Growing a small electrical business takes more than just doing good work and providing excellent customer service. Even though electrician employment is projected to grow by 8% between 2019 and 2029, you’ll want to ensure every aspect of your business is above par so you’ll be the company selected for those jobs!
Small business growth requires an in-depth understanding of the industry, a solid brand identity, a smart use of technology, and a strong online presence.
Our top 4 tips for growing a successful small electrical business are:
- Survey your business & industry
- Define your brand identity
- Streamline with technology
- Invest in your online presence
1. Survey your business & industry
To grow and scale up your electrical business, you must have a deep and current understanding of the influencing market factors around you. Surveying your business and your competitors are the first areas you should consider.
When surveying your electrical business, consider the following:
- Industry benchmarks: Do your numbers align with contractors or other operations within your industry? As a frame of reference: the construction industry average of gross profits hovered around 20% from 2016 to 2018.
- Consider all business expenses: This includes rent, transport, insurance, bookkeeping and other administrative costs, tools and equipment, marketing and website costs, and employee compensation (if applicable). If you are scaling up and require more materials, tools, equipment, etc., can you get these at a discounted, bulk rate? Look for cost-saving opportunities that come with expansion.
- Evaluate your bid success ratio: Do you lose out on bids more often than not? We recommend doing some competitive research to gain a clear understanding of your bid success ratio. Identify exactly what your competitors are offering and how you do it better.
Growth tip #1 action items:
- Survey your business.
- Perform a competitive audit.
2. Define your brand identity
If your small electrical business has not yet defined its brand identity, this is absolutely necessary to scale up. Having a clearly defined brand builds trust and credibility, increases business value, improves employee pride, and should be the cornerstone of everything you do.
When defining your brand identity, ask yourself the following questions:
A. What is your value proposition?
What makes you stand out above your competitors? Is it the stellar team you’ve built? The high-quality of service you provide? Or how much your clients will be saving each month with your energy-efficient solutions?
B. Who is your target audience?
Were you strictly residential before but in scaling up you’re taking on more commercial clients? If so, who is your ideal contact at these commercial jobs? What is their job title? Where do you connect with them? Online? At conferences? And how can you connect with more people like them to secure more of these big jobs? Ensure that you have a clear understanding of your ideal customers, that these personas are documented in detail, and shared with key members of your team.
C. What is your brand voice?
How do you want to present yourself? This is applicable to your company website, social media accounts, review sites, brochures, whitepapers, blogs, and more. Creating brand guidelines that are accessible to your administrative team will help to ensure everyone is on the same page and representing the company in a unified manner.
C. What is your ‘why’?
Why do you do what you do? Create a mission statement and a vision statement to clearly define what you do and what you hope to achieve. Share this with your team so they can have a deeper understanding of the company they work for and the work they do.
Growth tip #2 action items:
- Define your value proposition.
- Create or update buyer personas.
- Finalize branding guidelines (voice, tone, etc.).
- Share your ‘why’.
3. Streamline with technology
One of the most effective ways to grow a small electrical business, improve efficiency, and maximize profits is by scaling up with technology. Moving from manual operations to new tech solutions can dramatically improve internal communication and workflows.
When projects are running smoothly, productivity and job satisfaction are increased and errors, delays, and turnover are decreased. New tech also helps keep things organized. From management to bookkeeping, having detailed information available anytime makes every part of business operations much easier.
New tech can mean implementing a new software system, — such as a CRM or bookkeeping platform— equipping contractors with advanced wearables, or using drones to survey potential job sites and monitor progress.
Implementing technology like fleet vehicle management software enhances business operations though providing detailed tracking and reporting. This type of tech allows electrical company owners and managers to effectively manage their fleet and employees or contractors using tools like GPS and geofencing.
In fact, 49% of fleet managers say that at least one of their team members spend 1.5 to 2 hours on quoting and invoicing, 42% on identifying and dispatching the best worker for the job, 43% on expense management and 40% on keeping customers informed, according to Entrepreneur. Fleet management software saves you time and money and can assist with small business growth in a big way!
Fleet tracking technology
Force by Mojio is a fleet vehicle tracking software and app for small businesses — perfect for the electrical industry. Using a GPS tracking device that plugs into the OBD-II port, you can track and manage every company vehicle, this helps keep you connected to your vehicles and drivers at all times.
Force by Mojio’s GPS tracking software can be used on a web browser or on smartphones, and shows you data like:
- Live location of vehicles on the map
- Trip history
- Vehicle health
- Fuel efficiency
- Driver safety
Alert notifications can also be set up for events like:
- Vehicle location
- Vehicle health
- Fuel alerts
- Speeding alerts
- Vehicle disturbances
Notifications can be customized to each electrical company’s needs. Force’s fleet management software gives you everything you need to keep your vehicles running at the lowest possible operating cost and helps you avoid unnecessary downtime.
