Luke Wichard is the owner of My Trusted Electrician, his own electrical business that operates throughout South London. He also runs a YouTube channel under the same name where he shares his day-to-day work and electrical tips. In this two-part interview, we talk to Luke about the ins and outs of running an electrical business.
SPARKS Magazine: Hi Luke, can you introduce us to your business, My Trusted Electrician?
Luke Wichard: My Trusted Electrician is an open book. I wanted to grow the company from nothing and produce great content, tips and ethics for both customers and self-employed electricians.
SPARKS: How did you fund starting up your business?
LW: I had no funding. My girlfriend sold her car for £700, so I gave her mine and spent the £700 on a second-hand Renault Kangoo. I bought a length of 4×4 galvanized trunking, which I bolted to the roof of the van as a torpedo tube. At the time, I started work early and finished at noon. In the afternoons I worked for a builder. The hours were killer, but I was young and fit. The two jobs really helped with buying the tools and materials I needed to start my business.
SPARKS: What are your top tips for establishing your business in your community and getting jobs?
LW: Decide who you want to work for. If you want to work for builders, send them pictures of your work and your day rate. If you want letting agents, ask in branches. Provide them with your documentation (copy of liability cover, DBS certificate, etc.). If you want homeowners, advertise where they will see it. Don’t sit around doing nothing.
SPARKS: How do you retain customers?
LW: Promise 100% and give 110%. There are great things you can do for your customer that don’t cost anything, such as providing information. If you’re carrying out a quote for a new consumer unit, why not print off some information about the importance of a non-combustible amendment 3 board for the potential customer?
SPARKS: What are your best tips for pricing jobs properly?
LW: Don’t ask what everyone else is charging! Don’t be a sheep! You know how much you need to earn and roughly how long the job will take. Don’t be scared that the customer will say “no”. Price it as a job worth doing.
SPARKS: Do you have any employees?
LW: At the moment, I don’t. I’m trying something new. It’s a bit risky and it’s safer to try it alone. I have lots of electrician friends in a similar predicament. If one of us acquires a large job, we help each other out.
This article first appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of SPARKS Magazine. The second part of the interview will feature in the Autumn edition.