APAC Business Awards 2021

APAC / Business Awards 2021 21 , Oct21618 Australian company, Tricks of Your Trade, is on amission to redress the balance of power between subcontractors and builders in the construction industry. It is driving reform for fairer contract terms too. TOYT designs legally compliant, common sense project solutions. It helps clients get paid and avoid energy-wasting disputes. Working as a subcontractor can be fraught with pitfalls. Despite your essential contribution to the construction industry, as a subcontractor, you can often end up with a raw deal. Your ability to “contract with confidence” can be the difference between making a good living and struggling to pay the rent. Since 2016, Michelle Cirson, the director and founder of TOYT, has been providing contract management advice to subcontractors. The construction contracts guru explains, “We help Australian Subcontractors working with commercial builders to manage their contracts and get paid. We arm our clients with the tools and commercial acumen to get exactly what they bargained for, in every transaction.” The team at TOYT are construction professionals. They’ve worked in the industry and hold qualifications in both construction and law. This gives the team valuable insight that differentiates the company from other construction lawyers and dispute resolution/claims consultants. When hiring new staff the company looks for those with site experience and an eye for detail. Michelle states, “We understand the operational and commercial realities of our clients. We share their dreams of iconic projects, quality workmanship and profitable deals. We chase their money as if it were our own. We often do pro-bono work for clients that have been strung out for payment for so long that they have no funds available for debt recovery.” TOYT is built on the philosophy that outsourcing contract management and dispute resolution services doesn’t help subcontractors. The company teaches its clients the principles of contract interpretation and management. Subcontractors are empowered to take ownership of their risk, and proactively manage contracts to support their business outcomes. Michelle illustrates, “After seeing the results, we’re certain that any tradesperson who can read and interpret plans and specifications can do the same with a construction contract. They just need to be shown how. Our clients are hands-on folk, they need to visualise the end game.” TOYT teaches clients how to read contracts using the same principles they use to read drawings. The company provides ongoing support to enable clients to develop a level of contractual and commercial acumen that stands them in good stead in any business transaction. Although the pandemic has had a relatively low impact on construction work in Australia, global rising costs and the scarcity of building materials has affected subcontractors. “We’re seeing builders directing subcontractors to carry out larger than normal variations at rates fixed in contracts that were signed more than a year ago. Subcontractors are finding themselves “stuck” in contracts, with no right to decline requested variations. But they’re unable to complete the work at the rates in the contract without making a loss,” Michelle tells us. Formerly working with contractors in the Queensland area, during the pandemic TOYT changed the way it delivered its services. The company took the necessary steps to move the business online and is delighted with the results. Delivering its services using a monthly subscription model increased the client base overnight. Business-ready contract management, a secure payment system, monthly workshops and ongoing support are rolled into one simple package. The affordable service, named Subbies’ Toolbox, has been a resounding success. Sharing her knowledge further, Michelle is currently writing a book titled “Contracting Playbook for Aussie Subcontractors”. It’s due for release in 2022. We can see very exciting times ahead for Michelle and TOYT. Contact: Michelle Cirson Company: Tricks of Your Trade Web Address: www.tricksofyourtrade.com.au Best Contract Management Specialists - Queensland & APAC Excellence Award in Payment Security Consulting 2021 Tricks of Your Trade