Growth tip #3 action item:
- Look into new tech and software.
4. Invest in your online presence
Having a strong online presence is almost a non-negotiable these days. To really grow a small electrical company, you need more than business cards, brochures, and networking.
An online presence is created and maintained through assets and activities like your website, social media accounts, online reviews, and advertising.
Your website should include content that communicates exactly what you do, answers common questions, and clearly demonstrates how your services provide solutions to your audience’s problems. Presentation matters, 75% of website credibility comes from design, so don’t overlook the importance of having a great company site!
Your website should also be a place where leads are captured and this should be clearly visible and easy to do for site visitors. Don’t complicate a Contact Us form with too many fields. For an electrical company, contact us form fields could include:
- First and last name
- Company name
- Phone number
- Residential or commercial project?
- A comments section that asks for project details
Including a blog section on your site is a strategic way to scale up. Adding blog content to your site builds credibility by positioning you as an expert within your industry, increases your domain authority and ranking in search engines, and drives organic traffic to your site! In fact, 69% of businesses attribute their lead generation success to blogging.
But don’t feel limited to product pages or blog posts. Web content can also be produced and published in the form of case studies, project galleries, video, whitepapers, guides, checklists, FAQs, and more. The most important thing is to create content that is useful and speaks to your target audience.
SEO & tracking
Scaling up your business also means scaling up your website. This can be done effectively through SEO. For small electrical businesses, it’s best to focus on local SEO practices. Local SEO ensures that your business information shows up in search results when customers are actively seeking out electrical services in their area. This helps make your phone number and address easily accessible so they are able to connect with you.
Furthermore, it is beneficial to a growing company to set up call tracking software. Call tracking software allows businesses to understand exactly where calls are coming from (e.g. from search results vs. from the company site vs. an advertisement). You can even enable call recording, which allows you to listen to each call and truly understand customer pain points, common questions or service inquiries, and even internal administrative practices.
Reviews & testimonials
Online reviews are like a digital referral. They allow potential customers to see unedited, authentic experiences from customers and gain a better sense of your business and the services offered. Reviews build trust and credibility with future customers and can be the deciding factor between going with you or your competitor.
Encourage customers to review your business. This can be done on review platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook, as well as industry-relevant review sites like HomeAdvisor, Houzz. Additionally, consider collecting client testimonials that you can use on your website as another way to share customer experiences.
Having a strong online presence includes social media. These platforms allow companies to gain brand awareness and engage with their past and potential customers in a less formal way. Businesses can gain valuable insights and a deeper understanding of their target audience’s pain points, needs, interests, and more through social media. It is crucial, however, to use the platforms that are most relevant to your target audience. If you’re scaling up to commercial electrical services, you’ll want to be active on LinkedIn, Facebook, and maybe Twitter. Skip out on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest as those are not effective B2B platforms for the electrical industry.
Posting content on social media can include things like blogs, industry updates, promotions, community outreach initiatives, and more. But remember, social media is intended to be social, so don’t lay too heavily on the service-based posts.
It’s one thing to have a great company and a great website, but that’s no use if no one knows about them! Oftentimes, referrals and organic search results are not enough. To cover all your bases — and compete with your competitors — invest in pay per click advertising. Understanding the keywords your competitors are ranking for and bidding on is essential if you want to show up in search results. If they are running ads for the keyword “residential electrician” and you are not, they will show up at the top of the page when a potential client searches for that term.
Advertising is a big topic and a practice that can bring many rewards when executed properly. We recommend speaking to an expert about your company’s ad opportunities and finalizing a comprehensive ad strategy before diving in headfirst.
Growth tip #4 action items:
- Create and maintain a helpful and easy-to-use website.
- Include SEO and tracking on your site.
- Gather online reviews and testimonials from customers.
- Use relevant social media platforms.
- Use online advertising.
Get started growing your small electrical business today
While we can’t help you with your social media campaigns, we can absolutely assist you with your fleet tracking needs. Start your free trial of Force by Mojio today! We make tracking and managing your business vehicles easy. Next, get started with your growth action items!
Summary of growth tip action items:
- Survey your business
- Perform a competitive audit
- Define your value proposition
- Create or update buyer personas.
- Finalize branding guidelines (voice, tone, etc.)
- Share your ‘why’
- Look into new tech and software
- Create and maintain a helpful and easy to use website
- Include SEO and tracking on your site
- Gather online reviews and testimonials from customers
- Use relevant social media platforms
- Use online advertising.