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Self employed Electrician set up query
Mr_deep_ 11001215443
24 Posts
Question
Hi guys 

I have been a qualified electrician for over 10 years working for others and now im trying to transision into to starting my own electrical installation / maintenance company. I'm a little confused as to what is required before I can legally work in other peoples properties.

I thought I needed 

1. Registration with governing body
2. Liabilty insurance 

I have been looking at becoming a member with the NiCEIC but the confusing part is they want to see my work to assess.

I dont understand How to do this if I need to be a member before I can work in other peoples property? 

I imagine it's really simple but not sure the best route to take 

Thanks in advance for any advice / guidance 
27 Replies
Denis McMahon 14703551
245 Posts
Hello, Mr Deep. I am sorry to see that you have had no response so far, so maybe I can help a little.

Yes, you will need liability insurance.

It is not essential for a contractor to be a member of a governing body. However, membership of the NICEIC would be a good career target, it would enhance your status as a contractor. Of course they will want to inspect your work. Have you enquired about whether they could inspect work you have already done for people?

Since you have been doing the work for many years, I presume you know the market, potential customers and how you could engage. Some towns have a small business support and start-up centre, which could give assistance, particularly on account keeping. Your Citizens' Advice Bureau or bank could give you some leads. Also look at on-line job sites. Job agencies can be useful too.

My discipline in later career migrated to electronics and IT.

I recommend that you re-post this in the "Wiring and Regulations" section, which is read by a large number of experienced electrical contractors, who, I expect, could give you far more advice than I can.
Topic moved to the 'Wiring and the Regulations' category.
AJJewsbury 77361768
1622 Posts
Legally, you don't need anything to go out and work as an electrician - it's not a protected title, unlike say an architect.

Sensibly you should be able to show that you're able to work to the wiring regs and have some insurance - but that's really to protect yourself or to meet customer's requirements rather than any legal obligation. Some customers like the reassurance of some big well known organisation being there to vouch for you - but others are less bothered.

When it comes to building regulations - some work is notifiable (under part P) - which of itself doesn't make a legal difference (anyone can still carry out any electrical work) but economically it makes a lot more sense to be a member of a Competent Persons Scheme and be able to self-notify (and self-certify) for building regs (it's usually a couple quid per job via the scheme) rather than having to notify via the local council (or perhaps a 3rd party building inspector) where the cost is likely to start at over £200 per job even for the smallest job.

Note that part P of the building regs (and all the notification that goes with it) only applies to domestic installations - not to commercial or industrial ones. Some of the Schemes operate differing types of membership as a result - some (predating the building regs) concentrate on a wide range of electrical work and have just tagged on the ability to self-certify for domestics as an extra, other are solely domestic memberships and don't cover you for say commercial or industrial installations.  Likewise support for performing periodic inspections and issuing EICRs may or may not be included, You pays your money and you takes your choice.

You correctly identify a snag in that it's tricky to do some notifiable work in order to show it to a scheme before you can become a member. In theory you could get around this by notifying (in advance) through your local building control dept and paying their fee (£200+++). Most recognise that that's a bit unreasonable and as scheme members have the privilege of notifying after the event (by several tens of days) the accepted practice is to go ahead and do the work and then notify retrospectively once you've been accepted as a member. Even if you fail the assessment the first time you should still have time to notify once you have passed (just try not to fail repeatedly...)

   - Andy.
lyledunn 83218531
299 Posts
Just to add to AJs reply, whatever route you take I would think it prudent to hold on to and maintain your ECS card. It provides an added degree of flexibility should you have need to sub in a site where workforce competency measures are in operation. Personally I would avoid the domestic stuff but in the early days of self-employment the doors that open may not offer much in the way of choice. Regardless of direction just be the best you can be. Our industry needs good guys.
The very best of luck to you. 
When I set up on my own - the NICEIC would not even consider me for approved contractor status or for enrolment for 2 years.........Any work I had carried out when employed were not to be considered even if I could prove I'd done the job entirely on my own. Some stuff I was very proud of too and still am, 15 years later. They'll still be there -some of them - as the best ones were Thames Water pump stations. Remote ones. 

