Many electricians, once they’ve learned the tricks of the trade, decide to go into business for themselves.
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It’s hard work starting any business, but the rewards are immense. Greater flexibility over your time and magnified income earning potential are just some of them. The skills required in business, however, have little to do with skills as an electrician.
As an electrician, you’ve probably spent a few years learning to do electrical work and possibly even the finer details of running a company. If you’re planning of finally going solo, then this is for you. Here we give you all that you need to know about setting up your own electrical business.
You’d be hard-pressed to find clients who are serious about building a long-term business relationship with you if you do not have qualifications to show. The qualifications could be a certification from a trade school, the number of years of experience, or apprenticeship certificates. Asking people to give you their money is not an easy task unless you present them with a clear rationale. In the case of electrical work, that’s experience or qualifications.
Come up with a business plan
Where is your business going? What kind of clientele would you want to have? What sort of revenue do you want to earn? These questions will distinguish your business as one destined for growth versus one that’s just sort of muddling along. It is a good idea to hire a business consultant to help you draft a business plan. But it’s the kind of exercise that, if you spend time on it and sweat a little bit over it, you will be thankful you did. It will give you the clarity you will take into the future. Have you considered Insurance for electricians? You need to make sure the business has the required insurance that will protect your business and its workers.
Decide on your tools
An electrician needs tools and supplies. Decide on what equipment you will need to invest in so that you can set aside the money to procure it. You will also need to decide what supplies you will need so that you can scope out reliable suppliers. Do not scrimp on quality because that could reflect badly on your business.
Buying a van is something you may consider too, since you’ll be travelling with a lot of equipment to many houses in a day. You can also decorate your van with some branding and marketing elements so that it serves as some advertising on wheels.
Sole trader or company?
These are forms of business where each of which comes with its own perks and challenges. Sole traders need not be registered and do not have as much paperwork. Limited companies must publish data and adhere to a lot of compliances. The biggest difference is that limited companies are considered a separate entity from their founders, whereas a sole tradership is not. It’s well worth it to research these options to know which will work best for you.
Setting up any new business will need an initial cash outlay. You may decide to bootstrap your business yourself or approach a friend, relative, or bank, for a business loan. If you’re planning to buy a van, for example, you may approach a bank if you do not have enough money lying around.
As a standalone electrician or an employed electrician, you’re probably familiar with doing a lot of the electrical work yourself. As the owner of a business, though, you will need to start taking a lot of high-level decisions. You may not have the time to do all that work yourself while you are running your business.
This is where employees come in – you can hire people to do some of that electrical work for you. Make sure not to hire too early, though. You need to have enough work to justify the employee costs along with the other costs of your business. However, you will need to hire a few electricians yourself, at some point.
Focus on giving your initial clients the best service. It’s a competitive space, and referrals and word-of-mouth are the best ways for a business to grow. Ask your clients to recommend your services within their network. Other ways of marketing your business are social media pages, website, flyers, etc.
Find your competitive advantage
For any business to do well, it must be different from what’s already out there. Figure out what makes you unique: cheapest rates, guarantees, charity tie-ups, locational specialization, or job specialization. That will form the basis for your business to stand out.
Business is a hard road, but ultimately, it leads to so much more growth and opportunity than staying employed. The payoff is rewarding but it only comes after a period of work. There is no roadmap, and no two entrepreneurs are the same. Learn from every mistake and be humble throughout. You’ll soon find yourself in an envious position of freedom and financial independence.