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Thread: Electrical business challenges

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    Electrical business challenges

    I have reached that point again where i have to make the decision to setup or set away.

    As a small one man business we face a few challenges... however they are easily overcome.

    Finding enough regular customers to pay the rent and some.

    Getting the customers to pay the bill.

    Finding the right people and dealing with staff (the biggest challenge in my opinion)

    Saying no ...when you you are busy and cannot take on that project which someone wants done today ...not tomorrow or next week ...right now.

    Then you reach that point where people start taking notice of your little business and bigger companies want the kind of service and workmanship you offer.

    However when dealing with bigger companies...bigger challenges.

    Now you need to move away from the tools and let go...find more people you can trust to keep your business name in good standing.

    Payment become a huge challenge ...order numbers and 30/60/90 days become the norm.

    Safety induction...safety files...safety officers...safety equipment... wearing the most uncomfortable ridiculously hot overalls...hard hats and safety glasses...throw in morning tool and safety talks.

    Public liability insurance ...workmans comp (have you ever tried to get this sorted out...lets rather just move on) and medicals and and and and....

    And so the new legislation is imposed by the day ...but your price is expected to stay the same.

    Yip I am at that point again... been there done it at the RBM's...Mondi's...Alusaf etc ...do i really need it in my life...or do i just keep going as i have for the past 15 years... when i was younger and ignorant to all these challenges it was easy getting up at 3 am to drive 200 km for a 1 hour induction class...to gain access to a site.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    ACEsterhuizen (07-Feb-20)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ians View Post
    I have reached that point again where i have to make the decision to setup or set away.

    As a small one man business we face a few challenges... however they are easily overcome.

    Finding enough regular customers to pay the rent and some.

    Getting the customers to pay the bill.

    Finding the right people and dealing with staff (the biggest challenge in my opinion)

    Saying no ...when you you are busy and cannot take on that project which someone wants done today ...not tomorrow or next week ...right now.

    Then you reach that point where people start taking notice of your little business and bigger companies want the kind of service and workmanship you offer.

    However when dealing with bigger companies...bigger challenges.

    Now you need to move away from the tools and let go...find more people you can trust to keep your business name in good standing.

    Payment become a huge challenge ...order numbers and 30/60/90 days become the norm.

    Safety induction...safety files...safety officers...safety equipment... wearing the most uncomfortable ridiculously hot overalls...hard hats and safety glasses...throw in morning tool and safety talks.

    Public liability insurance ...workmans comp (have you ever tried to get this sorted out...lets rather just move on) and medicals and and and and....

    And so the new legislation is imposed by the day ...but your price is expected to stay the same.

    Yip I am at that point again... been there done it at the RBM's...Mondi's...Alusaf etc ...do i really need it in my life...or do i just keep going as i have for the past 15 years... when i was younger and ignorant to all these challenges it was easy getting up at 3 am to drive 200 km for a 1 hour induction class...to gain access to a site.
    After 35 years I stepped away about 2 years ago simply because of the issues you mention. I did not even work for companies that required all the safety stuff. I mostly did COC's and some industrial work. Judging by some recent televised reports I was way to honest with my pricing to call being an electrician a huge success. It seems the law only applies to those who wants to adhere to it. People prefer to get an electrician at the Builders Warehouse gate.

    I got lucky, I now manage a game farm in the heart of the bushveld.

    Sent from my SM-N975F using Tapatalk

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    ACEsterhuizen (07-Feb-20)

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    I also had some similar reflections during the holidays.
    Been in my own business from 1991, had some good years, but the last 10 years has drained much of the savings I built up for my retirement, can't believe I am saying that

    My decision is to increase my prices by 30%, deposit of a minimum of 50% or the value of the raw materials, and I decide if I really really want to take the responsibility on, and the attitude that there is no compromise, this is my price my way and payment is COD on completion.
    OK still have 3 clients who are on 30 days which have been with me for over 20 years, but if there is any changes in their payment procedure, I will immediately change the terms of payment.
    I have come to the realization, that they need me more than I need them, so I call the shots. If I lose the order, so be it, I rather not have the stress. I have made some plans so that I will not starve in the immediate future, but will need to do something to have some form of income to compliment what I have managed to squirrel away.

