Being a self-employed electrical contractor isn't easy. In addition to performing electrical work, you also have to find your own customers. To be successful, you need to maximize the return you see on the time you spend marketing. You can do this by marketing to people who won't just have one job for you, but who are likely to either provide multiple referrals or need electrical work done frequently. If you're an electrician and looking for a great return on your marketing efforts, here are two potential customer bases that are particularly good to target.
Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents' clients often either want electrical work done (if they're buying a home) or are asked to do electrical work (if they're selling a home) before closing on a house. Some home buyers and home sellers already have an electrical contractor they'll call to do this work, but many don't. Those that don't will frequently trust the recommendation of their real estate agent.
If you can get a real estate agent to refer their clients to you when their clients need electrical work done, you may have a stream of residential jobs. Although these jobs might not be big, the stream of work could last as long as the real estate agent is helping people buy and sell homes—which may be several or many years.
To connect with real estate agents who might be willing to provide referrals, visit their offices. Explain that you're an electrical contractor in the area, and be ready to provide some referrals of satisfied customers. Ask if they currently refer home buyers and home sellers to a specific electrical contractor. If they don't, offer them a small commission for each time they refer someone to you. If you do good work and give them a commission, many will be willing to recommend you.
Although many electrical contractors don't market specifically to boat owners, there is a growing need for electricians who work on boats. Not only do larger boats often have electrical systems that periodically need repairs, but all-electric boats and motors are becoming more popular.
Even if there aren't a lot of boat owners in your area, it's still worth marketing to them for two reasons. First, because electrical contractors usually don't target these customers, you may be able to charge a premium for your work. If you become known as the electrician who specializes in boats, boat owners will be willing to pay you more. Second, electrical systems on boats can deteriorate faster than those in homes because boats get wet. Thus, boat owners sometimes need electrical work done more frequently than homeowners do.
While you could run advertisements that market you as an electrical contractor who specializes in marine electrical systems, there is an easier way to find boat owners who need electrical work done on their vessels. Simply leave business cards at marinas and yacht clubs. The boating community is tight knit, and people will likely mention they saw your card to anyone they know who needs electrical work done on a boat.
If you aren't familiar with marine electrical systems, you may need to take a class on them. If you're already a licensed independent contractor, though, a class shouldn't take too long. Look for one at a local vocational school or consider attending an intensive seminar in another city.
Work through the Fall
If you're able to get connected with real estate agents and boat owners, your marketing efforts will provide you with plenty of customers this summer, which is the busiest time of year for home sales and prime boating season. You should be able to get enough work to keep you busy through the fall, when both the home buying and boating seasons die down a little.
If you'd like further tips, consider talking with electrical contractor colleagues, like one from http://attaboyservices.com/.