Starting an electrical contracting business is one thing, and running it is another.
As an entrepreneur, you’d obviously want your enterprise to grow into a successful electrical business. Business growth can mean many different things. For your electrical company, growth might translate into the following achievements:
- Increasing your market share
- Branching out to new service locations
- Increasing sales, cash flow, and profits
- Employing more workers
- Partnering with other electrical contractors
- Increasing efficiency, business operations, and overall productivity
- Diversifying your range of electrical services
- Acquiring assets
Growth is simply advancing toward set goals or success. It hinges on how you define business success and goals.
Understandably, growth is a top priority in the business world. You should consider growing your electrical contracting business too.
So, what’s the magic formula for growing an electrical business?
First off, there’s nothing magical about growing a business. It takes real hard work, commitment, and careful planning to grow a business. And this article will tell you all about it.
Let’s discuss how to grow a small electrical business by answering these five questions:
- What’s your business’s growth potential?
- How do you set achievable goals for business growth?
- How does your brand stand out among other electrical businesses?
- Which marketing strategies work for electrical contractors?
- What are the best ways to boost sales?
Get ready to put your business on a success-oriented growth trajectory.
What Is the Growth Potential for an Electrician Business?
If you’re worried about growing your business, you can rest assured knowing that the electrical industry is future-proof. Plus, it’s teeming with growth opportunities.
For starters, the US electrical services market was valued at $225 billion in 2022 and is only growing.
Second, most homes in the US use electricity as their main energy source. In fact, 26% of US households are all-electric. And with over a million new housing units going up every year, there’s quite a lot of work for electrical contractors.
Additionally, there’s an ever-growing list of new opportunities for electricians. For instance, demand for commercial and domestic solar PV installations is at an all-time high. The country needs skilled electricians to build and service solar PV systems.
Electric vehicle (EV) charging is another area of emerging opportunities. The US needs more EV charging stations to keep up with EV demand. Many EV owners are opting to install domestic charging stations in their homes. And they need professional help to install 240V Level 2 EV charging points.
The world will never run out of electricity. And we are always finding new ways to use electrical energy. So, you can’t go wrong with deciding to expand your electrical business. Actually, growth might be the only way to survive in this industry.
Opportunities and competitors will pass you by if your business stagnates too long.
Determine Where Your Business Is Today
In order to move forward, you must know where you stand. Take a hard look at your electrical business and determine where it is and where it’s headed. A SWOT analysis is the best way to do this.
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It’s a popular business evaluation framework dating back to the 1950s. A SWOT analysis paints a clear picture of the internal and external factors affecting your business performance. From there, you can develop a suitable growth strategy.
Let’s go over the four components of a SWOT analysis:
Strengths refer to what your electrical business is really good at. These are the advantages that set your brand apart from competitors. Strengths can be your unique selling points or a favorable business position.
Your electrical business strengths may include:
- Superior residential electrical services
- Low service prices
- Loyal customer base
- Unique electrical skills or qualifications
- Cutting-edge technologies
- Ample funding
- Minimal competition
Identify your strengths so you can leverage them for business growth. For instance, you can base your value proposition on your unique electrical skills or superior services. Do not waste any of your strengths.
Weaknesses are the opposite of strengths—your Achilles’ heel. A business weakness is anything that stands in the way of performance and success.
Many local service businesses face the following weaknesses:
- Poor market penetration
- Fierce competition
- Cash flow problems and low sales volume
- Narrow and monotonous revenue streams
- Trouble scaling
As an entrepreneur, you shouldn’t think of these weaknesses as failures or bad luck. Instead, see them as areas of improvement. Be glad to learn what can make your electrical business better.
An opportunity is a chance to capitalize on a situation or your strengths.
Earlier, we touched on emerging business and expansion opportunities for electricians. Say there’s a demand for residential EV charging stations or solar PV systems in your service area. You can take advantage of such opportunities by incorporating solar and EV charging installation in your offering.
The trick is finding lucrative opportunities to begin with. You must study the market and industry as a whole to identify exploitable trends, untapped niches, and unaddressed customer pain points.
But some opportunities are more specific to your business. For instance, signing a new investor or business partner can be a growth opportunity.
Threats are factors that can potentially harm your electrical service business. These are actions or scenarios, both internal and external, that can disrupt your normal business operations.
They may include:
- Competition pressure
- Quitting or retiring employees
- Legal liabilities
- Outdated skill sets
- Low supply of electrical components
- Poor service quality
- Bad PR
- Dwindling income
The idea is to identify and anticipate these threats. For instance, if your sales are falling, it might be time to add more revenue streams. Is competition pressure threatening your survival? Fight back by raising your marketing game.
How to Make Your Electrician Business Stand Out from the Competition
To grow your business, you must differentiate it from other electrical service providers. In other words, set your business apart to make it more recognizable. Doing so largely involves branding.
Branding means giving your business an identity. It represents how your electrical business presents itself and how customers perceive it.
Here are 5 branding tips guaranteed to help your electrical business stand out from competitors.
Define Your Brand Identity
Who are you as a company? Many people assume branding means coming up with a catchy name, logo, slogan, and color scheme. While all that is part of your brand image, branding goes even deeper. Your company is certainly more than a name or logo.
Your electrical company’s values, mission, goals, work ethics, and service standards are all part of the brand. Think of branding as your business’s personality. All these attributes make up that personality.
“Be different” is such a cliché phrase, but true nonetheless. Your electrical business must be different to get recognized.
So, what new ideas or electrical services do you bring to the market?
Perhaps your business reaches an underserved niche, offers better services, or introduces a new way of doing things. It’s important to set yourself apart in ways your potential customers can recognize and appreciate. Provide people with a reason to give your business a chance.
