How to make big bucks and rule
IT'S a dream for many of us - to have our own business, to be our own boss and the masters of our financial destiny.
But if you're best life involves opening a snazzy small bar or running a country B&B, think again. New research has found the small businesses with the most growth and they're all blue collar professions.
Don't be a barista, be a builder, is the advice.
Tech firm Invoice2Go measured the amount of money being invoiced through its app to find both the most lucrative industries for small businesses and sole traders and those with the highest growth.
Small businesses are generally considered to have less than 200 employees but 70 per cent have between just one and four staff on the books.
Data from the 2017 calendar year found glaziers invoiced the most of any profession, averaging $162,000 for the year.
This was followed by those maintaining and installing pools and spas who racked up only a little less at $156,000.
Builders came in third spot, invoicing for $139,000. The list was rounded out by plumbers and those working in security.
Poor musicians though, they are quite literally poor. Over a year, the average muso invoiced for just $34,000. If they put down the guitar and took up a mop, they'd earn $56,000 as a cleaner.
Michelle Hargreaves, a painter and landscaper working in Sydney's inner west, said she now earns "double or triple the amount" in annual income since she switched from a full-time payroll position at Qantas to a sole trader eight years ago.
"People are getting paid more to do a trade these days than to work in an office," she told news.com.au.
He theory behind her burgeoning business was because "no one wants to get their hands dirty anymore".
When it comes to the small business sectors seeing the biggest growth, the top spot goes to smash repairers. A 78 per cent increase in the average invoicing amount for those working in auto repairs was in line with an increase in the number of registered vehicles.
The more cars, the more crashes, it seems.
Construction, which is the largest overall industry in Australia, saw the second-highest growth by small businesses and sole traders. Invoice amounts are up a massive 59 per cent year-on-year.
All those new homes need gardens, and the grass is definitely greener for landscapers who have seen the third-highest growth in invoicing amount in 2017, up 58 per cent.
Small businesses in the food industry came in at number four while glaziers have seen the fifth highest growth.
Of the small business professions Invoice2Go looked at, those people doing communications for a living, such as publicists, saw the lowest growth in invoice amount at just 15 per cent year on year.
Ms Hargreaves runs That Ladie Tradie and brings in subcontractors to help her when needed on jobs.
"Predominantly, real estate agents get me in if a house needs some rejuvenation prior to it being sold. I paint it, spruce it up, supply plants for the garden, doing general handyman and handywoman stuff and make it a bit bling."
According to the data, painters can clear $126,000 annually. But Ms Hargreaves invoices for $200,000 plus, she said, although that was gross and expenses had to be paid out of the amount.
"Business is awesome, I get repeat work and we just keep growing because no one wants to get their hands dirty anymore.
"But I've always loved working outside and my dad and uncles were electricians and plumbers," she said.
Her business took just six months to get established and she is now looking for more subcontractors.
Mind you, she worked for the money, said Ms Hargreaves, with 10-12 hour days quite normal. On the plus side though, her back pain from years of sitting at a desk has vanished.
ABS data from last year showed there were a little fewer than one million small businesses in Australia with at least one employee, up 100,000 from 2014.
It was these "micro" businesses that saw the biggest growth spurt with 27,000 new small businesses with four or fewer employees formed, equating to some 90,000 new jobs.
In this category of small business, the largest number of people, 11 per cent, are employed in education and training - perhaps the after-hours teacher who comes to your house to help your kids brush up on their maths skills.
One in 10 people in small businesses are in real estate with 8 per cent in financial services.
Builders account for 7 per cent of all micro businesses and sole traders.
Ms Hargreaves said she recommended people make the leap into self-employment. However, she warned to pick a job they were good at and to persevere.
"Before I was scared of growing and taking responsibility. Now I'm scared of whether I can get enough people to keep up with the work."