Electrical services business

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by LeasingEval, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. LeasingEval

    LeasingEval UKBF Regular Free Member

    210 19
    I have been thinking a lot about starting a small electrical services business - despite not being an electrician or electrical installer.

    I would advertise and market services such as electrical repairs, PAT testing, EICR's, smoke/co alarms, intruder alarms, CCTV, iphone controlled lighting etc. And hire in the skilled tradesperson on a job by job basis.

    I am wondering if there would be enough of a margin to create a viable and sustainable business?
    Posted: Jul 3, 2019 By: LeasingEval Member since: Aug 20, 2008
  2. WaveJumper

    WaveJumper UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    564 100
    Putting aside all the issues of how you set this up (as I am sure other forum members will put you on the right path) the biggest problem I think you will face is actually finding good reliable / qualified people to pick up the work. If they are any good they probably will have their own order books stacked up months in advance. However anything is possible
    Posted: Jul 3, 2019 By: WaveJumper Member since: Aug 26, 2013
  3. Mark T Jones

    Mark T Jones UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    3,514 1,051
    It's hard to see what you are bringing to the party here?

    Do you have especially good user contact; especially good trade contacts? Would you act as project manager?
    Posted: Jul 3, 2019 By: Mark T Jones Member since: Nov 4, 2015
  4. LeasingEval

    LeasingEval UKBF Regular Free Member

    210 19
    No user contacts at the moment- that is the part I need to work on - advertising and marketing. And not really trade contacts either, which could be difficult.

    Project management and estimation would be my value add - and possibly system design of home automation and A/V systems (which is an area I have specialism in).
    Posted: Jul 3, 2019 By: LeasingEval Member since: Aug 20, 2008
  5. billybob99

    billybob99 UKBF Regular Free Member

    1,182 262
    I did this but in a completely different industry and a few guys I know do this in London, pretty successful and still going after 7 years, in the construction space.

    They have no clue about building anything but had good contacts in the space.

    You're essentially doing what mybuilder and ratedpeople are doing, but focusing on the electrical side of things.

    If you know your marketing, this shouldn't be too hard to validate.
    Posted: Jul 3, 2019 By: billybob99 Member since: Apr 23, 2013
  6. GFI

    GFI UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    25 4
    Location, Location, Location....
    Posted: Jul 4, 2019 By: GFI Member since: Jan 30, 2019
  7. The Byre

    The Byre UKBF Ace Free Member

    8,991 3,511
    At a certain scale, the person running a business does not have to know the how-tos of that business - I am sure that Veronique Laury can tell you all about horses as she was a show-jumping champion, but would struggle to do some plumbing, fit a bathroom or lay parquet flooring - but that didn't stop her from running the Kingfisher Group that includes B&Q and Screwfix.

    Small businesses are different - people call and they do not know what it is that they really want. They understand what the end result should be, say an LED panel light in the bathroom or a new set of circuit breakers or a commercial kitchen running eight four-plate induction hob-sets, but don't know that it will require a three-phase supply or whether that is even possible in their area. They expect the person behind the desk or on the phone to explain what can and cannot be done.

    The first question they usually ask is "What will it cost?" and you need to be able to have a sufficient grasp of the technical and legal implications to be able to give an answer, albeit perhaps a ballpark answer at first. Given the large number of rules and laws that have changed for electrical installations in the past few years, making sure that you are up-to-snuff will be important!

    But I see no reason why an enterprise like that cannot work (as long as you have RELIABLE electricians that actually do what they say they will do!) Tradesmen are notoriously bad at marketing themselves!
    Posted: Jul 4, 2019 By: The Byre Member since: Aug 13, 2013
  8. Craig ross

    Craig ross UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    13 1
    I've been in the rade for over 17 years, don't do it. You're essentially sub contracting and taking a cut... Like check a trade does etc. It won't work, we will shafts you for extras and you won't make money because you haven't a clue how the building trade operates. Stay away from it. People like you really piss me off.
    Posted: Jul 6, 2019 By: Craig ross Member since: May 6, 2019
  9. billybob99

    billybob99 UKBF Regular Free Member

    1,182 262
    17 years in the trade does not mean that you are an expert regarding changing trends.
    Posted: Jul 6, 2019 By: billybob99 Member since: Apr 23, 2013
  10. Craig ross

    Craig ross UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    13 1
    Changing trends with electrical installation editions.... Its not grand designs, its rewires. 18th just now btw. Here's one for the op. Hight of a disabled access switch? Don't Google it.
    Posted: Jul 6, 2019 By: Craig ross Member since: May 6, 2019
  11. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,058 1,099
    You don't need to know 18th edition regs back to front to own a business. Let's face it, pretty much anyone could qualify to be a spark, plumber, gas fitter or whatever. The skill that's lacking is running a business.
    Posted: Jul 6, 2019 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
  12. billybob99

    billybob99 UKBF Regular Free Member

    1,182 262
    I've done this in a space I had no clue about when I started. I used freelancers and sub-contractors for a few years before hiring in-house and now at 30+ in house.

