Between 2008 and 2018, job opportunities for electricians are expected to grow 12 percent. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an increase in building construction that includes electrical work. The Bureau also anticipates that older buildings have electrical systems that need to be upgraded to introduce new codes. Electricians also need to install new energy-saving systems in many buildings. Finally, many electricians will look to replace workers who are considering retiring.
Starting a small electrical business
Organize your electrical business. Choose your business organization with the help of a Certified Public Accountant familiar with small business services. Visit your county or city clerk’s office to obtain a business permit and ask about additional permits needed in your jurisdiction. Check with your commercial insurance agent about commercial and professional liability insurance. Finally, ask your state Department of Revenue if you need a sales tax number for your business service.
The Houston One Stop Business notes that the city of Houston does not require a general business permit although surrounding towns may require permits of their own. Professional permits must be obtained separately (see Resources).
Manage your electrical logistics permit. Before you can operate as a professional electrician or electrical contractor, you will need a permit issued by the state. Contact your state electrical permitting department or professional permitting board regarding testing and applicable permits.
In Texas, you must have a valid professional permit from the Texas Department of Permits and Rules. Permits are issued to different classes of electricians and electrical contractors. Individual electricians or businesses may request them (see References).
Establish your base of operations. If you spend most of your time serving clients, a small office will likely suffice. You will need a secure space in which to store your electrical items and a work surface to perform electrical assembly work. Finally, you’ll need a secure parking lot for a job that involves electrical equipment and items.
Cultivate your business prospects. Contact general contractors to discuss potential electrical opportunities in new home construction or remodeling projects. Ask about commercial construction projects like tenant buildings, assisted living facilities, and other commercial buildings.
Get your real estate business ready. Contact area real estate companies and offer your services to agents whose clients need electrical services. Sometimes electrical work is needed to prepare a home for the real estate market or to meet recommendations issued by a home inspector. Agents who don’t need your services will appreciate the experience you provide and may give referrals to your peers.
It attracts residential remodelers. Homeowners commonly hire professional electricians to complete the electrical phase of home remodeling projects. Attract this residential business by offering a discount on the prices of an electrical project for a limited period of time. Work with a graphic designer to create a colorful ad that highlights these savings. Put your ad in the home improvement guides inserted in local newspapers and reinforce your message by repeating the ad in the Home section of the paper.