IET logo
 
IET
Decrease font size
Increase font size
Topic Title: How do you measure success
Topic Summary: Been at it for 6 years ..
Created On: 24 February 2013 06:59 PM
Status: Post and Reply
Linear : Threading : Single : Branch
1 2 Next Last unread
Search Topic Search Topic
Topic Tools Topic Tools
View similar topics View similar topics
View topic in raw text format. Print this topic.
 24 February 2013 06:59 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for dbullard.
dbullard

Posts: 1166
Joined: 02 March 2006

Hi all,

Been of work for a very long week with one more to go after some knee surgery, which has given me time to reflect ...................

I have been my own boss for 6 ish years now and things are ok, but I can't seem to make the jump to the next level and start employing people to give my aching legs a break as in a few months i am having the other knee done with luck.
I have a good client base but most of my work is return work to customers who want something added or altered, I still get allot of referral work and all my work is recommends.

On average I turn over an extra 8 / 10k per year, even in this climate so I guess I'm doing something right, but I really need to move up a ladder rung or 2.

Regards

Daren

-------------------------
..... Dont pee in my pocket and tell me its raining ......


www.quest-electrical-sw.co.uk
 24 February 2013 08:15 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



breaker

Posts: 280
Joined: 05 October 2006

Are you sure you want to employ someone in my experience it's nothing but a pain in the ass.
 24 February 2013 08:44 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for KFH.
KFH

Posts: 205
Joined: 06 November 2010

In my view you need some regular jobs/income to generate cash flow so that you don't have to worry too much about how you are going to pay people at the end of the week/month. Then you need to start advertising so that you are very busy and can then afford to take someone on to help with the load. You have to be prepared for the fact that unless you know the person you are taking on they may not be very good despite references etc. You could always take people on on contract job by job while building up but there will be less profit in it but less risk as you can always wave them goodbye. You may even find a good contractor who wants a perm job.

Along with advertising you need to get marketing and phoning so that you stand a chance of getting into the bigger jobs.

There are usually local business development organisations who organise seminars etc who may also give you ideas and help. HMRC are running drop in days to explain their requirements for PAYE and VAT. which may also help.

Personally I am happy as a one man band, I will never get rich but I don't have to worry about paying someone every month.
 24 February 2013 08:50 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



SKElectrical

Posts: 910
Joined: 01 February 2009

Increase your prices 25% and decrease your workload by the same margin.
 24 February 2013 09:04 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



Pacific

Posts: 589
Joined: 29 January 2005

After I had been in business about 6 years I bumped into one of the directors of a firm I had worked for 10 years previously, big ME contractor with 100s of employees, he asked me what I was up to and after I told him, he leaned over and whispered "Dont employ anybody"
 24 February 2013 09:05 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



daveparry1

Posts: 6169
Joined: 04 July 2007

If you are making a decent living, paying all your bills ok and are happy with what you're doing why get involved with employing people, just for the sake of trying to get "big"?

Dave.
 24 February 2013 09:07 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



tattyinengland

Posts: 782
Joined: 23 November 2006

How do you measure success? That's as Philosophical a question as you could ask.......
Most would say it's increased growth (turnover) year on year, and maintained or increased profit margin in proportion to that growth.
It has been said that a business needs to continue to grow to sustain it's own prosperity.
I think each of us knows instinctively if we've been successful or not.
Growing from a one man business to something more is definitely the hardest thing to do ever.
I've taken on employees, self-employed people and agency workers. I've stepped up to medium sized jobs, been smashed on one or two and been successful on one or two. I've been up and down.
On the subject of hiring someone; I think it is essential, (in a business, rather than a one man band) and I think it is always preferable to use a self-employed person to begin with, until your turn over increases to a stage that will likely support two electricians full time (and then get one self-employed person), then three, then four etc. I began by hiring a mate to help me, and I wish I'd used a self-employed person as work waxed and waned between enough works to support 1.5 people and 2 people. (It was always more than I could handle, but not enough for two I think) I think I did worse in the first 2 years trying to step up too soon.
The benefits of using self-employed person:
1. He/she takes responsibility for his/her own work (Albeit with your supervision)
2. You hire them when needed and don't use them when there is no work
3. They need to produce at all times, they're always under pressure for lower cost and higher output, or someone else will do the job instead for lower cost or better output. (This is why I hate being the self-employed person - I always feel the looser on this cutting edge of cost of input VS output). A Good self-employed person - if you can find them is worth their weight in gold.
The down side of using self-employed people:
1. You may inadvertently give away your clients and your business or an existing client may hand a large contract/job to your self-employed guy instead of you.
2. Perhaps not a down side - debatable - but the way I get around the above is to use self-employed electricians who are not registered with a governing body on jobs that demand a governing body (In my case the NICEIC).
I know a handful of electricians who cannot be asked to dance like the circus seal to get into the NICEIC. If any of their jobs require the NICEIC they pass it onto me and work on day rate at an increased rate. At least one of those guys is ten times the installation spark that I will ever be, (40 odd years on the job in every environment going) but he cannot be bothered with paperwork, client meetings, project briefing, budget controls etc etc.