In that two years as a limited company with insurance, I had to find a range of commercial and domestic works that did not require me to be a part of a governing body, do everything correctly with certificates and presented those jobs for consideration to join as an approved contractor. I'm sure there are plenty of jobs that don't need any governing body to be involved. 
Blencathra 11001209918
67 Posts
tattyinengland:
When I set up on my own - the NICEIC would not even consider me for approved contractor status or for enrolment for 2 years.........Any work I had carried out when employed were not to be considered even if I could prove I'd done the job entirely on my own. Some stuff I was very proud of too and still am, 15 years later. They'll still be there -some of them - as the best ones were Thames Water pump stations. Remote ones. 

In that two years as a limited company with insurance, I had to find a range of commercial and domestic works that did not require me to be a part of a governing body, do everything correctly with certificates and presented those jobs for consideration to join as an approved contractor. I'm sure there are plenty of jobs that don't need any governing body to be involved. 

Pretty much my findings, I set up 20 years ago, was going to go with NIC but found I was getting enough work without, I mainly do industrial/commercial, used to ask if clients wanted NIC approval, the answer was usually who? how much will it cost?.  Only lost a couple of jobs by not being in, big PIRs, I passed them on to a mate and I got the remedials 

Mr_deep_ 11001215443
24 Posts
Hi Dennis thank you for getting back to me, the good advice and directing the post, which has now had some very useful responces. I have just worked out how to find the posts and reply so starting from the top. Have looked for funding but nothing come up as of yet however i will look into the your suggestions. I have had a nightmare trying to speak to NIC due to COVID but there is plenty for me to get on with in the meantime and hopefully they will be taking calls again soon. Thank again for your reply :)
Mr_deep_ 11001215443
24 Posts
AJJewsbury:
Legally, you don't need anything to go out and work as an electrician - it's not a protected title, unlike say an architect.

Sensibly you should be able to show that you're able to work to the wiring regs and have some insurance - but that's really to protect yourself or to meet customer's requirements rather than any legal obligation. Some customers like the reassurance of some big well known organisation being there to vouch for you - but others are less bothered.

When it comes to building regulations - some work is notifiable (under part P) - which of itself doesn't make a legal difference (anyone can still carry out any electrical work) but economically it makes a lot more sense to be a member of a Competent Persons Scheme and be able to self-notify (and self-certify) for building regs (it's usually a couple quid per job via the scheme) rather than having to notify via the local council (or perhaps a 3rd party building inspector) where the cost is likely to start at over £200 per job even for the smallest job.

Note that part P of the building regs (and all the notification that goes with it) only applies to domestic installations - not to commercial or industrial ones. Some of the Schemes operate differing types of membership as a result - some (predating the building regs) concentrate on a wide range of electrical work and have just tagged on the ability to self-certify for domestics as an extra, other are solely domestic memberships and don't cover you for say commercial or industrial installations.  Likewise support for performing periodic inspections and issuing EICRs may or may not be included, You pays your money and you takes your choice.

You correctly identify a snag in that it's tricky to do some notifiable work in order to show it to a scheme before you can become a member. In theory you could get around this by notifying (in advance) through your local building control dept and paying their fee (£200+++). Most recognise that that's a bit unreasonable and as scheme members have the privilege of notifying after the event (by several tens of days) the accepted practice is to go ahead and do the work and then notify retrospectively once you've been accepted as a member. Even if you fail the assessment the first time you should still have time to notify once you have passed (just try not to fail repeatedly...)

   - Andy.

