Posted on September 16, 2013 by Michael Martin Leaño
Want to strike it out on your own as an electrician? Try setting up your own electrical business. It lets you be your own boss, have control over income, and decide how things are done. But before you get to that point, there are quite a number of things you have to do. To give you a better idea how to start your own electrical business in Oz, here are a few things you need to know:
Accomplish the requirements
As with any enterprise, starting an electrical business means you have to accomplish a considerable amount of licenses and permits, which vary depending on several factors like what your company does, where you’re located, and how you plan to promote it. To find out exactly what you need to accomplish, visit the Australian Business Licence and Information Service (ABLIS) website.
In the home page’s search engine (it’s the one that says ABLIS Search), key in your business type (e.g. “electrician”) and location (e.g. “Melbourne”), then check the conditions that apply to your enterprise. Following the given example, if you want to set up an electrical business in Melbourne that deals with installation work and maintenance/repair of wiring, then you’ll have to complete a number of requirements including the following:
- Complete the training for Occupational Health and Safety and get the construction induction card or certificate.
- Each of your electricians should have a licence. If you’re an electrician, you should have one as well.
- If you plan to contract electrical installation work, then you have to register as an electrical contractor. You have to choose between three types of registration available: sole trader, partnership, and corporation.
- Accreditation as an Occupational Health and Safety building contractor.
- Register for an Australian Business Number.
- If you plan to inspect electrical installation work, then you need to get the electrical inspector’s licence.
- You have to register your business name.
- If you plan to promote your business by giving out pamphlets, flyers, and other similar forms of advertising, you need to get the Permit to Distribute Handbills.
What’s convenient about ABLIS is that all the eligibility requirements, forms needed, fees, and contact details of the corresponding government agencies are included in the search results.
Buy the necessary gear
You need to get all the basic equipment and tools that you and your electricians will use on the job. At the very least, you’ll need a vehicle for transportation, safety equipment, a variety of tools (e.g. pliers, crimping tools, screwdrivers, wire strippers, cable cutters, safety switches, and mains testers), If you’re setting up a little office for your start-up, you’ll also need a telephone line, mobile phone, and perhaps a fax machine.
Hire your employees
Unless you plan to do all the work (or if you’re not a licensed electrician), you’ll have to hire employees to help you out. You’ll need electricians, an accountant for your business, and a receptionist/bookkeeper/clerk.
Expand your prospects
Don’t limit your prospective customers to walk-ins and/or private individuals. Cast a wider net and talk to general contractors and real estate agents as well. Contractors can provide your start-up opportunities to work on construction and renovation projects, while real estate agents can refer you other agents, or clients who may need your electrical expertise for their homes.
Figure out the operation details
Since you also need to set up an office, you should plan how its day-to-day operations are going to work. This would have to encompass basic details like how much you’d charge your clients (including several payment options), the business hours, your daily expenses, workers’ compensation insurance, superannuation, and employee agreements.
Market your business
Before you launch your business, make sure you also take the time to let people know about it. You can set up a website, advertise in the local paper, and as mentioned earlier, you can also give away brochures and flyers (provided that you have the permit for it). For more mileage (and less cost), better branding, improved customer engagement, and timelier service, you can also establish a social media presence online.
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