Employing someone -

1. Upside is constant availability, someone who cannot pinch your clients and you teach them how you want the job done and generally is a cheaper day rate for someone of the same calibre on self-employed rate.
2. Downside - NIC contributions, keeping up with their tax, sick days, hung over days and a big drain on your cash flow and low job and hence income periods..

I hire one guy, and have had him since he was an appy. I use 4 other guys when and if needed.
 24 February 2013 09:18 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



daveparry1

Posts: 6169
Joined: 04 July 2007

Success to me is making enough money for a good living, being able to pay all my bills, liking the work that I do and probably above all being able to choose which jobs I want to do. If I don't fancy the job or don't like the attitude of the client I walk away! I wouldn't be able to do that if I set myself up with lots of overheads, employees etc,

Dave.
 24 February 2013 09:51 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



chunk522

Posts: 126
Joined: 12 December 2010

Originally posted by: daveparry1

Success to me is making enough money for a good living, being able to pay all my bills, liking the work that I do and probably above all being able to choose which jobs I want to do. If I don't fancy the job or don't like the attitude of the client I walk away! I wouldn't be able to do that if I set myself up with lots of overheads, employees etc,



Dave.


I agree with Dave on this, although the passed year as been my busyest ever I took on a subby who was desperate for work and it payed off for a year as it gave some extra income, now he is busy with his own work and not that interesed when I call him, so you start toying with idea of setting someone on but my insticts say dont as youve only got yourself to look after and Its nice to have the extra cash but do I really want the extra responsibility NO.
Sub contractors are the way to go unless you look like landing a contract that will pay off but again do you really want the extra hassle of paper work more outgoings etc let alone constant moaning from un happy customers, that your guy asn't satisfied there requirments so you end sorting it out yourself.
 24 February 2013 10:30 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for slittle.
slittle

Posts: 3488
Joined: 22 November 2007

Got to agree with Tatty's way to do it if you are going to grow it but I will add that once you've got more guys expect to spend a lot more time managing and arranging work, you've got to keep two steps ahead all of the time or they soon eat up the work.

As to the measure of it, comfortable house ?, reasonable car ?, couple of holidays a year ? yes possibly not bad measures, but what about time at home with the family.

I've been at the stage of working every weekend to try and keep customers off my back, now we've grown a bit I can work if there's a scheduled shutdown that needs my input or an emergency but otherwise I can spend the weekend with the kids....... That's worth the monday to friday hassle of running a bigger time in my book.

stu
 24 February 2013 11:30 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for Martynduerden.
Martynduerden

Posts: 3211
Joined: 13 July 2008

I'm always flat out, I have been for ages, success to me at the moment would be being able to pay everything on time all the time with a 10k buffer in the bank. I don't really do holidays feels like a waste of time.

Just about to wrap up for the night.

-------------------------
Regards

Martyn.

Only a mediocre person is always at their best



www.electrical contractors uk.com
 25 February 2013 09:03 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



MrP

Posts: 836
Joined: 24 March 2006

Success is being happy
When I was a one man band with a little van, boy was I happy but unfortunately I didn't realize it, success is quality of life.
Employing people I can assure you will not make you happy far from it, I have the tee shirt and worn it
Success is having good family and good friends and enjoying life and absolutely nothing what so ever to do with work

Good luck buddy If I were you I would stay as you are

MrP
 25 February 2013 03:05 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



mikejumper

Posts: 1706
Joined: 14 December 2006

Originally posted by: dbullard
I have a good client base but most of my work is return work to customers who want something added or altered, I still get allot of referral work and all my work is recommends.
Daren

I'd say in the present economic situation, that is being successful.
Good luck with your recovery and I hope you're back up on your pins soon.
 25 February 2013 04:46 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for stateit.
stateit

Posts: 2161
Joined: 15 April 2005

Originally posted by: Martynduerden

I'm always flat out, I have been for ages... I don't really do holidays feels like a waste of time.



