Should I start an electrical business? A question we ask ourselves probably more than once! In today’s episode of Electrician U, Dustin answers a question from a follower about starting an electrical business with her boyfriend and gives some pros and cons of owning a business.
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Starting a business is a great opportunity but can be fraught with challenges and disappointments. In fact, most businesses fail due to either not having the strength to keep pushing, financial issues, or poor work practices and no one wanted to buy what you were offering. Another reason could be a falling out between people involved in the business. Make sure that the person(s) you are starting a business with have known or been around each other a good amount of time. After the initial good times tend to plateau, those involved in a business need to be able to withstand the bad times that will surely arise. Especially if it is someone you are romantically involved with as the BUSINESS will need to honestly come first and that MAY not bode well for a romantic relationship with a person. There are so many decisions to be made and much (ok, all) of the free time wrapped up in making the business successful, it MAY not leave time enough for a relationship. And what if it doesn’t work out between two people? Who gets what? It can muddy the waters quite a bit, which is not necessarily good for either the business OR the relationship.
Relationships aside, there are other considerations to be made when it comes to starting a business. First, understand that your bank account will be on a roller coaster. Money coming in and going out, sometimes not in the best ways! When it comes to finances, you also need to figure out what to charge. You should poll other businesses in your region and find out the going rate at a starting point. You must factor in what your expenses are (trucks, phones, buildings, etc. aren’t free!!) as well as what you want to make. If you are winning all the work you are bidding, chances are, you are not charging enough. On the inverse, if you are winning NONE of the work, chances are you are too high in your pricing. But remember, you are in business to MAKE money, not just lose it! Another point to remember is business credit. Ask local (and national) vendors for lines of credit. This will allow you to build your businesses credit up over time and can eventually lead to cheaper pricing overall if you buy enough volume from a vendor. This is crucial in winning work as the cheaper your expenses are, the less you have to charge, which should result in you winning more work.
Money management is very important. For the most part, resist spending money on anything unless it is job specific (and you can charge for it) or its something to benefit the company itself. And even then, scrutinize it carefully and spend only if necessary. Frugality is king! If you weren’t normally going to buy it, then don’t buy it when that large check DOES finally come in! Trust me, that money will have no problems leaving your bank account without you helping it any!! This is especially true in the first year or two when you are trying to grow and nurture your new company. Another good tip is to not hire employees too soon. Wait as long as possible to bring someone else in. Reason being is you are now responsible for their well being and pay. And that money must come from somewhere, that somewhere usually being what you pay yourself as the business owner!
So starting a business is definitely challenging, but can also be very rewarding! You are now able to work for something YOU own as opposed to someone else. Just make sure you really know who you are going into business with and have a good plan that considers both good times and bad. Have back up plans in place and watch your spending!
We hope this has been insightful into some of the issues regarding starting a business. Is there a topic you would like to see discussed? Leave a comment in the comment section below and let us know. Please continue to follow Dustin and Electrician U as we are constantly adding new content to assist our followers in being the best they can be.
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