The electrical contracting market is booming. Right now, more than a quarter of a million people in the UK work as electrical contractors — and that number is likely to increase in the next few years. The market for electrical work is growing, too. According to the NICEIC’s 2021 Vision report, sustainability projects and renewable power initiatives are likely to provide plenty of scope for industry expansion over the next decade.
If you’re wondering how to grow a small electrical business, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll unpack the very best ways to find clients, land contracts and develop your brand.
How to grow a small electrical business
You’re good at what you do and you want to expand your electrical contracting company: now’s a great time to make that leap. Here are six of the most effective ways to increase the value of your small business.
Develop a strong brand
To make your company stand out, you’ll need to develop a strong brand. Branding goes way beyond memorable logo development — but logo development is a good place to start. Great logos are easy to recognise, easy to replicate and look good up close and far away. As an electrician, you’ll probably put your logo in a lot of different places: your company vehicle, your letterhead, your business card and your website, for instance.
Branding extends to a company colour palette, preferred fonts and imagery. You’ll also need a catchy tagline and a voice: are you a fun-loving electrician or a high-flying industry expert — or both? The more uniform your brand, the easier it’ll be for people to recognise your company ‘in the wild’.
Nurture your reputation
Word of mouth marketing is still one of the best ways to expand your business. According to a recent Nielsen report, 92% of consumers trust recommendations they receive from family and friends over any other type of marketing. In other words, if you do a good job, your customers are likely to tell other people, and they’re likely to hire you in the future.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, customers love it when electricians clean up after themselves. In fact, 61 percent of people recommend clean, tidy electricians — and you only get one opportunity to make a first impression.
Create promotional materials
Flyers, pens, coasters and magnets are physical marketing materials that your customers can use or pass on to other people. Tangible ‘things’ create a physical connection between you and your customers. They also reach a specific subgroup of consumers, some of whom simply don’t go online. Here are a few promotional ideas to get you started:
- Business cards: Compact, eye-catching and easy to share, business cards are a promotional essential. According to a recent survey, 72% of consumers judge people based on the quality of their business cards — so choose a high-quality product.
- Promotional pens: Promotional pens represent a practical way to advertise your business. Some promotional pens cost as little as 10 pence a piece, so they’re a cost-effective advertising tool.
- Printed fridge magnets: Fridge magnets are durable and highly visible — and people actually use them, so they get seen. They’re also portable, so they’re easy to carry and hand out.
If you’re not already certified, getting certified as an electrical contractor will help you attract and retain more business. You can work as a domestic installer or a handyman without an official Level 3 certification, but you’ll need one of the following three qualifications to move to the next stage:
- A City & Guilds or EAL Level 3 (NVQ) Diploma in Electrotechnical Services (Electrical Maintenance)
- A City & Guilds or EAL Level 3 (NVQ) Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems & Equipment (Buildings, Structures and the Environment)
- A City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures)
Once you have an electrical certificate, you can work on most domestic electrical projects. If you register for the Part P scheme in England and Wales, or become a Approved Certifier for Construction in Scotland, you can also sign off your own work.
Grow your network
Don’t dismiss the power of networking. A strong network can help you create new leads and find more work. Consider joining a community club or your local Chamber of Commerce, and get to know peers and competitors in your area. Attend as many local business events as you can, and stay in touch with contractors you work closely with.
Build your online presence
Finally, a strong online presence can help you reach even more people in your local area. Use your logo and your colour palette to create an on-brand site, and create an email address to go with it. Then, write search engine optimised (SEO) page content to drive traffic to your site. If you’re not sure how to create a site and you’re not familiar with SEO, don’t worry — we’ve written a guide, which you can access here.
You’ll also need a social media presence. A Facebook business page and a Twitter account can help you engage with your customers. If you’d like to know more about social media for business, click here.
Gain financial insights with a simple app
Electrical work is complicated — and if you decide to expand, you’ll have plenty on your plate. You’ll also need to keep track of incoming and outgoing funds, file taxes and set budgets. Countingup can help.
It’s the business current account and free accounting software with one intuitive app. You can create and send invoices from the Countingup app, and you can view profit and loss reports instantly to gain insight into your company finances. To find out more, click here.