Home – New Forums Starting your journey New Business Seeking Leads

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #987483
    Dee Kay
    Member
    • Total posts: 2
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post on flying solo so I’m sorry if i have posted in the wrong area. I’ve read many posts from flying solo and decided to join to ask tailored questions about my own situations.

    I have just recently started my electrical business Sydney and new to the whole running a business scene. Due to having a family to feed I’m forced to drag in any resources i can find to make money. initially after being made redundant from my previous company i decided to go on my own. at first i had plenty of work but once they finished i had nothing that followed. Some weeks there would be 1 or 2 small service jobs and other weeks nothing. I have basically run out of savings and need advice on how to boost workflow. I quote on some builders jobs but they say im too expensive. They show me what they are quoted and to beat that (which i wont as its what kills the market) and the price they quote is not even my materials and wages, id rather be on wages.

    I have advertised in truelocal, gumtree, and emailed many builders and real estate agencies with a expression of interest letter. Website and seo are in progress and i assume will take another 2 months to finally have the right ranking on google. i have thought about service seeking, oneflare and service central but they are full of customers that want the cheapest and the competition is disgusting, i posted a few jobs as a customer to get a idea for what they are charging and i dont think they are for real or even insured/qualified, ( i did get some realistic quotes). Adwords is another im considering but from everything ive been told by friends (who are close with alot of rival companies) the key words are too expensive and the rival companies just click out anyone who is a competition and make them spend all their money for zero return on investment. They even have a office full of staff and thats all they do all day when not answering calls.

    my next option is letterbox drops which im considering soon.

    Some background info, over 10 years electrical trade experience, half way through a Engineering degree, all the tickets i need for the trade i have already obtained.

    Please feel free to leave me any information and thankyou for listening to my story :)

    #1162943
    Tony Manto
    Participant
    • Total posts: 581
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Dee, unfortunately it is hard the first couple of years until you build up a relationship.

    Emailing is ok but nothing beats face to face and not only once but over a period of time. They are not going to use you if they don’t know you. Obvious referrals are always good, but that could take a bit of time also. It sounds like you are doing the right things, but often I see lots of business people doing a lot of the right things wrong…It come down to the strategy you are using.

    My recommendation is to network, network and network some more. Seek out other trade people in the same market. Talk to a chippy, or a bricklayer, even handyman services that do offer electrical. They are also talking to your potential customer and might recommend you. Form an alliance if you have to where you give them a % for a referral. Unfortunately you have to give a bit to get a bit. Even some of those quote you say are too low. I agree you need to hold your standard but once again, when you are starting out, its not the initial money you make on the first job, but the repeat business and referrals is where you make the money.

    I give a lot of free advice but it often leads to work…

    Hope that helps you.

    #1162944
    Lucinda Lions
    Member
    • Total posts: 104
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Dee

    First of all, welcome to the Flying Solo forums!

    I really feel for you, Dee. As Tony said, the first couple of years can be really tough, but he’s absolutely right about building alliances. It doesn’t cost you anything, which is ideal when you don’t have a marketing budget.

    My advice is very similar to Tony’s. Reach out to people in the same trade as yours, as well as those in complementary trades, such as plumbers etc. About a year ago I had a plumber out at my house. He was so good that I asked for a referral for an electrician in the hope that he’d refer someone as professional as him, but unfortunately he couldn’t.

    If you’re going to do a letterbox drop, then make sure your leaflet is excellent. Make sure that the writing is 100% polished/grammatically correct, include a testimonial, focus on the benefits and include what makes you unique. Do you arrive on time? Do you clean up after you leave? Can you offer something that no other electrician can? (A free energy efficient bulb along with a few promotional magnets maybe?). It’s often these little things that inspire excellent word of mouth recommendations.

    Also, when you go out to a property, be sure to employ Sandwich Selling Techniques. This is where you leave a note in the letterboxes on either side of the home you just visited (but ideally, leave a note/magnet in every letterbox in the entire street).

    We have whole sections on the Flying Solo website dedicated to attracting new customers and providing sales strategies.

    I hope this information has been helpful. It’s tough and it’s stressful, but keep believing. Having said that, protect your physical and mental health. Based on your comment about having ‘mouths to feed’, I’m assuming that you have a family and are perhaps the only breadwinner. Building up your business can take time, so if you need money fast, you may want to work part-time for another business while building up your own.

    Also, remember to constantly market yourself, even when you’re busy. As you’ve learnt the hard way, you’re not always going to be busy.

    Wishing you every success.

