The U.S. economy is demanding more and more electricians, so it’s a great time to invest in starting or growing your electrical business.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 628,800 electricians working in America today. That number is expected to shoot up 14% between 2014 and 2024, making the job prospects for electricians much brighter than they are for professionals in other industries. This makes sense because homeowners and property managers will always need electricians to help them install components and wiring on projects big and small.
Did you recently start an electrical business that you’re looking to take to the next level but aren’t sure exactly how to get there?
Here are six tips for growing your electrical business by expanding your customer base and your bottom line.
6 Tips for Growing Your Electrical Business
1. Develop better branding
When’s the last time you updated your company’s logo? Do you even have a logo? What about a company website?
If it’s been a while since you thought about your logos, it may be time to modernize your company’s branding. Developing strong branding can help your company increase awareness and credibility. It also helps customers recognize your business and remember it the next time they need an electrician. What’s more, great branding convinces your customers that your company is more than just a guy or two hopping from job to job—even if that’s exactly what it is.
When you create an awesome logo and stick it to the side of your work vehicles, you’ll gain more exposure when you’re moving between jobsites. You can also buy shirts and hats that have your branding on them too so that people who see you and your team over the course of the day are reminded of your company.
Update your company’s website if it looks like it was designed last decade. Once you’re happy with the new branding you develop, include your modernized logos on all communications to further reinforce your brand.
2. Invest in marketing
One of the easiest ways to ensure you’re growing your electrical business is by investing in marketing activities.
New branding is one such investment. To increase the chances that you attract new customers, you’ll also want to invest in content marketing. Figure out what your customers are most likely to search for on Google when they need your services. Make your newly designed website even nicer by publishing SEO-friendly blogs that contain those keyword phrases to boost your search rankings. According to HubSpot, marketers that blog regularly enjoy 67% more leads than their competitors. Maintain a blog with useful, keyword-specific content, and you’ll be able to make sales while you’re at a jobsite.
You’ll also want to attend relevant trade shows and seminars to grow your professional network. Make friends with property managers, architects, and construction companies and they may turn to you when they need an electrician.
3. Incentivize your customers
Encourage your residential and commercial customers to make your job easier by offering them discounts if they successfully recommend your services to someone they know. You could give them discounts on future jobs, which is something a property manager would likely be interested in. You could give residential customers, who might not need your services as often, some small gift—like a $25 Amazon gift card. With the right incentives, your customers will essentially become an extension of your marketing team.
4. Invoice customers sooner
Many small business owners are forced to deal with cash flow problems on a regular basis, and electricians are no exception. Maybe customers are late to pay their bills. Maybe there’s excess inventory left over from a job. Maybe you’ve been trying really hard to get a huge contract and haven’t been tackling as many small jobs.
Whatever the case may be, electrical businesses can’t grow without access to cash. At the very least, you need money to pay wages and buy equipment and supplies.
If you’re struggling with cash flow problems, consider changing your approach to invoicing. For example, instead of waiting until the end of the month to invoice customers, give them their bills the moment work is complete. In the case of larger projects, see if you can get customers to agree to make milestone payments so that you don’t wait weeks or even months to collect revenue. Whenever possible, you’ll also want to enable your customers to pay you electronically. That should speed up payment at least a bit.
5. Use an invoice financing service
Is your electrical business facing a cash crunch—even though you are waiting on a number of customers to pay their bills? Instead of staring at your unpaid invoices and watching them collect dust, use an invoice financing service like Fundbox to advance payments on outstanding bills.
Fundbox allows you to borrow money against your uncollected receivables so that you don’t have to take out long-term debt in order to grow your business. You have complete control over which invoices you advance. Once you select the invoices you want to advance, money is sent to your business’ bank account as soon as one business day. Unlike other accounts receivable financing options (e.g., factoring), Fundbox gives you 100% of the value of your invoices upfront. Depending on the repayment term you select, you then have 12 or 24 weeks to repay the advance, plus a small fee.
With Fundbox, the money you need for growing your electrical business is always just a few taps of the finger or clicks of the mouse away.
6. Shop suppliers and vendors
Do you know whether you’re getting the best deals on your insurance, utilities, rent, and supplies? If you haven’t shopped suppliers and vendors in a while, you may be surprised at how much money you can save by switching.
In the event you’re already getting great prices from your suppliers, see whether they will offer you extended terms so that you have a little bit longer to settle your account. An extra month or two could be all the difference you need.
Growing an electrical business is hard work. But it’s not impossible. When the going gets tough, you may just have to get a little creative. Good luck!