There comes a time in almost every tradesperson's career when working for the man starts to lose its shine, and becoming your own boss pings onto your radar. Once you’re up and running, it can be tricky to know how to take things to the next level. With marketing, getting the right team and streamlining your admin, there are plenty of clever ways to take your small electrical business up a notch.
The best way to supercharge better business is with a solid plan. Download our free electrical business plan template!
Short on time? Skip ahead!
- 1. Ramp up your digital marketing processes
- 2. Decide which hiring option is best for your business
- 3. Take a hard look at your finances
- 4. Get the best admin solution possible
- 5. Get smart and you'll be geared for growth
1. Ramp up your digital marketing processes
Customers will assume all electricians are more or less up to the task, so how can you set yourself apart from the crowd and get more enquiries flowing? First, make sure you have a plan and then step things up with smart digital marketing.
If you’ve neglected your business’ website, it could be time to show it some love. An outdated website that’s clunky to use doesn’t give the best first impression, making potential customers click out and move on to another competitor. Ensure your contact details and project photos are up to date and add some top reviews and testimonials to show off your excellent track record.
Tradify's Instant Website
Please note: This feature is currently available for all Tradify customers and is an additional (and optional) cost to your Tradify subscription. You can view your Instant Website during your free trial, but you’ll need a paid Tradify subscription to go live.
Social media platforms can be time suckers, so start small and focus on one platform that aligns with the type of customer you're trying to reach. Use it to showcase your work with great photos of previous projects, and highlight what makes your business unique.
If social media is new to you, or you’re not confident you’ll be able to make it work, don’t worry — it’s easy to find great social media ideas specifically for electricians.
We're not talking about old-fashioned brick-sized local phonebooks — those are a thing of the past. These days, online directories are an affordable way to get more exposure for your business and drive potential customers to give you a call or visit your website.
- 🇬🇧 Directories for UK trade businesses
- 🇺🇸 Directories for US trade businesses
- 🇦🇺 Directories for Australian trade businesses
- 🇦🇺 Directories for NZ trade businesses
2. Decide which hiring option is best for your business
The team behind you when you're hitting growth mode can quite literally make or break your business. It’s tricky getting the balance right – knowing how much work you can take on yourself, or when to hire a subcontractor vs an employee.
With a worldwide shortage of tradespeople, it’s challenging to find the right person to support you once you've got more work than you can handle. Hiring an apprentice can be a great way to train someone in the way you like things done, but there are responsibilities, obligations and even laws that you need to consider too.
Make sure you’re prepared to hire right with our interview questions for electrical apprentices!
Subcontractors are a lower-risk way of gaining extra pairs of hands as your business grows. It's often the perfect stop-gap measure to juggle workloads without having to fret over things like salaries and sick pay. It's important to realise that this lack of commitment goes both ways — subcontractors aren't necessarily loyal to you, and you're trusting them with your delicate reputation. Here are our tips for hiring and managing subcontractors.
If you're doing everything right and keen to grow your business, the next logical step is to take on an employee. This comes with admin and responsibility, but also means you'll have a committed team member who can deliver the same consistent, quality service that you’re known for – while you focus on winning more work and maximising profit. We’ve weighed the pros and cons of each so you can choose the right option for your business.
3. Take a hard look at your finances
You’ll probably feel more at home discussing circuit breakers and inverters than cash flow and charge-out rates. Still, understanding and keeping track of finances separates a successful business from one that can easily fail.
Are your customers paying their invoices? How much profit are you making once you’ve paid your staff and bills? Are some of your electrical tools in need of replacement or repair? If you’re feeling the weight of your finances, the best thing is to take a hard look at your cash flow. If this sounds too time-consuming, consider working with an accountant.
Want to turn cash flow into profit? Try our free cash flow forecast template!
Calculating your charge-out rate shouldn't be based on a stab in the dark. It needs to be a carefully considered number informed by overheads and forecasted profit. That way, you can be confident that the price you’re quoting or estimating is fair and realistic.
4. Get the best admin solution possible
On average, trade business owners spend over 18 hours on admin every week. If you want the business to grow, it needs to be running at peak efficiency.
Efficient quoting and invoicing
Tradify’s quoting feature helps you win more work with less effort. It not only looks professional but can be sent from any device and even has an automated follow-up feature to capture customers that might be on the fence. Our invoicing software makes it easier for customers to pay too (with credit card payment options), and will also send automated, friendly follow-up emails, so you don't have to.
Keeping track of jobs
An increasing number of jobs is a sure sign your business is growing. But, if you can’t keep up with demand and start to miss jobs, you’ll have some very unhappy customers to deal with. Tradify’s scheduling and job tracking features will help you stay on top of jobs, assign work to subcontractors and make the most of your precious time.
Easy and professional enquiry process
Whether it's a website enquiry, phone call, or text message, Tradify's enquiries feature helps you keep it all in one place. That'll stop double handling, freeing you from unnecessary admin so you never miss a job opportunity.
5. Get smart and you'll be geared for growth
Doing the work upfront to streamline your electrical business will help you maximise growth opportunities. It will save you from plenty of headaches and double-handling — which can cost time and money. With the right team, admin solutions, and marketing strategies, your business will be humming in no time.