So you think you have what it takes to run your own electrical business. Many try, but only a few really have what it takes to grow their business beyond working for themselves. Over the years I’ve helped many business grow and it really does bild down to these are 7 things.
- Patience– whether it’s the customer, the apprentice or the subcontractor driving you up the wall, patience is a virtue you’ll need in spades! Its also true that the bigger the job, the longer you will wait to get paid. You can earn really good money on the larger jobs, but can you wait it out long enough to get paid
- Communication skills– related to the above skill but on a single job you’ll deal with staff, suppliers, contractors. Time is money and poor communication wastes time. Learn to communicate well or put tools and processes in place to help (Level will help with that!). This is what really set you apart from all the other tradesman
- Licenses/Certification– for your own sake and for your customers sake, Certification is a must. Certification will provide you with access to resources and services you might not otherwise have as well as things like insurance, guarantees and proof to the customer that you’re serious about your business. There’s nothing that says “small company” like not having the required certificates or licences. Also be carefully if you are looking to work in other countries, they generally work to their own standards and always believe that they are better the ours, even it they are not.
- Insurance– a given (and required by law).
- Health– one of the taken as a given is that you actually need to be capable or moving round on the job to be effective. Run, play football or rugby, ride a bike, do something to keep yourself in good shape. Just make sure that you don’t end up out of action for a few months after trying to make that tackle. After all, until you have a big team of electricians you don’t get paid unless you can actually work
- Accountant/Bookkeeper– get serious professional help as it will pay for itself 10 times over. A good accountant will help get your numbers right so your not guess your margins, or working off “finger in the air” quotes. Once the numbers are right there is no hiding from them, they are either good (and will get better) or they are bad, and need to get better.
- A Client Base– build up a solid base of customers and continue to nurture those relationships. Winning new business from new customers can be time consuming and expensive, and it is much cheaper to increase sales from your existing customers. I’m not saying don’t go after new business, after all there is on a limited amount fo work you can get from existing customer. Just don’t neglect you existing in favour of some big, shiny contract that may never come.