Becoming a business owner | 4 min read

A day in the life of a construction business owner

Last updated: December 3, 2019

Twenty four year old Jonathon Clarke grew up on the Central Coast of New South Wales and swears he could never live anywhere else. Like many builders, Jon felt like school just wasn’t for him and at 15 he made the choice to leave school and begin a carpentry apprenticeship with his stepdad. Jon found he had a passion for building and knew it was the right path to follow.

Like many young couples Jon and his wife Lyndsey wanted the freedom of owning their own business, and by 21 Jon had built his own home renovations business which he operated until discovering an opportunity with Hotondo Homes.

Jon said he had wanted to move from home renovations into home construction for a while, but thought the transition seemed out of reach. However, with the support of an established franchise brand he was able to open Hotondo Homes Central Coast in late April 2016.

We work together

Jon and Lyndsey love owning their own business and getting to work together. Generally they both work in the office throughout the day, with Jon popping out to check progress on site. Lyndsey focuses on sales, administration, marketing, and colour selections, while Jon manages the building and estimating.

Since opening, the dynamic duo has been working hard to establish themselves and the business within the local area.

“We both like to be there to meet, chat and get to know clients. We often hold after hours and Sunday appointments as well – we think it’s important to take the opportunity to sit down with our clients, so if we need to do that in our time that’s a sacrifice we’re both willing to make. It’s not unusual to find us back in the office some nights working late, but not as much as we used to when we first opened,” says Jon.

Jonathon and Lyndsey – owners of Hotondo Homes Central Coast, NSW
Jonathon and Lyndsey – owners of Hotondo Homes Central Coast, NSW

There’s time to relax

“I used to work until 9pm quoting jobs and finishing my paperwork, then had a 5am wake up to start the next day, but that’s all changed now… It has taken a lot of self-sacrifice and commitment, but the freedom we have in owning our own business is already well worth it,” Jon says.

Since they’ve been able to hire more staff Jon’s routine now starts around 9am, and he has been able to get off the tools. He spends more time in the office managing the business, and overseeing each new home build.

While running a business is still hard work they’re both enjoying having more time to relax, and can really leave the stresses of work at the office. Jon heads out for a surf most afternoons to clear his head, while Lyndsey works 3-4 days a week and studies full-time.

We’re part of a network

Jon says one of the biggest benefits of joining a franchise has been the head office support – from financial advice, to marketing guides and sale training. “They offered the support and resources I needed to make the transition and they lived up to what was promised,” he says.

Knowing there’s that security, and an entire team behind them has really motivated them to further achieve their goals.

“I also have access to an entire network of builders with years of experience. They’ve encouraged me and are always happy to share valuable advice and tips. We’ve already become great friends,” Jon added.

Jon’s tips for new business owners

“Hang in there during the first few months. They say if you survive your first year in business you will be fine, but you’ll notice that the pressure starts to drop a little after about six months”.

  • Reach out to those around you for support. Your friends and family want to see you succeed, so ask for help. If you’re in a franchise and you get stuck call your support office or even another franchisee – they also want you to thrive, so make use of the support that’s available
  • Stay happy! Keep positive and maintain a good attitude. Happiness attracts success, so don’t let stress get you down

Are you thinking about buying a business, too? Check out these 3 ways to discover if you’re business ready.