230 – How to Become a National Award-Winning Trade Business

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How to Become a National Award-Winning Trade Business

Guest: Tom Martin, director of Water Tight Canberra

It’s not uncommon to have a polarised vision of what your business is and the potential it has. It might feel daunting to be up against other businesses in your niche. However, there is always a chance of coming out on top. So how can you, as a tradesperson, become an award-winning business?

In this episode, we’re talking with Tom Martin of Water Tight Canberra, which won the ‘Small and Succeeding’ category of the 2019 ACT Telstra Business Awards. Today, we’ll cover the right mindset and foundation behind this win. We’ll also talk about the role of education and being agile in business and how building to scale looks like.

If you want to know what it’s like to be a national award-winning trade business, then this episode is for you. Don’t miss this episode and tune in as we guide you towards that path.

For other stories of success, check these podcast episodes:

  • TSS191 – Become A Home Service Millionaire – [LINK]
  • TSS219 – Zero to a Million in Four Years – [LINK]
  • TSS223 – From 2 Staff to 300 in 9 Years – [LINK]

About this podcast, ‘How to Become a National Award-Winning Trade Business’

Podcast Highlights:

  • 08:56 – Beginnings in the industry—the apprenticeship model
  • 14:29 – Specializing in maintenance as opposed to the construction mode
  • 16:16 – Education is the key
  • 19:06 – The importance of getting online reviews
  • 23:43 – Starting and managing a business
  • 26:19 – The influence of networking groups to your personal development
  • 29:50 – Creating systems and policies for a more organized job and better-managed staff and teams
  • 38:02 – Winning the Small Business Award in the Telstra Business Awards
  • 46:33 – Finding and retaining staff

This episode highlighted the role of systems and tools in managing teams in businesses. He also talked about networking groups and online reviews. Having these two is vital to know how and where you will steer your business.

Tom also gave us a rundown of the importance of education and apprenticeships. These play an essential role in building an entrepreneurial mindset early on. Finally, he shared the aftermath of winning a national award in the industry and how it has helped them in their vision.

About Our Guest

Tom Martin is a licensed Canberra plumber and is the founder and director of Water Tight Canberra. Water Tight Canberra offers reliable plumbing, draining, and gasfitting services. In 2019, Water Tight Canberra won in the Small & Succeeding category of Telstra Business Awards for their commitment to social and environmentally conscious practices. The company’s strongest points are their re-engineering of the plumbing industry and their approach to business and customer service. 

Check out Virtual Trade Assistant and Water Tight Canberra’s website. You can also reach Tom directly at [email protected]

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The Site Shed | Listen Notes


The Site Shed is one of the best online communities and podcasts for tradies out there. The free content provided to members is unbelievable - offering invaluable advice to run a successful business, and the community of tradies is truly awesome. Do yourself a favour and check it out.

Peter Cox Business Man

Great work Matt with all the podcasts and the site shed facebook community group. The amount of information that you can learn for free in this space is unbelieveable. It's great to see like minded contractors and trades trying to improve their businesses and also share ideas and help others. Highly recommend. Thanks!

Ben Hern Business Owner

I have been listening to the pod casts for a few months now, I can't get enough of all the awesome content that you guys provide. Especially when you guys deliver it from a trade perspective which helps out a lot. Keep up the good work and hopefully one day I can afford one of the trade training trips.

Ché Henton Customer

I own a construction company,and i love learning how to make my bussiness more competitive,profitable and how to better serve my clients. The site shed is a wonderful place to get invaluable knowledge no matter your trade .

Michael Mullinax Construction Company Owner

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