Don’t just mimic your competitors. Mimicry will only get you so far. Uniqueness is what sharpens your competitive edge and makes your brand recognizable. Otherwise, you’ll just be another entry in the yellow pages.
Create Memorable Brand Association
What do you want your customers to think, feel, or picture at the mention of your brand? It’s probably along the lines of “excellent electrical services,” “trustworthy brand,” and “completely reliable.”
Unfortunately, such associations don’t come by chance. You have to build them by affiliating your brand with the business image you want to portray. For instance, if your brand message is “value-added electrical services,” customers will naturally associate your brand with value.
Tell Your Story
Every good brand has a story. A brand story is a concise narrative about the brand’s origins, its inspirations, and what it stands for.
Storytelling humanizes your brand. That way, audiences can relate to your business at a human level. The brand story breaks the business-customer wall, exposing the real human creativity, reasoning, and inspiration behind the business.
Consistency is an important aspect of branding. It fosters trustworthiness, credibility, reliability, and authenticity. Customers won’t bond or relate to your electrical business if its branding keeps changing.
Ensure you maintain a consistent brand identity, style, message, and voice. You can’t relay one message on your website and say something totally different on your Facebook page. You’ll come out as a company that’s unsure of itself.
Plus, you don’t want to burden your customers with keeping track of all the different branding approaches. Pick one branding strategy and stick with it.
How to Market Your Electrical Service Business
Marketing is a great way to grow your electrical business. When implemented correctly, marketing leverages every chance to attract and retain customers. That essentially boosts your client base, market influence, and sales.
Here are the top 5 growth-focused marketing strategies you should try out.
Create an Electrical Service Website and Optimize It for Search Engine Marketing
Did you know that 86% of consumers rely on the internet to find local businesses? And that over half of those searches end with a site visit?
Capitalize on this opportunity with a branded electrical service website. A website establishes your online presence and is a powerful lead magnet. But keep in mind that the site must be prepared for online searches using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.
Get on Social Media
Social media is another great source of leads. About 90% of the total US population is on social media. And globally, over 200 million small businesses use social media to reach new customers and grow. Do not get left behind.
Fill Out Your Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile is a free online directory that lists local businesses with Google. Once listed, your business becomes eligible to appear in the Local 3-Pack for electrical services in your area.
The Local 3-Pack is a coveted position in Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). It lists the top three businesses related to the queried keywords and location.
You’ll also get a Google Map location pin and a platform where customers can leave public reviews.
Build Your Online Reputation
Good online reviews are essential for building your brand reputation and attracting customers. 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. Positive reviews foster customer trust.
Encourage your customers, site visitors, and social media community to review your business. Gather as many reviews as possible on your Google Business Profile, website, social channels, and other online directories.
Run a Paid Advertising Campaign
You can buy ads to boost your electrical business’s local and online presence.
Buy ad time on your local TV or radio station and print ads in local publications. These can quickly spread brand awareness within your service area. And couple that with digital pay-per-click (PPC) and Local Services ads to supplement your online visibility.
5 Ways to Improve Your Sales
Marketing tells the general public about your electrical business. It also brings potential customers to your door. But converting leads into buying customers is a whole other ballpark.
Follow these 5 tips to become a better electrical services salesperson:
Build Customer Trust
In the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer study, 81% of consumers said trusting a brand to do what’s right was a key consideration in making purchase decisions. Trust is particularly essential in local service businesses.
Establish trust by building a reputable electrical service brand.
Prioritize Quality Customer Service
Always put the customer first. That means prioritizing quality over quantity. And remember, customer service begins with first impressions.
How you approach and address a customer is enough to win or lose a sale.
Up-Sell and Cross-Sell Electrical Services
Find opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell your electrical services. These are effective strategies for maximizing sales opportunities.
Plus, up-selling and cross-selling encourage repeat business and customer retention.
Polish Your Price Presentation
Many people are understandably skeptical about contractors’ pricing models. You’d be skeptical too if you had no idea how the pricing works.
Put your customers at ease by devising a reasonable and transparent pricing strategy. Ensure each customer understands exactly what they’re paying for and why. Pricing transparency builds trust, which subsequently leads to sales.
Develop Loyalty and Referral Programs
A loyalty program makes sense if your business deals with repeatable (rather than one-off) electrical services. It’s a way to lock in repeat clients by offering exclusive perks.
A referral program is an effective way to attract high-value leads. And it doesn’t matter the kind of electrical service you offer. Nearly 90% of consumers trust brand recommendations from people they know. That alone should get you excited about starting a referral program.
The Takeaway: Quick Tips to Grow and Run a Successful Electrical Service Business
Granted, all this is a lot to take in. You might be wondering where to even start in growing your electrical business. Or how to run it successfully. So, here’s a list of proven business growth strategies broken down into more digestible tips:
- Draft an electrical contracting business plan, complete with realistic growth projections/goals and a SWOT analysis. And tweak the business plan regularly to align with market and business dynamics.
- Hire only qualified and experienced electricians to guarantee high-quality electrical services. Working with qualified professionals also eliminates the risk of labor-based liabilities.
- Brand your electrical company to stand out among competitors. Position your brand as a unique, reputable, trustworthy, and reliable electrical service provider.
- Develop a marketing strategy aimed at generating convertible leads and spreading brand awareness.
- Leverage all your business strengths, work on your weaknesses, and mitigate risks. Growing a business is about seizing the available opportunities and overcoming challenges.
- Maintain consistency throughout your branding, marketing, and service delivery.
- Running your own electrical contracting business means being an electrician, marketer, and customer service rep at the same time. Balance those three responsibilities equally.
And with that, you’ll have all it takes to grow your enterprise into a successful electric contracting business.