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Make the most of your trade business with a good work-life balance

As a trusted tradesperson, managing your diary is key to getting the right balance between your work and your life.

Whether you’ve got a team, or act as a sole trader, getting a good balance for your business is crucial. As well as growing your business, you also want to avoid burning out by trying to do too much.

If you’re looking to achieve a better work-life balance, there are a few steps you can follow. Make sure that your trade business will work for you in the long term.

Why do I need a good work-life balance?

With so much “busy”-ness going on, it can be all too easy to lose sight of your business priorities. This is why it is so important to have a good work balance in relation to the rest of your life.

If you have ever experienced burnout, you will know how vital it is to manage your wellbeing. If you are managing a team, or working by yourself, there will be things you need to prioritise.

Good for mental health

Making your trade business work better for you means a positive impact across all areas of your life. If you have a good focus on workplace mental health, then you’ll find lower stress levels and better physical health too.

Getting a good work-life balance can help you avoid a work-influenced breakdown. As well as the impact on your work, that can also impact your wider mental health and even home life.
Rather than trying to take everything on at the same time, you’ll need a good work balance to avoid exhaustion.

Manage your wellbeing better and grow your trade business

Get a good work balance to thrive in your trade

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How can I get a good work balance as a sole trader?

There are four main ways to achieve a better work balance if you are working as a sole trader. These easy-to-follow steps can be applied, even if you are a small business, operating as part of a team, or even a much wider organisation.

Being a sole trader allows you to pick jobs with the best work-life balance.

Quality of work

Regardless of the trade you’re working in, your business will benefit from improving the quality of work coming through. Emergency callouts might be good to offer, but ideally, you’ll want to work on larger projects.

Good customer service

Instantly answering calls where possible or getting back to people straight away is essential. Good customer service brings your business good reviews and repeat business.

Keeping good levels of contact with customers also helps lower the amount of admin time. Being available means you won’t end up chasing people or apologising for not responding sooner.

Limiting the number of jobs

Don’t take on more work than you can handle. A busy diary can be very enticing, but it can also quickly swamp your time. Other factors such as admin tasks, faulty products, mismeasures, and even traffic, can all have an impact on your work-life balance.

Less work in your diary can provide more leeway for things outside of your control. Make sure you pick jobs with the best work-life balance.

Get another pair of hands

Taking on another team member when your business is doing well is really important. Even if it is only on a part time basis.

Having someone else work with you will alleviate the pressures of the trade and improve your work-life.

How can I manage my team more effectively?

When you’re running a trade business, getting a good work balance means letting others help where possible. This can be more of a challenge if you started as a sole trader and are starting to expand.

Having someone else you can rely on will also free up some time and get that good work balance. That can mean taking on more people or outsourcing some work. It is always a bit of a balancing act when growing your business.

You want more work, but you also need more people to carry it out.


There are some good local agencies and freelancers who can assist across many areas of your business. Most businesses use accountants to keep an eye on their finances, so why not for other aspects of your trade?

As an example, you can save time on both time and effort on your marketing. Have a look at people who can help you find more leads and contacts.

Having others run your marketing will free up some time for you. That means you can prioritise your work in terms of carrying out jobs, not finding them.

This is where a Checkatrade membership can help. Having a profile on our website does the marketing for you, AND gives you jobs too!

It's not just about the jobs you get, it's about the jobs they’ll recommend you for

6 out of 10 people who use a Checkatrade tradesperson go on to recommend to others

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Alternatively, think about bringing someone else on board. If you’ve already got a small team of people, this is an obvious route to take.

That could mean someone else working for you full-time, part-time, or even on a zero-hour basis. A zero-hour contract means they’ll only work for you when there are jobs available.

Don’t forget you can also consider subcontracting for this work. You can rely on other trusted trades to help out when you need them. More people working for a business means that everyone can have a better work-life balance.

As a business owner, it is up to you to make sure that the tasks are carried out. It doesn’t mean trying to do all the work yourself.

How do I manage wellbeing as a tradesperson?

Each person is different, and each trade can have different requirements on the individual. There are a few core ways to manage your wellbeing that will not just benefit you, they will also benefit your business.

Trade jobs with the best work-life balance are ones that let you work at your own speed and get paid for quality work. They also impact your wellbeing by letting you do the things you enjoy.

Spend more time with loved ones

Whether it’s your family or your friends, it is good to spend time with those you care about. Research continually shows the physical and mental health benefits of relaxing with loved ones.

You know your circumstances, and so you are the best person to know who you’d rather spend time with!

Good work life balance get a pet

Get a pet

There have been a number of studies showing that spending time pets can boost your health. Pet ownership can help reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, anxiety and some symptoms of PTSD, all while improving your general mood.

Bonding with a pet is a guaranteed way to improve your wellbeing. That goes across all species, whether furry, scaley, feathered, or anything in between!

Workplace wellness workshops

Initiatives such as Mental Health Awareness Week have made the world of work much better. There are many places across the country that now offer specific workshops for creating a healthy workplace.

These courses are good on a personal and business level, so are worth investigating for your team. Workplace wellness workshops can show you how to get that good work-life balance.

Important steps to make your trade business work for you

  • Manage your diary efficiently with calendars
  • Prioritise tasks in order of urgency
  • Avoid exhaustion by getting a good work balance
  • Look for larger jobs by becoming a Checkatrade member
  • Get others to help where possible through onboarding or outsourcing
  • Spend quality time with loved ones
  • Attend wellness workshops for either you or your employees

It's not just about the jobs you get, it's about the jobs they’ll recommend you for

6 out of 10 people who use a Checkatrade tradesperson go on to recommend to others

Find out more

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