Whether you’re just out of college and want to start your own business or you’re a seasoned professional looking to go it alone, becoming a tradesperson is a sensible idea. The truth is that it’s an industry that will never go out of fashion, and it can be very lucrative with the right skills.
Below, we’ve rounded up some things to take into consideration before getting started.
Have the right qualifications
Though you don’t need a qualification for some trades like carpentry and plastering, you’ll need some form of training before you can become an electrician or plumber.
One of the easiest ways to get started is to become an apprentice, hone your craft working for someone else, and then go it alone when your apprenticeship is complete. Alternatively, you can learn your craft through a college course, train on the job, or apply for a position working for someone else, in hopes that they’ll offer you the training and development you might need.
Be realistic about your salary
One of the reasons why many tradespeople are self-employed or sole traders is because they earn more doing it themselves than working for someone else. And whilst you can expect to earn a generous salary, you should also be realistic about what you can achieve.
A plumber can expect to earn a starting salary of around £15,000 but this can quickly climb as you take on more advanced jobs, whereas a roofer would start off on a salary of £13,000 and see it climb closer to £32,000 based on experience. The key is being good at what you do – the more advanced your skills, the more likely you are to attract high-paying clients.
Think about how you’re going to find clients
It’s all well and good starting your own business, but how are you going to find new clients outside of your immediate family and friends? Direct mail marketing still works, here, where you can drum up trade by posting leaflets through letterboxes of potential customers.
You should also set up a basic website and social media handles, and ask satisfied clients to leave a review on Google My Business. Word of mouth marketing is critical in the trades.
Set your pricing early on
If you’re new to your industry, it might be worth positioning your business as an affordable and low-cost option whilst you build up your reputation, hone your skills, and find a client base. As well as pricing yourself realistically, taking into account the local market, you need to decide how you’re going to take payments from clients.
A growing number of tradesmen are turning to PongoPay, an escrow-style service for tradies that allows you to ask for the payment from your client in advance; it’ll sit in an account until you’ve finished the job, and you can then request for the payment to be released. It increases trust and confidence.
There you have it – a few considerations to make before starting your own business. Let us know what you think and check back soon for more advice for tradespeople, right here.