December 27, 2023

Growing & Future Proofing Your Business as an Electrician

Future proofing is the art of ensuring your business can stand the test of time, continue to make money and stay relevant, even in changing markets.

Growing & Future Proofing Your Business as an Electrician

If you’ve been an electrician for a few years now, you’re probably thinking about how to continue the growth of your business and protect it against possible challenges in the future i.e. future proofing.

Future proofing is the art of ensuring your business can stand the test of time, continue to make money and stay relevant, even in changing markets.

And this is a great place to be - thinking ahead of your competitors!

Especially with the energy sector changing at a rapid rate: in recent years we've seen the rise of smart technology not just in homes but on an industrial scale, a huge leap in the purchase of electric vehicles, more people investing in solar and energy storage methods...the list goes on and on.

As an electrician, you're bound to be in high demand! 

But even if business is great right now, it's always worth planning ahead to ensure your income and lifestyle will be supported in the long term.

What are the 7 ways to be future proof, as an electrician?

Here are seven things to consider when it comes to planning the future of your electrician business.

1. Embracing sustainability

The topic of sustainability has been gaining momentum and is now an essential consideration for any business wanting to navigate the next decade successfully.

As well as consumers being more conscious of their environmental impact than ever, the UK government also has green policies at the forefront of its agenda, thanks to global initiatives like COP28.

There is an ever-rising demand for electricians who are able to install and maintain renewable technologies. Whether that's fitting solar panels on a house or supporting smart grid projects (where energy grids are integrated with smart technology)!

To be under-trained and uninterested in renewable energy simply isn't an option for any electrician looking to thrive in the future. So, be sure to embrace sustainability, green energy and renewable technologies.

saplings to represent sustainability

2. Investing in training and certification

All electricians understand the need for continued training and certification - it's just part of the job.

And learning a new skill or taking refresher training doesn't just give you a certificate. It's also great for staying in touch with the latest industry trends and technologies, and making useful contacts!

For example, taking an Experienced Worked course is a common route to gaining your ECS Gold Card (once you have at least 5 years experience as a fully qualified electrician). 

A Gold Card is a great way to futureproof your business and ensure you get access to the increased scope of work that comes with being ECS approved.

In addition, as one of the UK's only Ofsted Outstanding training providers for the electrical industry, we're seeing a steady increase in sign-ups to our solar panel and energy storage courses. 

We're sure this trend will continue into 2024 and beyond, as more electricians look to remain competitively qualified in the latest renewable installations.

Ultimately, the most successful business owners are those that make time to become the expert in their field and who are always improving their skills!

3. Integrate smart tech

As renewable energy sources like solar panels become more commonplace, so will the smart technologies that allow them to be of greatest use to the consumer.

For example, solar panel installations usually involve battery storage installation too. And perhaps the homeowner wants to then power their EV charger with the resulting stored solar energy.

Smart technology is the link that allows this kind of setup to happen - allowing each element to interact as a whole system that powers a property in the greenest way possible.

This kind of setup is bound to become more common as both electric cars and renewable energy sources become mainstream for UK households.

But there's no need to panic if you aren't already familiar with smart setups. With renewables courses, like those we offer at Universal Skills Group, you're trained up on both the installation AND the product-specific smart technology you need to know.

electrician

4. Brush up on cybersecurity

One piece of the puzzle that can be easy to forget is this: what happens if all this smart technology is hacked?

Whilst you don't need to be a cyber expert to futureproof your business, you must be aware of the threats that exist.

As electrical systems become more interconnected and digitised, the risk of cyber threats also increases.

As an electrician, taking the utmost care with security protocols for each device you install, and the data of your clients, is key.

5. Upgrade your digital marketing

Whether that's signing up to well-known directories like Check-a-Trade, building a Google-optimised website, or smashing it on your social media, future proofing your business is also about upgrading your marketing.

A good marketing strategy means you're able to attract clients without relying solely on word-of-mouth and in-person referrals - though these are still the most common ways to get new work as a tradesperson.

For trades specifically, prioritising local marketing - like appearing for 'electrician near me' searches in your area - is crucial. Having a social media video with tonnes of views is no good if all the people are on the other side of the country - or world!

Since most electricians didn't begin their career to switch to full-time marketing, it's probably worth outsourcing this (paying an expert to do it for you).

lightbulb

6. Prioritise your business’ financial health

Businesses are ultimately about making profit and one of the top reasons they fail is simply because they ran out of money.

This can happen in a lot of different ways - from spending too much and not paying HMRC on time, to not knowing when to invest and when to get support.

Financial health is especially poignant a topic right now, with the UK's economy in a constant state of flux. If you're not cash-savvy, recessions can be even more challenging than usual.

So, it's best to enlist the help of an expert.

Ensure you consult with an accountant on the best ways to keep your electrician business financially sound, with money in the bank for key investments like new equipment and tools when they're needed.

7. Stay adaptable

As the industry, your clients, and your own life circumstances change, your business must be able to weather it all.

This means staying flexible and adapting to whatever comes your way - whether that's getting support for new areas of your business as you grow, seeking new training courses to refresh and up-level your skills, or reading up on the latest technology in the industry.

Summary

If you want to stay ahead of the curve, you must future proof your electrician business by:

  1. embracing sustainability
  2. investing in training and certification
  3. integrating smart technology into your services
  4. being aware of the cybersecurity risks posed by new technologies
  5. upgrading your digital marketing presence with the help and support of experts
  6. prioritising your financial health, to ensure your business can survive economic ups and downs
  7. staying adaptable and flexible!

You may not have all 7 considerations ticked off your list right now, but making sure they form part of your plan in 2024 is an important step to future proofing your electrical business!

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