No, don’t expect a set of standard steps here. The goal of this post is to provide a guide as well as success tips for those who want to start an electrical business.
Presented here are the basics, answers to the most frequently asked questions, as well as practical pointers on how to start your own electrical business.
1. Make sure that you have the drive, knowhow, and adequate exposure to the business.
Just like entering any other business, the first step is about making sure that you really want to do it. You can’t decide to have an electrical business simply because you think it’s what you can do with the skill set you have. You need to want to do it. Also, you have to have the right amount of knowledge and experience. It’s important to observe what others are doing and be acquainted with the market you will be dealing with. This is not to say that you have to copy what others are doing. What you should do is to observe and learn from how other companies or self-employed electricians go about with their business. Don’t commit the mistake of starting a business based on theories or things you only learned through reading. Observe the real world business scenario, particularly in the local market you intend to venture into.
2. Come up with a business plan
Business plans are not only for big businesses. Even if you start you business as a sole proprietor who does everything on your own, you need to have a business plan. A business plan helps you get a broad view of what the business will be like and what you want to achieve with it.
A business plan will help you set specific objectives for your business, lay out strategies and priorities, plan specific actions, address contingencies, decide whether an expense or investment spending is worth it, plan the hiring of personnel, formulate marketing or promotional strategies, plan costs, and project profits. A business plan can also help you avoid small business money mistakes and let you see opportunities you may have missed.
You don’t have to be meticulously detailed with your business plan. It’s enough to have the basics: a summary or description of your business, a mission statement or statement of goals, a rough analysis of the business environment, analysis of competitors, marketing/promotions plan, operations plan, and a financial plan. What’s important is that you get to deeply understand the nature of the business, have a direction for it, and prepare for the bumps ahead. You can’t just start a business and work with what comes your way. It’s always recommended having a mindset of growth and continuous operations.
3. Obtain the equipment and tools you need.
Certainly, you will require equipment and tools to proficiently handle the electrical repair, troubleshooting, replacement, or installation service you will be asked to do. You need to make sure that you have everything you need. This is based on the services you want to offer, which should have been clearly laid out in your business plan. Never think of offering your services without the right tools. Aside from making yourself or your business less reliable, you will also be endangering the lives of your personnel or yourself if you undertake electrical service jobs without the proper equipment and tools.
It also helps if you employ software tools designed for electricians. There are apps for electricians that should make it easier to manage your electrical business activities. You can find one that makes it easier to schedule jobs, send invoices, and record all the work undertaken for a specific period and conveniently generate pertinent reports.
4. Reach out to your potential clients
This is about your promotion or marketing campaign. It’s not enough that you offer quality electrical services at competitive rates. You also need to make your target customers aware of what you are offering. You can send emails to prospective clients, launch a social media marketing campaign, send out flyers, post streamers, engage in networking at trade or freelancer events, or do other strategies to promote your business. Marketing is always a part of starting up a business. Without it, you’d be like waiting for a miracle to make clients call you for a job order.
5. Get the necessary business documents
Of course if you going to have a business you will need various documents including a business license, local permit (if required), business or professional liability insurance, and sales tax identification number (if you will be doing a ‘self-employed’ setup and if the tax laws in your location require it). If you are going to have a small partnership or corporation, you have to do a separate tax registration for the business. Also, if you will be providing the service yourself, you need to make sure that your professional electrician license is on hand and updated. You need to get all the required business documents as you try to establish your business name or brand. An unregistered business is very unlikely to become reputable.
6. Visit a government agency or office designated to assist startup businesses
If you need someone who can properly guide you with the steps, especially when it comes to the technical aspects (government/regulatory requirements), don’t hesitate to visit the government agency created to help startups. In the United States, for example, there’s the US Small Business Administration to provide assistance to those who want to start a business venture. Consult with your local government office and they will most likely be eager provide the assistance you need.
Starting a business nowadays should no longer be difficult. With the vast sea of information and resources available online, it should be easy doing pertinent research about the market you want to enter, prepare a business plan and do some rudimentary feasibility study, and do marketing efforts. Also, if you want assistance from real people who know how to set up a business, you can always visit government agencies or offices set up to provide assistance to startup businesses. They should be able to help you especially when it comes to the licenses, permits, and other requirements you have to comply with.