Electrician Talk banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys, My name is Craig. I live in Louisiana. My brother and I have made the decision to go ahead and try our luck at our own electrical company. Voltic Electric is the name http://volticelectric.com

I will be mainly in charge of marketing / Sales and some installations basically try to help where I can. I myself have 6 years experience with electrical work but am more interested in low voltage and computer networks. (my education is in computers and web development) My Brother on the other hand, a 21 year experienced union electrician will be estimating and performing most of the work until we get underway.

My questions to the experienced, is in the beginning it is difficult to immediately hire employees, so how did you guys do it. Simply perform the work and wait for a large job to hire your team or did you bite the bullet and hire straight away? Also what are good starting wages for a young company?

and 2) What is your main source for lead generation?

I hope to get to know a lot of the guys on here and look forward to all of your help and suggestions.

Thank you in advance

Craig
Louisiana Electrician
 

·
Super Moderator
Licensed Electrical Contractor
Joined
·
11,768 Posts
Don't you need the work first to support employees? Aren't you and your brother going to do the work until your business grows to the point of needing employees?
I can't see a two man shop needing a sales & marketing department. :whistling2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yes the work is a no brainer...lol we do have work coming in from a couple of referral programs that seems to be working out ok. But in the near future there is not going to be anyway for just the 2 of us to handle everything throughought (Meeting new clients, estimating, and actually performing the work. There are only so many hours in a day. So employees are going to have to be a topic addressed soon.
 

·
Super Moderator
Licensed Electrical Contractor
Joined
·
11,768 Posts
But in the near future there is not going to be anyway for just the 2 of us to handle everything throughought (Meeting new clients, estimating, and actually performing the work. There are only so many hours in a day. So employees are going to have to be a topic addressed soon.
Funny, some of us manage it pretty well.
Then again, I will NOT be that middle of the road contractor with 6-10 guys and several trucks. IMO either stay small and do it all, or go big and take the tools off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Yes we certainly do not need to be a large outfit, i agree with you there. Our main goal is to put more emphasis on our customers than the contracts is our mentality. Actually show up and perform the work when, and how we say we are going to.

Which leads me to the next question, is most of your work simply referrals or word of mouth? Do you pay for advertisements. newspaper, internet radio etc?
 

·
Electrical Contractor
Joined
·
9,327 Posts
Yes we certainly do not need to be a large outfit, i agree with you there. Our main goal is to put more emphasis on our customers than the contracts is our mentality. Actually show up and perform the work when, and how we say we are going to.

Which leads me to the next question, is most of your work simply referrals or word of mouth? Do you pay for advertisements. newspaper, internet radio etc?
Mine are all word of mouth. I've only advertised for one week in the local paper for the 8 years I've been in business for myself. What are you using for a referral service? If I was you I'd make sure I have a backlog of work (even for 2 guys) before you start on your own. If you can survive the first 2 years you'll probably do okay!
 

·
Super Moderator
Licensed Electrical Contractor
Joined
·
11,768 Posts
Which leads me to the next question, is most of your work simply referrals or word of mouth?
Yup. Pretty much 100%


Do you pay for advertisements. newspaper, internet radio etc?
No, none at all. Not even a Yellow Page ad.
Oops, sorry. I do have a box in the local church bulletin. In like 10 years it hasn't brought in one lead though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,175 Posts
Your brother is a union electrician it was good enough for him shouldn't it be good for all your future employees?
 

·
Super Moderator
Licensed Electrical Contractor
Joined
·
11,768 Posts
Your brother is a union electrician it was good enough for him shouldn't it be good for all your future employees?
Not to get into a us vs. them thing, but I must say, at least around here there are/were plenty of guys who got sick and tired of the 3-4 month union work year and went out independent on their own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31,175 Posts
Not to get into a us vs. them thing, but I must say, at least around here there are/were plenty of guys who got sick and tired of the 3-4 month union work year and went out independent on their own.
SP I know I know quite a few union men that open open shops. I just felt I wanted it for me why shouldn't my men get it. And you know as well as anybody the union folks have no love for me.

BUT, the work is here, has been here for all the time I have been in the trade.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
455 Posts
You have much more of a respectable website for someone new to their own enterprise than I would have expected. For my father and I, we have stayed alive due to the Internet. We are a commercial and industrial contractor whom does selective residential work. Our main issue was that the people whom my father dealt with are retired, fired, dead, or out of business.

I found out painfully, that a great website is key to any other marketing. I threw away 3K on postcard marketing on b2b. What a waste! I got two calls, telling to take them off the list I was using. :censored: Since that time I have found the correct way to format an offer in EDDM for residential.

When you have a net presence, find the time and effort to update, microblog, and use social media to your advantage. When doing net based marketing remember you have no better time for a customer with a specific need to be answered and find you. You do that by talking shop as they look to educate themselves about their situation. Remember people love to buy, but hate to be sold.

If you are going to do commercial and industrial work, LINKEDin would be your better bet. You need to find maintenance supervisors, purchasing agents, property managers, etc... If your union brother worked on some projects, I suggest you make contact with some of the companies he may have worked for and next to as well. Mostly GCs and Construction Supervisors.

Residential work is more competitive, at least up my way on the net, so you may do better being perceived as being a specialist in something. Home Theatre Systems, Knob & tube Removal, Underground services, etc....

Your first job in any enterprise is marketer, your secondary function is electrician. More trade businesses were started by technical people who thought their employer did nothing and made the big bucks and if he could do it, so could they. My whole life I have almost always heard people say they wish they were better in business, not better in their trade.

If anything is unclear, it wasn't my intention, I am exhausted and off my anti-inflammatory drugs for my postponed epidural in my neck next week. Ask away if I lost you anyplace.
 

·
Electrical Contractor
Joined
·
9,327 Posts
Yup. Pretty much 100%


No, none at all. Not even a Yellow Page ad.
Oops, sorry. I do have a box in the local church bulletin. In like 10 years it hasn't brought in one lead though.
Surely you use Home Advisor???:laughing: They've been pestering me for some time. It seems they can't find any electricians to fall for their sales pitch. I tried to explain to him that why would I want to bid against two other contractors on a job when I'm busier than I want to be on jobs where I'm not bidding against anyone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,437 Posts
Don't you need the work first to support employees? Aren't you and your brother going to do the work until your business grows to the point of needing employees?
I can't see a two man shop needing a sales & marketing department. :whistling2:
Wow! you must be the best electrician in the world. You know everything. Lmao
 

·
Super Moderator
Licensed Electrical Contractor
Joined
·
11,768 Posts
I don't know what all these guys said but go for it man.
In the end, make sure you still love and respect your brother. Good luck
I know. Reading comprehension can be hard.
It seems he is already "going for it". He is asking about hiring employees.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
thanks!

I do appreciate everyones input. Yes we will be doing all of the work until the time comes. Just trying to get a feel how everyone got started. I will focus more of our efforts online and building a solid website and good company image.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top