    Take care,
    Lucinda :)

    #1162945
    MissSassy
    Member
    • Total posts: 1,255
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi and Welcome

    You have received some great advice already, have you also consider subcontracting a couple of days just to get some cash flow while everything else is getting going.

    We all need money to survive and if it means subcontracting yourself for a while then that is what you have to do. If you still have a couple of days for your own work then you don’t have to say no if something comes your way.

    It also gives you a little freedom as you won’t be so stressed and desperate for work.

    #1162946
    StevenMelbourne
    Member
    • Total posts: 47
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Dee,

    Tony and Lucinda are exactly right – it is hard at the start until you build a network of trusted customers.

    For one of my projects I’ve spoken to many electricians about how they market themselves and the answers included:

    1. Social media pages – Facebook Twitter etc
    2. ServiceSeeking.com and other quote sites that aggregates services
    3. Getting good reviews online
    4. Sensis – yellow pages etc
    5. Sub-contract from builders etc
    6. Newspapers locally

    But by far the most important is via word of mouth referrals from your customers, a lot of electricians say this is probably 70-90% of where their new work comes from.

    This is where new businesses and established businesses differ – for existing established businesses their networks grow themselves since they have a large customer base and as long as the service provided is good then customers will help spread the word.

    For new businesses a lot of them look to provide extra good service to their initial customers and even reward them via a customer rewards and referral program so that they are loyal and are more incentivised to tell their friends about you.

    I hope everything goes well, let me know if you need more info from what I’ve researched.

    Cheers,
    Steven

    #1162947
    Dee Kay
    Member
    • Total posts: 2
    Up
    0
    ::

    hey guys,

    Thanks for all the great info. really appreciate it.

    I have looked into sub contracting but its hard to find. i believe everyone is just slow at the current time.

    #1162948
    mypresences
    Member
    • Total posts: 32
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi Dee … some great advise so far.

    We have a new free service at http://www.mypresences.com/services/ that can help you find all the best places to promote your business online.

    Just choose Electrician in Australia and you will find over 75 services and apps where you can promote your business or where it may have some sort of presence. With lots more to come.

    Once you are well represented online .. remember to make sure you stay on top of your online reputation .. online reviews and ratings are becoming a significant factor in how consumers are choosing local businesses.

    All the best.

    #1162949
    iCatching Media
    Member
    • Total posts: 6
    Up
    0
    ::
    Dee Kay, post: 188437 wrote:
    hey guys,

    Thanks for all the great info. really appreciate it.

    I have looked into sub contracting but its hard to find. i believe everyone is just slow at the current time.

    I work with a lot of Tradies… and I can let you know in Sydney Plumbing and Electrical is booming… actually, anything in the building game is as house pricing soars!

    The best advice that I can offer is to target a 3 – 4 neighbouring suburbs ( approximately 10,000 – 20,000 homes) and become the authority as the “local electrician guy”.

    I speak to a lot of tradies that target all of Sydney and as a result spend most of the day sitting in traffic from job to job.

    Not only will you be quick to quote each new enquiry… you will also save time, money and fuel for each job.

    First thing I suggest is to get a Sign written vehicle with your phone number so large it can be seen from the next block.

    Website is ok but is reactive advertising and a long term marketing solution… Different if you have pay per click but your right, pricing is high!

    Bang for buck paid advertising is Flyers.

    Letterbox drop of a DL flyer and/or Fridge Magnet is the quickest way to get the marketing message out and very targeted.

    You can do this yourself initially and then get someone to do it when work load picks up!

    Make sure you get GPS tracking for letterbox distribution so work is 100% guaranteed. (contact me if you want more info).

    I would also do free advertising on local facebook… but more so in the local business and trade groups… plenty of these groups in Sydney. (Contact me if you want more info)

    Once you build up a client base you will get referral and other opportunities come your way as previously suggested… Do not rely on this especially in the start up period.

    Be proactive, get involved in the local community, do a great job and people will be passing work your way!

    If you want subcontracting work… contact the reputable businesses that you would be happy to do subcontract work with. Offer to meet them on a current jobsite and you will demonstrate the quality of your work first hand if you are happy with initial contact and feeling of a win/win long term relationship.

    Create rapport, build trust, create the right marketing message and be proactive in the marketplace and the work will find you.

    If you are on a real shoestring budget and need cash fast…

    Why don’t you go door knocking in your local suburb to introduce your self and leave a fridge magnet… I bet you’ll be surprised how many people need things done!

    I would visit the local businesses first (drop off cards) and then hit the home market.

    Should it really take years to become established as an electrician?

    I would disagree and worked with plenty of start up tradies that have proved it’s simply a myth.

    Good luck with the business… stay focused and have a solid plan of attack!

    Simon.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.