G’day, my name’s Luke. I’m a Kiwi-born electrician by trade and the founder of Level Group. We’re a national network and membership org for small trades  businesses who want to survive and thrive.

I started my career straight out of high school in Auckland as an electrical apprentice. Since then – donkey’s years ago – I’ve been focused on growing trade  businesses with good management structures, good governance, and good operating systems. And in the two years since we started Level Group in Australia,  we’ve seen massive growth for our members who are reaping the benefits of joining our network. Now I’m getting back to my roots and launching Level Group in NZ.

Running a trades business is not easy. Business owners and managers are busy all the time, getting phone calls at all hours, handling marketing, HR, compliance, accounting and all the rest. As an independent electrical, or plumbing company – you might not have the extra time to spend on business  improvements when you’re focused on doing the work. It can also be a bit of a lonely place to run your own trade business, so having a network of mates and  mentors to lean on, especially in the tricky bits, really helps.

It’s a fact that the trade sectors have evolved. Those new techs are here whether we like them or not, but what we do is give businesses the skills to adapt. Most  trade businesses have long moved away from paper. Many businesses are already embracing tech and customer management systems to schedule their work,  communicate with their customers and suppliers, and pay their staff yet they don’t get the benefit of a fully integrated operating platform. It’s even things like  having systems set up so that small businesses can ask to be paid on time without drama or confrontation. What we see is a lot of duplication of effort – these businesses are all separately trying to adopt new tech, upskill their workers, line up good marketing.

Every business that joins Level has its own opportunities, risks, and issues. They all have unique aspects: how they run operations, IT systems, their supply  partners, customer profiles, communications and marketing, what segments they operate in, what their business style is – everything about them. Our team gets  a real kick out of helping these businesses develop their teams, modernise their systems, market themselves more effectively, grow their business and improve  their bottom line overall.

The biggest challenges in the wider industry right now are labour shortages and increased costs. Inflation over the last 18-24 months has hit the independent  electrical and plumbing businesses hard and many of them are hunkering down. Hunkering down means taking a good look at what needs to be done to stay  afloat and come back stronger. That’s where Level Group can really shine – our members come back fitter and healthier when the upcycle comes.

New Zealand tradies are tough, resilient, and just bloody busy. We see a huge amount of opportunity to grow and develop this sector, the businesses, and the  people who work in it. It’s an exciting time at Level Group ANZ – we can’t wait to get stuck in.

Level Group (Australian-based plumbing and electrical trade network) were founded by a Kiwi who became a tradie straight out of high school. In three years  since launch they’re doing A$110m rev in Australia, have a 90 percent NPS, and now coming to disrupt the industry here in NZ. They’ve just appointed ex  Fletcher Living ops manager Matt Davies to head up the NZ operations of Level Group.