Hi Andy - This is fantastic thank you for taking the time to respond, much appreciated. a couple of things im still a little unclear on, is whether building control will be happy with my test results or will they have to send someone else to verify? - is this all included in the application cost or is it a case of speaking to my local council to get verification as im getting the impression different areas run things differently.  

Also in your opinion - Instead of notifying the building control, is the other option just to pay a registered electrician to test and sign off with building control themselves?

Mr_deep_ 11001215443
24 Posts
lyledunn:
Just to add to AJs reply, whatever route you take I would think it prudent to hold on to and maintain your ECS card. It provides an added degree of flexibility should you have need to sub in a site where workforce competency measures are in operation. Personally I would avoid the domestic stuff but in the early days of self-employment the doors that open may not offer much in the way of choice. Regardless of direction just be the best you can be. Our industry needs good guys.
The very best of luck to you. 

Thank you Lyle this is very relevant. As you mentioned, for flexibility i thought best to get my ECS card sorted as people have asked me about it in the past and if work is slow I thought i can do some agency work to tied me over. However Im kicking myself now as when i got qualified initially it was off my own back and the college never recomended i complete my NVQ level 3 and now its come back to bite me in the ass! I have to now Pay £2000 to complete my NVQ level 3 and to get assessed as a mature candidate which can take up to 12 months! 
I do feel it will be money well spent so i will be going ahead with it. Its a shame though at this point in my career as feel im back tracking but hopefully it will be worth it down the line.

Mr_deep_ 11001215443
24 Posts
tattyinengland:
When I set up on my own - the NICEIC would not even consider me for approved contractor status or for enrolment for 2 years.........Any work I had carried out when employed were not to be considered even if I could prove I'd done the job entirely on my own. Some stuff I was very proud of too and still am, 15 years later. They'll still be there -some of them - as the best ones were Thames Water pump stations. Remote ones. 

In that two years as a limited company with insurance, I had to find a range of commercial and domestic works that did not require me to be a part of a governing body, do everything correctly with certificates and presented those jobs for consideration to join as an approved contractor. I'm sure there are plenty of jobs that don't need any governing body to be involved. 

Thanks for sharing mate. Im not sure what the differences are but could you have joined as a domestic installer instead? I have heard they only want to see a couple of jobs but i guess i will know where i stand when i get to speak to them. All their lines are closed due to COVID at the moment as far as i am aware.

Blencathra 11001209918
67 Posts
Mr_deep_:
tattyinengland:
When I set up on my own - the NICEIC would not even consider me for approved contractor status or for enrolment for 2 years.........Any work I had carried out when employed were not to be considered even if I could prove I'd done the job entirely on my own. Some stuff I was very proud of too and still am, 15 years later. They'll still be there -some of them - as the best ones were Thames Water pump stations. Remote ones. 

In that two years as a limited company with insurance, I had to find a range of commercial and domestic works that did not require me to be a part of a governing body, do everything correctly with certificates and presented those jobs for consideration to join as an approved contractor. I'm sure there are plenty of jobs that don't need any governing body to be involved. 

Thanks for sharing mate. Im not sure what the differences are but could you have joined as a domestic installer instead? I have heard they only want to see a couple of jobs but i guess i will know where i stand when i get to speak to them. All their lines are closed due to COVID at the moment as far as i am aware.

I kept my ECS gold card up, taking the H&S tests and the regs regularly, never needed it and finally let it lapse last year as the JIB were not offering the 18th exam, sods law I will probably need it now but at 64 its unlikely

Sparkingchip 72796851
2519 Posts
What type of electrical work have you been doing for the last ten years as an employee and what type of work do you envisage doing in the future as a contractor?

Andy B.
lyledunn 83218531
299 Posts
Mr_deep_:
lyledunn:
Just to add to AJs reply, whatever route you take I would think it prudent to hold on to and maintain your ECS card. It provides an added degree of flexibility should you have need to sub in a site where workforce competency measures are in operation. Personally I would avoid the domestic stuff but in the early days of self-employment the doors that open may not offer much in the way of choice. Regardless of direction just be the best you can be. Our industry needs good guys.
The very best of luck to you. 

