Starting your own electrical business is the goal for many electricians and Mr. Electric give you the platform to run your own business and the guarantee of leads.
Starting your own business is the goal for many electricians.
But the fear of having to manage more than just the job at hand is enough to put many off taking that first step. Whilst for those who do take the first step, suddenly becoming swamped with how much actually has to be managed. It can be enough to quickly take the wind out of your sails.
Sometimes it can just be difficult to know what to focus on. What’s important, what can be sacrificed and what needs to be prioritised.
Mr. Electric would like to share with you what they have found that has really helped to grow a network of electrical businesses up and down the UK. From increasing sales to getting the day-to-day operations right.
When you run your own business you’ve got to become an expert in sales and marketing overnight.
Where do you advertise? Because word of mouth will only get you so far.
Your local newspaper and the Yellow Pages don’t produce the same amount of phone calls anymore. The environment has changed. Your customers are looking in new places when they need an electrician.
How can you make sure you’re the electrician they call?
Make the phone ring
Make your phone ring.The internet is the place to make your phone ring.
Most homeowners use Google to search for a local electrician. So how do you get to the top of Google?
How you present yourself is important.
Before a potential customer calls you they will look at your brand. How professional you are. If you have your own branded van. If you value customer service.
Remember, someone you’ve never met is trusting you in their home. If you present yourself in an unprofessional way your customer will go somewhere else.
To build your credibility, testimonials and graphics on your websites will help you to build trust, as well as on review websites, like Check a trade. Even on the flyers you drop through letter boxes, if you use professional design, print quality and testimonials, you’ll have an advantage over most of your competitors.
Look the part
First impressions count.
Branded electrician's van.Your website, flyers, testimonials and marketing have took you to your customer’s door. But to help you win your quote how you come across can make all of the difference.
For example, a blank white van with no branding can give you an amateur appearance. Whilst a branded van can be your signature, with the image that you’re a professional outfit with the knowledge and experience to diagnose and fix the problem first time.
The same can be said for your uniform, business cards and how you value your customer’s home. A branded shirt with professional work trousers, professionally designed business card and process for delivering customer service, such as bringing a branded floor mat or shoe covers, can help you to come across as respectable, professional and trustworthy.
You’ve completed a job. Your customer is happy.
But when do you invoice? Do you leave a printed invoice with the customer on completion of the job? Or do you have someone in your office who emails the invoice direct to the customer?
Do you have a system to manage your invoices?
I’ve lost track of the number of electricians who’ve told me they forgot to raise invoices or haven’t kept track of payments as they were that busy doing other jobs. By the time they realise, invoices have been left too long to raise. Time and money down the drain.
Keep in touch with your customers
How often do you get repeat business?
Electricians who tend to leave marketing materials or business cards with customers, or even take down their email address to send keep in touch emails, tend to get much more repeat work than those who don’t.
Why? Because it becomes so much easier to stay in the front of your customer’s minds.
Most customer relationship management (CRM) systems make it easy for you to store customer’s details, such as email, address and telephone number, making it easy for you to become the first port of call in an electrical emergency.
Your customers want the best value.
Not necessarily the cheapest, as nobody wants a cheap, quick fix to an electrical problem which will more than likely appear again sooner rather than later. But neither does anyone want to pay over the odds just to cover your costs.
So how do you keep your customers happy without sacrificing a healthy profit?
Choosing the right suppliers will make this so much easier for you.
An ideal supplier will give you reliable, durable products at a better than marketplace cost. This will make it easier for you to offer competitive quotes, without sacrificing your profit.
Keep on top of the trends
It’s likely you’ll need to shop around for a good supplier.
Trying to find a one-stop shop that keeps on top of all of the latest trends will be a thankless task that will need constant management. From the latest smart technology, such as home automation and smart thermostats, to energy saving lighting, you’ll need to keep a steady stream of work for your suppliers to make sure you keep the best, or even wholesale, rates from each provider.
This is not easy. Especially as customers go through seasonal demands which makes it hard to provide a steady stream of business for your suppliers. This is when you need your supplier to be financially sound. Poor finances can lead your supplier to sacrifice quality or reliability of products if they aren’t achieving the sales they need.
Is it your ambition to get off the tools?
It’s what most electricians who start their own business want to achieve. To stop doing the jobs, and begin bringing in the right technicians, whilst you work on growing your business.
But how do you begin recruiting the right technicians or admin staff? Do you need anyone else? Will you use internet portals, like Total Jobs or Indeed to advertise the jobs, or will you rely on word of mouth and recommendations?
Get your new recruits up to speed
When you start your recruitment process, if you decide to look outside of friends and family for the right people, you’ll need to post job descriptions, hold interviews and negotiate salaries.
Once everything has been agreed you’ll need to prepare for your new recruit’s first day. Consider having the following ready to mean minimal downtime for your business and getting your staff up to speed quickly:
P.S. Would You Want to Pay £40,000?
Building your own electrical business from scratch can be time consuming and expensive. These 5 points alone can cost you upwards of £40,000 over 2 years pretty easily.
Mr. Electric however give you the platform to run your own business, on your terms, whilst delivering all of these points for you, plus the guarantee of leads, for less than half of the price.
If you decide to roll-in your existing electrical business to give you more freedom to focus on growth, you can even get preferred rates on your investment.
19th June 2016
Lee Ives started his Mr. Electric business in 2011