit our goals and be better,” explains Andy. “Being able to ask questions and know that they will always pick up our calls has been the support and accountability we needed to make meaningful change.”
“While we used to rely on word-of-mouth sales, we’ve begun growing each month more and more. Our ROI has been huge; we’ve been able to get away from subcontracting and actually begin building our own brand and business. It’s been a great journey.”
Luke shares this piece of advice for other business owners… “Actually commit. If you get a business coach, you have to commit to doing the work or else it’s not worth it.”
Andy adds… “It can be challenging, and you’ll experience ups and downs, but it’s worth it to gain confidence and build a successful business.”
Our team at Brainiact are beyond proud of the great success Australian Air Conditioning and Electrical have experienced since joining with Brainiact. We look forward to our continued partnership and seeing what else they achieve in the future.
If you would like to take the leap and connect with one of our business coaches, enquire today! Alternatively, if you want to take charge and own a Brainiact, we are now taking expressions of interest.