If you are an electrician or interested in starting an electrical contracting business, one specialty you might want to consider is low voltage. Typically, low voltage contractors are licensed electricians who have decided to either expand their business or have a special interest in data communications.
Critical Things to Know Before Starting a Low Voltage Contractor Business – Electrician
There are specific considerations to make when deciding to start a low voltage contractor business. Here are the key things you should know.
1. Make sure you have the correct licenses and permits.
As a low voltage contractor, you must be a registered electrician. You must also be sure to employ licensed low voltage specialists. The Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Contractors (IBEC) have local chapters and are a good place to start when searching for qualified candidates.
There is no national license requirement for electricians, but each state requires electricians to meet certain requirements and standards. An unofficial standard is the National Electrical Code (NEC) and it has been adopted by many states as a training tool for aspiring electricians.
2. Determine the type of business you want to start.
As a business owner, you have multiple choices regarding the type of business structure. Your choices include sole proprietorship, limited liability corporation (LLC), partnership or corporation. Each type of business has its own pros and cons, so it’s best to research each before you make your decision.
3. Develop a Business Plan.
By defining your type of business and your goals, you’ll be able to determine:
- Size of office space needed
- Type and size of sales, installation and customer service teams
- Necessary start-up capital
- Revenue projections and overhead costs
- Marketing and advertising options
4. Look for Funding.
Explore all types of funding options for your business including small business loans and grants, loans from financial institutions and crowdfunding. When creating your budget, you’ll want to consider questions like:
- What’s the best way for you to generate start-up capital?
- How much do you need in start-up costs?
- When do you project the business will become profitable enough to sustain itself?
5. Hire Your Team.
You’ll need to hire installers who are licensed to install low voltage electrical systems. You may also need to hire sales people and customer support, representatives. You may want to start small or hire employees as independent contractors until your business is profitable and you can afford things like employee benefits.
If you decide to start a low voltage electrical contractor business be sure to follow all the rules and regulations of an electrical contracting business so that you can specialize in low voltage contracts. By ensuring you have met these requirements, hired a qualified team and developed a strong business plan you can set yourself up for lasting success.