Check with local authorities concerning any restrictions on starting an electrical contracting business. Make sure your office and storage space are zoned for this. Ask lots of questions to find out any issues you need to know about in your locale. For example, you might be able to run a contracting business out of your home, but you may not be allowed to store supplies in your garage for business.
Starting an electrical contracting business is easier if you hire excellent workers. Having a license to do electrical work must be matched with personnel who will help you succeed. Each worker should have good people skills and professional expertise. Landing large and small contracts requires working with all personality types, providing the information they need and getting clients to sign on the dotted line. Good workers should have pleasant personalities and a strong work ethic. You'll need to check out how many other electrical contractors work in your area. You want to fill a need that another company does not.
Things You'll Need
- Business license
- Electrical contractor's licensure
- Insurance coverage
- Office space
- Storage space
- Trucks and vans
- Bank line of credit
- Supplies for contracting work
- Portfolio of expertise
- Business cards
Interview workers who can work with you on a subcontracting basis in the beginning. Start small and work your way up to hiring permanent, full-time workers. Obtain a business license once you are ready to move forward. Buy a van or truck before you solicit jobs. You will need to buy basic wiring, electrical outlets and small supplies for the truck. You can acquire equipment for larger needs at a home improvement store as you take on work.
Solicit a jobs through homeowners in your neighborhood or run an ad stating you would like to bid on small jobs requiring less than a week's work. Never bid on jobs that surpass your skills or line of credit at the bank. Plenty of small contractors have gone bankrupt trying to service such contracts. Stay within the confines of what you feel comfortable with and grow your business slowly.
Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage for the types of jobs you desire. Talk with your accountant to address IRS issues in the first quarter of business. Bring in a business mentor from your local chapter of SCORE, if needed. These retired business executives can offer direction for tricky problems as you launch your business. SCORE services are free to small businesses.
Learn to bid on jobs by engaging your employees to help. Let them help you list expenditures and costs of supplies needed. Ask them to help you figure how long it will take to do a job well. It may be tempting to avoid sharing this information with them, but they will be invaluable in defining costs and time allocations for labor. Your workers can apprise you of roadblocks and pitfalls too.
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