Are you finding the thought of starting your own electrical business daunting? Is there anything you should know before taking the plunge?
Leaping being employed to self-employment is a big decision and needs a lot of thought and preparation before you make a move. There are many things to know, like how to pick a name for your business and write a business plan.
How do I choose a business name in the UK?
Unless you want to use your initials and last name, then finding a business name can be tough. Here are a few pointers about what you may consider?
- You want to give the right impression and communicate what you are doing
- Your business name needs to be easy to pronounce and spell
- If you specialise in an area like EV charger instals, how will you incorporate that into your business name?
- Future proof your business name
- Will you be trading as or as a limited company?
- Check the availability of names through companies’ house
So, just choosing a name for your business can be challenging. If you are thinking about starting as a limited company, you can buy a shell company with a spurious ridiculous name and then pay a small fee to change the name later.
Don’t use a name that will limit your company’s horizons, future proof by not saying “Joe Bloggs electrician serving some tiny village up north”.
How do you choose a catchy name?
If you are not using your own name, then choosing a catchy name is a good idea. Do you know many companies using catchy names deliberately use misspellings in the name, such as Fiverr.
It’s not suggested an electrician use a misspelling in the company’s name. After all, you are trying to portray a professional business, and if your clients think you cannot spell, they may have second thoughts about hiring you.
Should you use a domain name generator?
Yes, you will need to create a website for your business, and this could be the first step to finding the name for your business.
If you check out the Domain name generator, your website could be www. Best.electrician.co.uk which would be exceedingly cool. You will be amazed at what you can achieve and how this type of domain name could shape your future and business name.
How can I get a free domain name in the UK?
It’s quite easy, but you may not get the exact name you are looking for if your domain name is free. If anything is free, there are normally some drawbacks like you will need to pay more the following year for hosting!
Here is a shortlist of places where you can host your domain for free in 2022:
- Hostinger (free domain name included)
- Wix(free website builder and subdomain)
- Bluehost ( free website domain included .com.co.uk.org)
- Dreamhost (free domain is included in all plans)
- 1&1 IONOS (free.co.uk)
And there are many more to choose from.
Is .com or .co .uk better?
Suppose you do not have plans to expand internationally, then .co.uk is a better way to go, it’s surprising how much patriotism is about, and the UK does mean a lot to locals and potential clients. Plus, it’s easy to remember if you use it daily for other websites.
Starting an electrical business
When you first start, it is easy to get into a scattergun approach to running your business, but it’s best to take a step back and make sure you have crossed the “ts” and dotted the “i”, so to speak.
You should be following these steps as a minimum to make your business effective and legal:
- Write a business plan
- Sole trader or limited?
- Get Insurance vehicle and public liability. You may wish to get tool insurance also
- Make sure you are registered as competent on one of the schemes like NICEIC
- Establish a good supplier network and set up accounts
- Buy quality tools and equipment that won’t let you down
- Market potential clients like estate agents for landlords EIC reports and maintenance work
- Build your brand
How do you write a business plan?
It’s an easy exercise, and essentially, it’s yours unless you require bank funding at any time for a sole trader or limited company.
You will need to take your ideas and put them on paper to understand exactly how your business will operate and what your goals are quarterly through the year.
You need to be able to measure the performance of your business and make adjustments if its slips.
Your business plan should outline:
- What your business is about, a SWOT analysis is a good place to start
- What are the business’s goals, to gain 10 new customers a week? Make 10K profit per month?
- Market and competition analysis, you need to know where your potential customers are and how much your competitors are charging. What will be your pricing strategy? Will you undercut or go the extra mile for your customers?
- Operations plan, will you work 5 days or 6 days per week? Will you be on call to attract higher-paying jobs? Will you need to employ another electrician or take on an apprentice?
- Financial plan, be accurate. What will be your expensed and incoming cash. Keep a monthly record to compare performance monthly and year by year for the same period. You will need to estimate from your financial forecast if you need to be VAT registered or is your strategy to stay under the VAT threshold for the first year of trading?
Sole trader or Limited company?
What should you choose? If you choose limited, you are not liable for company losses, but you will be liable for VAT.
Soletrader, do you look professional or operate on a shoestring? It’s important to understand the ramifications of both positions, and then you can make an assessment.