Electrician - what do you want to know?(12 Posts)
OK, DH is an electrician. I am creating a website for him. On the website so far I have included:
Service promise - stuff like written quotes, turning up on time etc
Installation work - a breakdown of different types of jobs, what they involve etc
Jargon buster - common terms used by electricians and what they mean
Useful links - to various organisations which might be useful
What else would you want to know?
Qualifications? Is he JIB or is he going to register with NICEIC. Information on PAT testing if he does that. Does he have a CSCS/ECS card? References from both domestic and business clients, Photographs of finished domestic jobs.
Sorry if my ideas are a bit formal but my company employ about 1000 Elecs every week on various commercial/industrial contracts so the main things we look for are not the same as domestic work but might be helpful to have on there just in case.
I would want to see he was registered to self-certify under Part P of the Building Regs
If you want to see testimonials/pictures of completed work would you be happy to provide these yourselves? DH is always uncomfortable asking for this sort of thing, he is concerned that people dont want their privacy invaded. Perhaps he is too sensitive about this?
Thanks for comments
- DH is ELECSA rather than NICEIC (he has just transferred out of NICEIC as it doesnt work as an organisation for one man bands)
- Website explains that DH is Part P and also explains what Part P is
- Some estimates of costs are included. The difficulty of this is that cost is a 'how long is a peace of string?'.
I have to say that having seen this from the inside I now have a lot more sympathy for tradesmen. This website is part of a big relaunch for DH. We will give it another 12 months or so but if this doesnt work then I guess that DH will have to get a proper job.
"proper job" meaning working for someone else? Or meaning making a living?
PigletJohn - either really. What he earns now wouldnt keep the cat.
For some reason being honest, arriving on time, not being expensive etc etc isnt enough.
Times is hard.
It will pick up if and when the property market picks up, people start moving and improving their homes.
I'd recommend he carries plenty of business cards, and has, if not sign-written, at least a Magnetic board on the side of his vehicle, showing his personal or company name and town (e.g. "Jack Jones of Bermondsey") so people will know he is local, and a landline phone no (not just a mobile). Having the logo of his scheme will help, though most people only recognise NICIEC. Leave it prominently parked outside every job and chat to neighbours.
And have set charges for common small pieces of work such as: add new double socket; connect electric cooker including up to 5m cable; add RCD-protected weatherproof garden socket; provide Electric Shower circuit including Henleys, mini CU with RCD, and up to 10m cable. Put these on a handout or have them by the phone. You can say "subject to survey" just in case, but you need a price which in 9 cases out of 10 you can stand by. Always give every satisfied customer a few business cards, and have some stickers made to go on the CU with name, number and a space for "next inspection due on ddmmyy"
Surprisingly, the Parish Magazine (if there is one) is a good source of mostly small local jobs, with the occasional rewire.
Avoid work for small landlords unless they pay in advance. Especially avoid work for landlords' agents.
PAT-ing is awful work, but if he has an automated tester that links to a PC, he can do a lot of appliances in a day. Look out for local voluntary organisations and charities with their own premises. If they have not got a regular electrician he might be able to pick up some testing and repair work. Village halls and the like need to be certified safe. Even if he doesn't make much out of the organisation, getting his name known locally should mean that the members and volunteers will think of him for their own homes and businesses.
Lots of self-employed are very bad at record keeping, invoicing and debt management. This drives them to bankruptcy. Don't be one of them. Don't ever take out a loan secured on the house. If the business can't survive on its own, don't throw your home away with it. Sorry.
Many thanks PigletJohn. As you say, times is hard. All good advice. I think that the problem so far has been that DH is too passive. He is no marketeer so I am taking him in hand!
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