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Thread: Adding employees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    New Kensington, Pa
    Posts
    164

    Adding employees

    I own a small electrical contracting business. Myself and 2 full time guys. We do 95% renovation work. Can't seem to break the 2 man barrier? Keeping all 3 of us busy is difficult sometimes. Seems we get a 2 or 3 day lull where we clean van and our storage area every couple of months.
    id like to add a 3rd guy. Any ideas on increasing business

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Lake of the Ozarks
    Posts
    981
    If you have your tools on, then who is chasing new work? Do you have a BNI in your area. Some will say this is a waste of time but it really all depends on the group. I have seen a lot of businesses get a ton of new work by joining one of these groups.

    https://www.bni.com/

    1N73LL1G3NC3 15 7H3 4BILI7Y 70 4D4P7 70 CH4NG3.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Tampa, FL, USA
    Posts
    975
    I agree. I was a member of a BNI group for about two years. While I was there I got a bunch of small jobs and a few large jobs. I definitely made much more in profits than it cost me. It really helps to have a large group of people referring you to their clients. I still get referrals even though I'm no longer a member due to the friendships I developed there. What is more important, if you do the training they offer, you will learn how to market your company effectively without spending big bucks on advertising (which is usually a waste of $).

    You should be spending most of your time marketing and networking for work. Let your men do the work and just monitor their progress. That is how you will grow. There is only one of you, but you can hire as many of them as you need. If you don't think your men are capable of doing the work by themselves, train them or hire someone skilled enough. If you stop trying to get new work, work will slow to a trickle.

    ETA: A 2 or 3 day lull every couple of months is nothing to complain about. A 2 or 3 day lull every two weeks is another story.
    Last edited by Coppersmith; 08-31-17 at 09:21 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Huntington Beach, CA (19 Hrs. 22 Min. from Winged Horses)
    Posts
    6,150
    Quote Originally Posted by Coppersmith View Post
    I agree. I was a member of a BNI group for about two years.

    ETA: A 2 or 3 day lull every couple of months is nothing to complain about. A 2 or 3 day lull every two weeks is another story.
    i did two different beanoodle groups a few years back.

    the first one, was kind of a quirky group, but i ended up
    with a bit of work from it, and lunch in huntington harbor
    once a week... really wasn't that profitable, but there was
    entertainment value.... like the time the mortgage broker
    and the chiropractor got in a fist fight, and my financial
    planner broke it up.

    after the fight broke up, so did the group. my next beanoodle
    group was at meadowlark country club. supposed to be serious
    movers and shakers there, lotta business written. 60 members.

    in nine months, my total amount of money earned from that
    group was $60. gross. i fixed a broken ceiling fan.

    i've not been a noodle since then.

    my current printer, financial planner, and a few friends came from
    the first group, so it works for some of us.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Tampa, FL, USA
    Posts
    975
    Every BNI group is different, that's for sure. Lot's of personalities. You can always transfer if the group is not effective or to your liking for any other reason. I received a whole house rewire job the first day I was there.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Huntington Beach, CA (19 Hrs. 22 Min. from Winged Horses)
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    6,150
    Quote Originally Posted by Coppersmith View Post
    Every BNI group is different, that's for sure. Lot's of personalities. You can always transfer if the group is not effective or to your liking for any other reason. I received a whole house rewire job the first day I was there.
    fooey. shoulda gone to your group, but florida is a drive for me.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Simi Valley, CA
    Posts
    8,191
    My question would be, you have two guys now and you have dead time for them, yet you want to add a third guy? Wouldn't you be better off getting some jobs and let your guys work the OT or whatever and see if they can handle it? I don't think you really want three guys, you just want enough work to need three guys.

    You also have to figure out if you have three guys do you need another truck, van, whatever and is it profitable for you to run two or three trucks depending on whether you put two or one man in a truck.

    I really think you just like the idea of having a bigger crew.
    I can build anything you want if you draw a picture of it on the back of a big enough check.

    There's no substitute for hard work....but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up trying to find one.

    John Childress
    Electrical Inspector
    IAEI / CEI / C10
    Certified Electrical Inspector

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Yachats Oregon
    Posts
    559
    In your post you said that 95% of your work was renovation. Is that residential, commercial or industrial? It appears that this is your niche. If you want to grow your business, you have to find more renovation work or start expanding your horizons. This would included: residential, commercial & industrial service work, residential, commercial & industrial new construction work and many other specialty types of electrical work. If you want to grow your business, pick up the phone and start making the contacts.

    Just remember, when you get to the point that you drop the tools and become management you are now part of the overhead. Your hours are no longer billable. I have seen many companies fail at this juncture. Adding more employees does not guarantee more profit, but in fact can have the opposite effect. This is where a solid business plan come into effect. Be careful what you wish for.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Las Vegas
    Posts
    441
    It's not easy to get away from your tools.
    Depending on the customers you have they start to expect to see you on the job.
    You sell the job, lay your people out, but the customers disappointed because your not there.

    Depending on your labor things may go fine, have problems with the work, or problems dealing with the customer.
    It's not easy to get a well rounded in the trade and self motivated employee that can handle customers and possibly pricing.

    It was a good point made above that you would be OH not working with tools.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Huntington Beach, CA (19 Hrs. 22 Min. from Winged Horses)
    Posts
    6,150
    Quote Originally Posted by active1 View Post
    It's not easy to get a well rounded in the trade and self motivated employee that can handle customers and possibly pricing.
    it's damn near impossible, based on what my customers say.
    and that is simply getting a qualified commercial electrician.
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