    There's a locksmith that has revenues of £1.2m a year that sends out subcontractors and just takes a cut.

    This model has been applied to most industries already in one shape or form - this electrical space is no different.

    There's nothing stopping the OP finding decent tradesmen for now and hiring his own in-house once it grows.
    Posted: Jul 6, 2019 By: billybob99 Member since: Apr 23, 2013
  13. Craig ross

    Craig ross UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    13 1
    Problems will arise when something goes wrong and he doesn't have the technical know how to deal with it. He would then find himself employing a contracts manager to deal with it. Once the sub contractors find out, his return customers will go to them. Only speaking though experience of this. Tradesmen don't like getting dirty to line someone else's pockets.
    Posted: Jul 7, 2019 By: Craig ross Member since: May 6, 2019
  14. billybob99

    billybob99 UKBF Regular Free Member

    1,182 262
    I agree with your points here.

    I hired a leccy, tiler and plumber via mybuilder.com - they all did a spot on job and we exchanged numbers, I just contact them directly whenever I need stuff.

    OP may face issues when sending a subcontractor out to do a job and he just tells the customer to bypass the OP.
    Posted: Jul 7, 2019 By: billybob99 Member since: Apr 23, 2013
  15. intheTRADE

    intheTRADE UKBF Regular Free Member

    124 25
    As already stated this is a business model that has been used across many industries and one that can be very lucrative done correctly.

    My main advice would be to fully vet the trades you intend to use. Make sure they have the relevant accreditation's such NICEIC, NAPIT, ELECSA or STROMA along with Public Liability Insurance. I would probably go a bit further as well and check photo ID and proof of trading address. Any decent tradesperson will be happy to provide all of this.

    Checkatrade don't take a cut. They charge an annual membership fee for trades to be listed in front of the thousands of enquires they receive every month. A valuable service for tradespeople to generate work/extra work when their only skills are in the actual trade they do and not the marketing side of things

    The membership fee remains the same regardless of whether they get 1 job or 100 jobs at whatever value. British Gas Local Heroes take 20% of every job, whilst MyBuilder and RatedPeople charge for just the leads - Its always a case of just weighing up which option is best for that person and their business

    This is an area the OP will have to have water tight from the start with the selected trades they will be using. An agreement stating that the agreement for work passed to them will cancelled should the OP become aware of this happening. To be honest though if he chooses from the outset right tradespeople who buy into this service and can see the value it will to their work load then they shouldn't have too many problems.
    Posted: Jul 7, 2019 By: intheTRADE Member since: Apr 14, 2019
  16. Craig ross

    Craig ross UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    13 1
    Can work if he gets the right guys. Might be an issue if he promises a client a job will start but the sub contractors are to busy.
    Posted: Jul 8, 2019 By: Craig ross Member since: May 6, 2019
  17. Flankaaa

    Flankaaa UKBF Contributor Free Member

    36 2
    If you are good at marketing and negotiations than I think that you can make successful story from your idea. Issue would be to find skilled workers to do the necessary job regarding electrics, but eventually you will know if your workers are doing good job based on satisfaction of your customers
    Posted: Jul 11, 2019 By: Flankaaa Member since: Dec 23, 2018
  18. Ally Maxwell

    Ally Maxwell UKBF Regular Free Member

    324 105
    So, basically what you are asking for is the approval of a forum (and insightful advice) in to doing something you have little or no knowledge of. We eagerly await the new thread where you offer to sell shares or a franchise....
    Posted: Jul 11, 2019 By: Ally Maxwell Member since: Nov 6, 2015
  19. JessicaDarcey

    JessicaDarcey UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    5 1
    You're saying you don't have contacts on marketing and no trade contacts either, which is going to make this very difficult for you. No offense but you need to know something about the trade and if not, atleast contact who can help you with this. You can hire people on your own but you'll have no idea how good they are or if they are the right people.
    And it's going to be a long time before you see any good margin. If you can spend that much time, then go ahead.
    Posted: Jul 30, 2019 By: JessicaDarcey Member since: Jul 8, 2019