The long-term career goal of many electricians is to own and operate their own business. This can be an incredibly rewarding path, offering flexibility and control over where you work and who you work with. At the same time, it’s important to follow the right steps when setting up an electrical company, and this starts at the very beginning of an electrician’s career when beginning an electrical apprenticeship. Each stage of the journey provides electrical contractors with the essential knowledge and skills they’ll need to make their business a success.
There are five key steps that need to be followed on the pathway from electrical apprentice to business owner. These are:
- Becoming an electrician.
- Gaining industry experience.
- Starting up an electrical contractor business.
- Understanding your responsibilities.
- Growing your business.
Understanding the importance of each of these steps is critical if your want your electrical business to be a success. So, what are the key lessons to learn at each stage of the process?
Understanding an apprentice’s perspective will make you a far better employer when it comes time to take on apprentices of your own
1. Becoming an electrician
There are two main ways that an apprenticeship relates to starting an electrical contracting business. The first is simple: During your apprenticeship you’ll learn the key skills required to succeed as an electrician, while also forming connections with other people in the industry. This network will provide you with access to plenty of knowledge, which can be incredibly useful when you talk to other electrical business owners about their experiences.
Secondly, understanding an apprentice’s perspective will make you a far better employer when it comes time to take on apprentices of your own – a key part of operating an electrical business.
2. Gaining industry experience
Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship and have become a licensed electrician, your next step should be to gain as much experience within the industry as possible. That means working with a wide range of customers and completing different types of electrical work, in order to build up a thorough understanding of the different services an electrical business needs to provide. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to complete any type of job your business’ customers require.
3. Starting up an electrical contractor business
Once you feel as though you have enough industry experience to start your business, you can think about the details. Setting up an electrical company begins with meeting the requirements set by Energy Safe Victoria for becoming a Registered Electrical Contractor. You can visit the ESV website to see all of the relevant requirements. Other things to think about at this time are business structure and applying for an ABN.
4. Understanding your responsibilities
Regardless of which company structure best suits your needs, it’s critical to have a thorough understanding of your responsibilities as an electrical business owner. ESV requires you to be registered as an electrical contractor before you can carry out electrical work as your own business.
One of the requirements is to complete an approved Registered Electrical Contractors Course. NECA Education & Careers’ Registered Electrical Contractor (Business) course covers all of the technical and regulatory requirements that need to be met when operating an electrical contracting business.
The best way to ensure you have the right skills and knowledge is by pursuing additional training, which NECA Education & Careers provides with a range of business and management courses. These courses cover a variety of business areas, from how to effectively manage a team all the way through to communication, management and advanced estimation skills.
Business growth may mean taking on additional electricians or pursuing further specialisation.
5. Growing your business
Once you’ve set up your company and have begun operating, the final part of the process is continuing to grow and develop the business. This may mean taking on additional electricians, bringing key processes such as accounting in-house or pursuing further specialisation in order to expand your service operating. One example of this is solar technology training for you and your contractors, which will allow your business to expand into a rapidly growing field and boost total income by taking on this niche work.
This may also be the stage where you decide to take on an apprentice, and if you do, it’s vital for the process to run as smoothly as possible, in order to have a minimal impact on the rest of your business. To assist, NECA Education & Careers offers a comprehensive Apprentice Management Program (AMP). The AMP takes the stress out of managing an apprentice, letting you and your team get on with the important electrical work that pays the bills.
For more information on the AMP, training courses or any other aspect of starting an electrical company, talk to the team at NECA Education & Careers today.