    What I have noticed, having made this decision, is that I am so much more calmer at the moment, and enjoying the projects I take on.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
    Solar and LED lighting solutions - www.microsolve.co.za

  6. Thanks given for this post:

    ACEsterhuizen (07-Feb-20)

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    A couple of years ago, a deal went sour and the client, an attorney, said I should never have given him credit because I am not a registered credit provider. I lost money.

    That was valuable information and it changed the way I do business.

    I thanked him profusely and have worked on a 70% upfront and 30% on completion basis since then. Take it or leave it.

    I do not do any work if the client supplies materials ... period. Too many hassles.

    I am a very happy chappie. No shortage of cash customers.


    Cheers and peace out ... Derek

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    Greetings All

    My business is built on reliability, honesty, exceptional workmanship and 100% guarantee on all workmanship.

    There is no cost that can be put to this, with this said my price is what I am willing and able to do the task at hand.

    No 30 day payments I am not a bank that you can take a loan.

    I still need to learn to say no from time to time though.

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    It seems we all agree on one thing... we are NOT short term credit providers ...until we all start implementing more strict payment conditions...the failure of small business will just get worse.

    I notice on the electrical nightmares... the invoice had a place for payment terms ...cash/eft/credit card etc

    I believe the lack of prompt payment is something which we are guilty of...allowing customers to get away with it ...because that is how it has been done for so many years... with all the tech available today we shouldnt even be having this discussion... its not like the old days where it was cash or cheque... now you can pay your account using your phone on several platforms.

    You have to make a stand and say sorry no more... i had a customer who insisted they dont do deposits or COD... I walked away ...got a call later that day to say everything was organised ...deposit and COD payment...by the way...the deposit is not just 50 % of the material cost ...the deposit is the full amount of the material ...plus a small percentage of the labour cost.

    This bullshyte with Carte Blanche and trying to make that person look like a thief doesnt cut it with me... if those women really felt they were getting ripped off they could have got a second opinion or just gone on line and googled earth leakage prices ...or electrical rates etc.

    Lets get this shyte right and stop always being the people who live on credit because of bad debit from customers...if i had to get paid every single cent owing to me from long outstanding bad debt I could pay the balance of my bond and go on holiday...its your right to get paid on time and the full amount.
    Comments are based on opinion...not always facts....that's why people use an alias.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ians View Post
    I have reached that point again where i have to make the decision to setup or set away.

    As a small one man business we face a few challenges... however they are easily overcome.

    Finding enough regular customers to pay the rent and some.

    Getting the customers to pay the bill.

    Finding the right people and dealing with staff (the biggest challenge in my opinion)

    Saying no ...when you you are busy and cannot take on that project which someone wants done today ...not tomorrow or next week ...right now.

    Then you reach that point where people start taking notice of your little business and bigger companies want the kind of service and workmanship you offer.

    However when dealing with bigger companies...bigger challenges.

    Now you need to move away from the tools and let go...find more people you can trust to keep your business name in good standing.

    Payment become a huge challenge ...order numbers and 30/60/90 days become the norm.

    Safety induction...safety files...safety officers...safety equipment... wearing the most uncomfortable ridiculously hot overalls...hard hats and safety glasses...throw in morning tool and safety talks.

    Public liability insurance ...workmans comp (have you ever tried to get this sorted out...lets rather just move on) and medicals and and and and....

    And so the new legislation is imposed by the day ...but your price is expected to stay the same.

    Yip I am at that point again... been there done it at the RBM's...Mondi's...Alusaf etc ...do i really need it in my life...or do i just keep going as i have for the past 15 years... when i was younger and ignorant to all these challenges it was easy getting up at 3 am to drive 200 km for a 1 hour induction class...to gain access to a site.
    My business is based on dependability, trustworthiness, extraordinary workmanship and 100% assurance on all workmanship.

    There is no cost that can be put to this, with this said my value is the thing that I am willing and ready to carry out the current responsibility.

    No multi day installments I am not a bank that you can take an advance.

    I despite everything need to figure out how to state no now and again however.

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