How to Start Your Own Electrical Service Business
For an electrician, there comes a time when becoming your own boss seems way more appealing than working for someone else.
You have loads of experience under your belt, aced your apprenticeship, and you feel like you are ready to take the next big step in your career– starting an electric company of your own.
However, there is one huge barrier that prevents you from making the big move– capital. Not all of us have sufficient funds or investors to kick off things on a comfortable note.
Does this mean you can never have your own business? Definitely, you can. The idea may seem a little risky, but it is possible nevertheless.
Like any other field service business, an electrical business is a highly specialized job. Therefore, skilled electricians are always in demand.
So, if you have considerable experience in this field, know how to comply with rules and regulations, and are confident enough to create a large pool of loyal customers, this is one of the best career moves you will ever make in your life, even on a limited budget.
To materialize your dream, however, you need a solid plan. To help you with research and strategy, we have come up with a short yet comprehensive step-by-step guide. Follow these steps and get ready to live your dream of being an entrepreneur.
1. Set Clear Goals
First and foremost, you must have a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve through your endeavor. What kind of revenue you are trying to generate within the first year?
How much profit are you expecting? How many employees will you need to conduct your operations? Do you want to expand your business or focus on a specific area? Do you plan to offer multiple services or specialize in something specific?
Unless you are clear about your objectives, strategizing could be really difficult for a new business. So, make a clear plan and stick to it.
However, make sure your plan is flexible enough to accommodate any unprecedented changes in the market opportunity.
2. Conduct a Market Research
Before you start your operations, get a thorough understanding of the existing market. What kind of electrical services are in demand in your area? What kind of services are you able to offer?
What services are your competitors offering? What price are they charging for their service? Can you compete with their pricing? These are all important questions to gauge your strength.
While a one-person electrical service may not be able to compete with the large competitions, the market research can give you an overview of where you stand in the competition and help utilize your resources accordingly.
If you are too small a company to compete, you can always look for potential partners to collaborate with. Thus, you can kick off your electrical business without investing a ton at the very beginning.
3. Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
After thorough market research, it is time to identify your strength. For a small business, it is always a good idea to offer something unique that nobody else is delivering in your local area.
This helps to distinguish your company and makes it easier for the customers to understand why they should choose you over big companies. If you are lucky, your speciality might align with a demand that no one else in your locale is offering.
This will make you the premier provider and easily put you on top. However, if you are competing in a saturated niche, try to introduce effective strategies, such as offering a competitive price, providing excellent customer service, responding to after-hours emergency requests, and so on. Your USP helps you to stand out in the crowd, bringing you new clients and saving you money.
4. Purchase Tools and Equipment
Unless you have your own electrical tools to jumpstart your business, purchasing equipment is going to be the major area of investment. And this is certainly not the area to cut costs.
So, before you start spending your money, make a plan. Figure out how many technicians you will have to provide with tools, and stick with the minimum.
You can also rent equipment to start with, and eventually stock your inventory as your business grows. However, you will need a set of wheels to travel around work sites, and also to stash away everything you need handy while working.
If you don’t have a van or ute already, there are some great financing options to purchase a new business vehicle. You can even claim tax back on this purchase.
5. Go Digital
To attract new customers, you need to get the word out, i.e. you need to invest in marketing. While spending on fliers and putting up posters in your local area is an effective way of marketing, it might cost you a huge amount.
The cost-effective way, however, is to invest in digital marketing. Promote your brand on social media platforms, for this costs nothing.
But most importantly, don’t forget to create your own website. If you are confident enough, you can do this by yourself, with little to no investment. Just take the help of a website builder tool and start your digital journey.
6. Invest in Software Solutions
The most effective strategy to cut down expenses in your electrical business is to go paperless. You might not realize it, but operating your business using traditional paper-based methods could cost you huge money.
From purchasing office supplies to maintaining all your data, you will have to spend a lot more compared to using digital tools.
On the other hand, automating your processes with smart digital tools will cut down the budget of your administrative work.
Better yet, subscribe to a cloud-based field service management app. This smart digital tool streamlines and organizes all your business processes into one single platform.
From estimate creation to work order management, from scheduling and dispatching technicians to monitoring job status, from creating invoices to getting paid in the field– this cutting-edge innovation allows you to control every aspect of your business in exchange for a small amount of money.
Start with the basic subscription plan. As your business grows, you can opt for more advanced plans that support more users.
More good news? You can access this incredible tool even from your smartphone, so no need to invest in expensive gadgets or install high-end software either.
7. Give Your Technicians a Mobile App
Another major amount of budget in an electrical service company goes toward managing its field staff. If you are relying on a team of technicians to get the job done, you must make arrangements to monitor their activity on the field.
And failure to track their time is one of the most crucial areas of revenue leakage. If a technician reports a total of 10 hours of billable time, but in reality, he/she has spent 7 hours in the actual jobs, that means you are spending the rest of the amount from your own pocket, as you can’t charge the customers for the time they are traveling from one job site to another or taking their lunch breaks. Now, it seems complex, but monitoring your technicians in real-time is an easy job.
All you need to do is to sign up for a field service software that offers a mobile app for field service technicians. Such apps come with GPS technology, through which you can monitor their locations in real-time.
They also have time tracking options, which indicate how much time your employees are actually spending on the job.
Moreover, with the dedicated mobile app, your technicians can also get notified about upcoming assignments, share proof of work, and access job details and other necessary customer information to achieve a higher first-time fixed rate.
For a business with a limited budget, it is of great importance to prevent revenue leakage. And with this mobile app, you can achieve this effortlessly. This comes with your field service software itself, meaning you don’t have to bear an additional cost for it.
Running an electrical service business demands a lot of attention and hard work. But it has its own perks as well. You can work the hours you want, in the way you want, and most importantly, earn as much as you want.
If you are ambitious and willing to take the risk, there is no better idea than starting your own company. As we have outlined in this blog, just make a smart plan with your capital and invest wisely.
If you can do that successfully, a limited budget will never be a barrier in your way to growth. Instead of following what others are doing, figure out what works best for you.
And above all, don’t forget to leverage cutting-edge digital tools like service dispatch software, integrated accounting software, and mobile apps. So, get ready to take the jump.
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