Sorry to hear you say that Martyn... All it made me think was:

The phrases 'busy fool' and 'knackering yourself out chasing your own tail' springs to mind..

Stress, heart-attacks, looking back and thinking was it all worth it?

Sounds like you need a holiday. And not for a week but a month. You might be surprised that there's still work there when you get back.

-------------------------
S George
http://www.sg-electrical.com
 25 February 2013 05:16 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for OMS.
OMS

Posts: 19628
Joined: 23 March 2004

I would suggest perhaps that it's the multiple of your current capability of earnings to keep you away from the gutter.

As a quick measure, add up all the things you have to spend money on in a year - divide that to a monthly basis and then assume the worst has happened and there is no income - how long can you survive before it really does go horribly wrong.

The answer will probably be quite revealing (or frightening or both) - and from there you can get a measure of "success" ?

Regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 25 February 2013 06:15 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



BrucieBonus

Posts: 666
Joined: 20 February 2007

One of the reasons I became an electrician was to be self employed. I used to manage a team of 30 people in another field and it was flipping nightmare - so much stress and aggravation for not much reward (and that was after I managed to sack some of the bad apples...!) The most difficult thing is keeping some level of quality control over 'your' work when it's done by some one else.

Have you thought about taking on an apprentice/trainee as a way of trying it out - you can also mould them to your good habits...

Success for me is being able to enjoy what you've earnt - a month off once a year and a long trip - Japan here I come!
 25 February 2013 06:21 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for OMS.
OMS

Posts: 19628
Joined: 23 March 2004

and that was after I managed to sack some of the bad apples


LoL - if you can't change the people, then change the people !! -

regards

OMS

-------------------------
Failure is always an option
 25 February 2013 06:55 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



BrucieBonus

Posts: 666
Joined: 20 February 2007

exactly!!! My predecessor was far too 'nice' just wanted to be a friend to everyone - it all changed once I arrived!
 25 February 2013 07:16 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



welchyboy

Posts: 49
Joined: 08 September 2011

Really good topic with some very interesting posts, this is a subject that I feel is not discussed enough, the business side of things rather than just the technical

I too am at the stage where I have too much work for my self but not enough consistently for full time people and find myself working every weekend

I had a large school contract over the last years 6 weeks holidays which I took on 3 subbies to stay on the school full time while I was out doing my regular work

It was very stressful trying to arrange 3 blokes, myself and materials etc all summer and I pretty much worked 7 days for the whole of it but at the end when things went back to normal and I got all my invoices paid I thought 'blimey I want more of this' but like everyone says your standards will drop and I would have a problem letting go and trusting people to do a proper job

I do look at the companies that have grown from a OMB to a medium sized contractor and would like to get there one day, but would it be a case of just keep plugging away and slowly growing your contacts or do you need a different approach?
 25 February 2013 07:59 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message


Avatar for dbullard.
dbullard

Posts: 1166
Joined: 02 March 2006

Folks many thanks for the replies, some great advice which I have taken on board.

I am at the stage where im busy enough for 2, I did try the apprentice route but that was far too stressful for me having to think for some else all the time, and to be frank everyone I know that has gone the apprentice route had the same opinion as me, they are lazy and spend far too much time on the phone and face book.

I also have a few regular schools on my books and summertime / holiday time is frenetic for me.

Maybe because the knees failing me at 43 I am getting worried about not being able to carry on working at the rate I am without help / or growing to have underlings doing the work and me being office bound.

Once again

Many thanks



Daren

-------------------------
..... Dont pee in my pocket and tell me its raining ......


www.quest-electrical-sw.co.uk
IET » Wiring and the regulations » How do you measure success

1 2 Next Last unread
Topic Tools Topic Tools
Statistics

See Also:



FuseTalk Standard Edition v3.2 - © 1999-2014 FuseTalk Inc. All rights reserved.