Behind the Tools, With Tradify CEO Michael Steckler

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Tradify CEO Michael Steckler host of Behind the Tools PodcastBehind the Tools is the official Tradify podcast. It’s an inside look at tradespeople from all over the world. In each episode we bring on a guest to answer real questions about life in the trades, running a business, and how to overcome the challenges that come with being a tradesperson.

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Episode #001 - Nick Bundy - Nick Bundy Electrical

In the first episode of Tradify’s Behind the Tools podcast, Tradify CEO Michael Steckler sat down with Nick Bundy from Nick Bundy Electrical. Nick talks about life in the trades, amassing 47,000+ subscribers on YouTube, and how people sometimes think he’s related to a serial killer.

Nick Bundy is an electrician and social media influencer from Stafford, England. He’s got tens of thousands of subscribers on his YouTube channel and regularly posts videos of his work, advice on being a spark, and banter with his apprentice.

 

Starting a business [timestamp - 2:22]

Nick’s family has always been in the trades — his grandad was a carpenter and his father was a painter. He fondly remembers building bird tables with his grandad in the backyard. During an open evening at the local college, Nick approached one of the advisors about signing up for a carpentry course.

“The guy was like, ‘We have a lot of applicants for carpentry, why don’t you try electrics?’. I was like, ‘Yeah, ok’...and then all of a sudden I was signed up to do an electrician’s course, out of nowhere!”

So off Nick went on his journey to becoming a spark. During his training, Nick got some on-site experience through the industry connections his dad had made. He worked for free, soaking up the experience and relishing the opportunity to build his knowledge. Eventually, he got a paid job working on a commercial building in Stafford while doing his Level 3 electrical course.

After becoming qualified, Nick was offered the opportunity to move with his existing employer to the next job out of town. At only 17, he wasn’t ready to make the commitment. Instead, he followed his father’s advice, got a van, and started out on his own.

“Looking back on it, the age I was, was way too young to go self-employed. Never mind run a business, try and do paperwork, certificates, be punctual…”

Paperwork and other problems [timestamp - 6:55]

Starting your own trade business is never easy, and Nick quickly found this out for himself. He had always taken pride in his work, but the admin associated with running his own business was quickly piling up.

“It was always the stuff in the background, like say the paperwork which, for a spark, is never-ending, and the phone calls, and the invoices, and the quotes…”

Harness word of mouth with reviews [timestamp - 8:32]

Even though he provides real-world services, Nick realised that creating an online presence was essential. Gathering online reviews and joining local Facebook groups are great ways to find new clients.

“As soon as you complete that job, make sure you get that customer to leave you a review.”

Honesty is the best policy [timestamp - 15:46]

Nick says that as a tradesperson, you need to be as honest as you can. If you’re not honest, people will see straight through you. They’ll distrust you and everything you say. So, the best thing is to be honest...and if you get caught lying, that’s the trust gone.

“If I make a mistake, I'll put my hands up to it. As long as I've not, you know, run over someone's cat, then it's not too bad.”

Finding YouTube and making videos [timestamp - 16:26]

One night Nick stumbled across an electrician making videos on YouTube. Before he knew it, he’d watched almost every video. What he saw rekindled his passion for his work, and he found himself looking forward to trying new things he’d learnt online. A short while later, he was inspired to start making videos of his own.

Nick admits the success of his channel was entirely accidental, but believes any tradesperson can benefit from creating videos of their work. Setting goals is the key.

“If you can get 15 - 20 videos out for a portfolio, you attach that to your website. When a customer then clicks on it...it helps so much more than just a picture of a light that's on.”

Quickfire questions [timestamp - 36:03]

If you weren’t an electrician what would you be?

If I wasn’t a spark I’d be a chippie — a carpenter.

Favourite on-site lunch?

Probably a chicken and stuffing sandwich with salt & vinegar McCoys and a can of Monster.

Favourite tool brand?

Knipex and Wera for hand tools like screwdrivers and cutters.

Best prank to play on an apprentice?

Getting them to catch sparks in a bucket. Or getting the plumber’s apprentice to plug an offcut of pipe with his thumb after we told him we were turning the water back on. It wasn’t even connected to anything!

What live music event would you most like to see?

Green Day. Saw them once at Download Festival at Donington Park and they were awesome.

It was a pleasure talking with you Nick! Thanks for joining us on Behind the Tools, we really appreciate it. Remember, you can subscribe and listen to Behind the Tools on: