Ideas on how to grow a business

Hello
A little bit more information on myself and my thinking- 

I'm an electrician I work for a company at the moment full time  , I do a few jobs outside work for friends and family however I've recently had a bit of interest through word and mouth with people asking me to do work for them.

I'm looking towards the next step , I have never advertised or anything like that , just want to keep finding a few weekend jobs and evening jobs after my full time job but then eventually into my own little business and work for myself .

I guess my bext step should be advertising ? Any tips and advice would be great 

Thank you 

Replies

  • tacpot12tacpot12 Forumite
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    Before you start advertising, you should be sure that your employer is happy with you having a sideline. 
    Get public and professional liability insurance in place if you haven’t already got it. Shop around and you should be able to get insurance less that £200 per year. Have a think whether you need insurance cover for your tools.
    How will you get notifiable work notified to building control? 

    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always try to check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • edited 24 February 2020 at 9:05PM
    oldbikeblokeoldbikebloke Forumite
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    edited 24 February 2020 at 9:05PM
    it's word of mouth that builds business for trades such as yours. Advertising doesn't because we all look at lists of trades, stick a pin in it, and take a punt, and then run away when you give us a quote of a size we were not expecting. the n we start asking on social media for recommendations from neighbours etc in the area as to who they used and did they do a good job or not. 

    Start posting on social media and get your previous customers to reply with yes he was great, I recommend him. There is a sparks who did just that in our area on nextdoor.co.uk and he now has a full order book with a 4 month waiting list for big jobs - which he can pick and choose.
  • edited 25 February 2020 at 2:11PM
    torrencetorrence Forumite
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    edited 25 February 2020 at 2:11PM
    If it was me I would set up a simple website, it need only be 3 pages: You and your service, Testimonials, Contact Us. It can be very simple, no need for corporate pictures and all that rubbish, just so long as it looks neat and tidy, professional, so anyone visiting it isn't put off by sloppy spelling errors or layout.

    Next, while your business is getting started you may have to do some work at less cost just to build up a client list and some history. I would make a point of always being available to answer the phone, being really polite, make sure you are reliable on time-keeping, and after doing a good job, tidy up - small things like putting down a dust cover where you're working, not putting tools on customers furniture, and vacuuming and tidying up after your work - you'd be surprised how taking time to do that leaves an impression and would set you apart.

    Then having been the model tradesperson, ask the client to leave you a review on your website. Either your website can have a form to submit and publish the review, or they email you and you write it on the site yourself - keep the email as a copy of the original review.  Build up those reviews, they may come in useful later. If there is any trade organisation you can join that also has customer reviews or ratings for members, then do that too.

    Good luck.
  • edited 26 February 2020 at 11:46AM
    Mistral001Mistral001 Forumite
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    edited 26 February 2020 at 11:46AM
    As has been said, you should get your employer's approval if you are doing small jobs on the side - whether you expand the business or not.  It might be a requirement of your employment terms and conditions, but if it is not most employer's will regard as an unwritten rule to let them know if your are moonlighting.  They will be particularly concerned if you are doing jobs that could be competing with them.  Also, they have also a duty to see that you do not come tired to work, so if you are doing work late into the night and then going on to do a full day's work for them the next day, the employer could be held negligent should you have an accident at work. 

  • SootySweep1SootySweep1 Forumite
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    Hi
    The income you earn will be liable for tax and as soon as you start advertising HMRC may spot you so make sure you do whatever is necessary to register for tax.
    You are effectively setting up a small business so see if your local authority, bank etc provides any business start up advice.
    Cheers
    Jen
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