Marketing- An Electrician’s Tale by James Dewane

by Editor on October 15, 2012

James Dewane could have the strategy that will take your electrical business to the next level.  Here’s James’s electrician’s tale.

Five Proven Referal Strategies for Tradesmen

For over twenty five years now I have worked on the tools in various jobs as an electrician, a little over twelve years ago I decided it was time to go self-employed and did what all keen budding business owners do at that stage in their life…

Went out and bought a van had it sign written, got all the relevant tools and test equipment, up until then I only needed hand tools as my employers provided the rest.  Now I guess I was lucky because along the way in one of my employed positions I was given the opportunity to study for a degree in business management and I knew this was going to help me in my new venture.

Like many new start-ups of this nature I had one or two small jobs lined up but I was sure that being the great electrician that I was I would have no problem getting more. I knew that I had to do all the right things, Take an ad in the yellow pages, get some fancy flyers made up, and of course I needed some business cards and of course I mustn’t forget a web site.

Well I did all of that and spent all the money I had allocated for advertising and stationary and I spent a lot more besides, took an ad in a local paper, paid for a post-box spot in a local supermarket and still there was just a trickle of work, my ads ran out after a month and the paper wanted more money to run it for another month, but the money had run out, at least the yellow pages was paid up for a year.

I guess you are getting the picture, perhaps it all sounds familiar, perhaps that’s where you are at now…

I was lucky it didn’t take me long to realise that if I was going to survive being self-employed I would have to do things slightly differently, I say I was lucky because for years I had had an interest in personal development and had been a fan of authors like Anthony Robbins, I had read books by authors like Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People) studied the works of Earl Nightingale and Napoleon Hill.

So I was full of positive thinking, and I knew that if I was going to make a go of it then, I and only I could make it work. I couldn’t blame anyone else or anything else for my failure (if I failed) nor for that matter could anyone else be given credit for my success if I succeeded, I needed to take action.

I think it was because of this mindset that I set out on a study, a study of how a small business like mine could get and keep customers, after all I was a good electrician, I knew how to run a business and all I needed to make it a success was customers, but I needed to be able to do it on the cheap.

So thinking back to some of the course work I did while studying for my Degree with the Open University, I decided not to keep doing what everyone else was doing, I started to look at who I really wanted as a customer, instead of thinking I just want customers I wanted to work out exactly who I wanted to work for who would pay for what I could do and who would appreciate it enough to tell their friends and family.

Once I knew this I then started to figure out how I could get in front of these people, I tried lots of things, form dropping leaflets, knocking on doors, cards in shop windows, I made it my mission to figure out how I could sell my services to the people I wanted to have as customers and they were Home Owners, Landlords and Letting Agents.

I had decided that I didn’t want to go the traditional route of working for Builders and property developers and boy am I glad today that I made that decision all those years ago. I found that focusing on this well defined sector (domestic) of the industry paid off and that by using some very simple strategies I could keep a constant flow of work.

It wasn’t long before I began to employ staff and the business really took off. At the height of its success this company employed nine electricians, we had a nice little office in London and all was well.

During all this time I kept my interest in personal development and expanded my interest into business development also I began to learn about copy writing, about the psychology of selling and advertising I wanted to know why some businesses succeed in winning quotes while others fail even if they were cheaper, why did customers choose or recommend one tradesman over another.

This interest led me to discover people like Dan Kennedy, Felix Dennis, Brian Tracy and many other authors and instructors. I spent a lot of money going on courses buying CDs and Books devouring all the information I could and as a result I have worked out a five step program that any Trade/service related business can use to dominate their local Market.

This Fives Step System is inexpensive to implement and run, it is simple to do and does not involve having to attend all the courses I attended nor do you have to read all the books I have read, it works so well that when we decided to move home and start the business all over again we set this system to work and had a business up and running that was generating over £150K in no time.

Over the past few years I have listened to many trades men, complain and moan that the recession is killing their business, that there is no work out there, that the cowboys are taking all the work and under cutting the good trades men. I had a big problem with this because I simply didn’t find it to be true.

What I saw was Tradesmen who had positioned themselves in one sector of the market and were unable to change their mindset when that market failed. After all I was swamped with work and still meeting customers who told me how hard it was to get a tradesman to do anything. Customers often tell me that they had called a number of electricians and we were the only ones who bothered turning up or who provided a written quote.

So how could both stories be true, how can there be no work on one hand and yet, they simply could be.

I had by this time helped a number of friends in non competing businesses, to build their customer base, a Plumber, A Gas Engineer and a friend who did windows and doors and they were enjoying level of success using my system and from time to time we would meet and over breakfast they would chide me and say that I should be teaching this stuff and so over time that is what I decided to do.

I have reduced the size of my company, and now enjoy as much time as I can with my family, I now employ three people and we continue to have a steady flow of work using my simple five step system. I have recently run some webinars (online seminars), where I talk about how I use my system and I have had great feedback from people who have gone away and tried it.

I honestly believe that there is still plenty of work out there, I know from my experience and now the experience of the people I have helped that if you change your mindset and look at how we promote, advertise or market our businesses in a different light then you can get great results. Some simple changes can make a major difference.

I would love for you to join me on one of my free Webinars and hear more about my five step system for getting and keeping more customers, and see how you can put it to work for you.

James Dewane

Register for James’s next webinar for electricians in the ‘KEY LINKS‘ section on the left of this page. Just click the ‘Marketing for Self-Employed Electricians’ link.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

don mason July 3, 2013 at 15:46

could not locate link for self employes electricians
regards don
ps desperate to continue in my chosen profession,retired but still need to keep active.

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