Thank you Lyle this is very relevant. As you mentioned, for flexibility i thought best to get my ECS card sorted as people have asked me about it in the past and if work is slow I thought i can do some agency work to tied me over. However Im kicking myself now as when i got qualified initially it was off my own back and the college never recomended i complete my NVQ level 3 and now its come back to bite me in the ass! I have to now Pay £2000 to complete my NVQ level 3 and to get assessed as a mature candidate which can take up to 12 months! 
I do feel it will be money well spent so i will be going ahead with it. Its a shame though at this point in my career as feel im back tracking but hopefully it will be worth it down the line.

As I understand it a new qualification has been developed by City and Guilds for the experienced worker which is recognised by the JIB. It was due out now but C19 has delayed it to September. Maybe worth checking. 

AJJewsbury 77361768
1622 Posts
is whether building control will be happy with my test results or will they have to send someone else to verify? - is this all included in the application cost or is it a case of speaking to my local council to get verification as im getting the impression different areas run things differently.
The normal LA building control fees should include whatever inspection & testing the BCO deems necessary - I've heard that some will reduce their fees if you can provide BS 7671 certification - but that's entirely at their prerogative and as far as I know each makes up their own mind as to the acceptable criteria  - so, yes, you'd have to talk to them (or e-mail etc.). (or several of them, if you intended work area covers more than one council area).

 
is the other option just to pay a registered electrician to test and sign off with building control themselves?
Originally that was strictly forbidden - self certification could only apply to the registered electrician's own work - on the basis that ensuring compliance with BS 7671 can't be done by inspection & testing alone. Recently the powers that be have relented a little and introduced what's called a 'third party verifier' option - where the registered parts is meant to oversee the work to an extent to ensure compliance (e.g. at the very least checking things like concealed cable runs before they're covered over) and can then notify/certify for building regs on the real installer's behalf. The gotcha was that the verifier needed an additional 'badge' from their scheme operator to offer that service (which usually meant an increased membership fee) - so (as least as far as I've heard) wasn't taken up by many electricians - so while it's a valid option in theory, being able actually find someone who can do it is far less certain.

   - Andy.
Mr_deep_ 11001215443
24 Posts
AJJewsbury:
is whether building control will be happy with my test results or will they have to send someone else to verify? - is this all included in the application cost or is it a case of speaking to my local council to get verification as im getting the impression different areas run things differently.
The normal LA building control fees should include whatever inspection & testing the BCO deems necessary - I've heard that some will reduce their fees if you can provide BS 7671 certification - but that's entirely at their prerogative and as far as I know each makes up their own mind as to the acceptable criteria  - so, yes, you'd have to talk to them (or e-mail etc.). (or several of them, if you intended work area covers more than one council area).

 
is the other option just to pay a registered electrician to test and sign off with building control themselves?
Originally that was strictly forbidden - self certification could only apply to the registered electrician's own work - on the basis that ensuring compliance with BS 7671 can't be done by inspection & testing alone. Recently the powers that be have relented a little and introduced what's called a 'third party verifier' option - where the registered parts is meant to oversee the work to an extent to ensure compliance (e.g. at the very least checking things like concealed cable runs before they're covered over) and can then notify/certify for building regs on the real installer's behalf. The gotcha was that the verifier needed an additional 'badge' from their scheme operator to offer that service (which usually meant an increased membership fee) - so (as least as far as I've heard) wasn't taken up by many electricians - so while it's a valid option in theory, being able actually find someone who can do it is far less certain.

