A new year, means a whole new year of opportunity, and there are so many things you can do to boost your electrical contracting business in 2016:
1) Make Plans
The start of a new year is a great chance to take a good look at your business, and assess where you are. It’s also a perfect time for looking forward and planning where you want your electrical business to be in the next 12 months. Setting short, mid and long term goals can really help keep your business on track during the busy periods, so consider taking a day out to set 3 month, 6 month, 9 month and 12 month goals, that look at all aspects of your business, from equipment to staff to advertising spend.
Do you know where your business is heading? Do you have plans for the individuals who are really helping your business to grow? What are the biggest threats to your business? You need to take the time to answer these questions, not only to help you focus on growing your business, but also for potential investors, if you require funding, to see that you have big plans and the thinking to make them happen.
2) Build Your Brand
It used to be enough for an electrician to have a listing in a reputable directory, however times have changed, and you really need to think about building your brand. This means two things, the look and the service. You want people to recognise your logo, and the visual brand you have created for your business, whether you’re gaining a name in a small town or trying to build a national brand. Every aspect of your communication from vans to invoices to your website, should use the same look to help a consumer recognise your brand.
Then you need to think about what your brand stands for. If people have used you in the past, what would they say about you? In an industry built on delivering exceptional service, try boosting your electrical business by revisiting basic service standards with your team, reminding them of the level of service you expect them to offer. Your website should also portray you as a knowledgable company, so you need to upload regular blog content giving advice or sharing industry news. You really need to think about your audience and the kind of information they’ll be hoping to find on your site.
3) Embrace Social Media
We all know our business needs to have a presence on social media, however if used wisely, it can really boost your electrical business. Consider employing a copywriter or working with a marketing agency either to generate content that not only demonstrates your knowledge, but also has the key words and phrases that help it be seen by search engines. Their expertise can really help to get your business maximum coverage online, and though an initial cost outlay, it can really end up paying for itself.
Don’t ignore the power of recommendations too! It is believed that over 80% of people now trust peer recommendations more than traditional advertising, such as newspapers or television commercials, so a great comment on your social media channel can be really powerful. Consider asking happy customers to leave a review, to help grow your reputation online. Social media has to be a two way channel though, so if a customer leaves great feedback or even negative feedback, you need to have the resource to respond quickly to recognise their comments. It’s also worth doing a quick Google search of your business, to see if reviews exist on other sites, as this is exactly what consumers are going to do before calling, so make sure there is nothing that is likely to put them off.
4) Streamline Your Communication
With apps like Okappy, chasing invoices or submitting electrical job sheets can be so simple and save you a lot of time. Think about the amount of time you spend chasing unpaid invoices or waiting for your electricians to submit their job sheets. Electrical project management software enables you to quickly brief jobs to your team from your iPhone or Android smartphone and easily see where you’re waiting for late payments. Electrical job sheets, for example, can be submitted easily, giving you full visibility of your business, and the workload of your team. Electrical contractor invoice software is even smart enough to export invoices sent and paid to external software application such as Sage, so you know exactly what’s coming in and out of your business.
Streamlining your communications can really help to boost your business, as late invoices and job logging, distract you from doing what you do best, and that’s running your successful electrical business!
5) Keep Innovating
Spending time off the job to research the latest electrical innovations might seem like a waste of time, however it can really help power your business forward in 2016. Visiting trade shows or just taking time out to read the industry press can ensure you always stay ahead of developments and discover new technologies and techniques to help your business grow. Elex Show, The Electricians’ Exhibition held in Manchester, would be a great place to start as it’s dedicated to the industry, and invites relevant speakers, demonstrators and suppliers, so you can get a great overview of new developments in the industry, as well as an insight in to the competition!
You know that a small new piece of equipment or a clever software can make all the difference, so make sure your business remains relevant, and that you keep your skills and knowledge fresh as the industry continues to evolve.
2016 could be a really exciting year for your business. Plan ahead, promote your brand, get your communication in order, lead the way with innovation, and you’re sure to give your business a real boost this year!
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