   - Andy

Thanks Andy - I will have to discuss this with the local authority i guess to fully understand the procedure because as it stands, i dont understand how the LABC will be able to check after the job is complete. Surely they will need to visit at particular stages of the install to be worth checking it at all?
Mr_deep_ 11001215443
24 Posts
lyledunn:
Mr_deep_:
lyledunn:
Just to add to AJs reply, whatever route you take I would think it prudent to hold on to and maintain your ECS card. It provides an added degree of flexibility should you have need to sub in a site where workforce competency measures are in operation. Personally I would avoid the domestic stuff but in the early days of self-employment the doors that open may not offer much in the way of choice. Regardless of direction just be the best you can be. Our industry needs good guys.
The very best of luck to you. 

Thank you Lyle this is very relevant. As you mentioned, for flexibility i thought best to get my ECS card sorted as people have asked me about it in the past and if work is slow I thought i can do some agency work to tied me over. However Im kicking myself now as when i got qualified initially it was off my own back and the college never recomended i complete my NVQ level 3 and now its come back to bite me in the ass! I have to now Pay £2000 to complete my NVQ level 3 and to get assessed as a mature candidate which can take up to 12 months! 
I do feel it will be money well spent so i will be going ahead with it. Its a shame though at this point in my career as feel im back tracking but hopefully it will be worth it down the line.

As I understand it a new qualification has been developed by City and Guilds for the experienced worker which is recognised by the JIB. It was due out now but C19 has delayed it to September. Maybe worth checking. 

Oh wow! I will definately be looking into this - I can hold on until September. I will give City and Guilds a call tomorrow as well as the JIB. Thank you

Mr_deep_ 11001215443
24 Posts
Sparkingchip:
What type of electrical work have you been doing for the last ten years as an employee and what type of work do you envisage doing in the future as a contractor?

Andy B.

Hi Andy - So i began working with an install company. Mostly doing commercial and occasionally some industrial but no maintenance. Then i had a stint of domestic rewiring for the council, mostly small 3 beds teams of 2/3 in and out within a few days. Then I started maintenance work which i have been sitting (too) comfortably in for the last 6 years at least. All above working Low Voltage systems only.

I am basically going to work whatever i can get my hands on lol Probably domestic and hopefully some commercial too. I have to admit it will be a little shock to the system being back on my hand and knees and i am feeling a little nervous but nothing i cant handle im sure and feel its time for a change

Mr_deep_ 11001215443
24 Posts
Blencathra:
Mr_deep_:
tattyinengland:
When I set up on my own - the NICEIC would not even consider me for approved contractor status or for enrolment for 2 years.........Any work I had carried out when employed were not to be considered even if I could prove I'd done the job entirely on my own. Some stuff I was very proud of too and still am, 15 years later. They'll still be there -some of them - as the best ones were Thames Water pump stations. Remote ones. 

In that two years as a limited company with insurance, I had to find a range of commercial and domestic works that did not require me to be a part of a governing body, do everything correctly with certificates and presented those jobs for consideration to join as an approved contractor. I'm sure there are plenty of jobs that don't need any governing body to be involved. 

Thanks for sharing mate. Im not sure what the differences are but could you have joined as a domestic installer instead? I have heard they only want to see a couple of jobs but i guess i will know where i stand when i get to speak to them. All their lines are closed due to COVID at the moment as far as i am aware.

I kept my ECS gold card up, taking the H&S tests and the regs regularly, never needed it and finally let it lapse last year as the JIB were not offering the 18th exam, sods law I will probably need it now but at 64 its unlikely

I have wondered myself if whether i will need it or not. I guess i see it as a little safety net. Im hoping there may be a way of getting it without having to shell out the £2k. There could possibly be a get out coming in September (fingers crossed)

Mr Deep

An option for your ECS card - because, probably like you, in 2000 - 2003 I did my City and Guilds lvl 1&2 and I also went on to do my Test and inspection, all the while  I was working on the job - I was circa 25 and didn't do a "proper apprenticeship" and didn't even know about level 3 or perhaps the college or my employers did not value the level 3 enough to offer it to me. 

This has since come to mean that with the JIB I'm an improver - as opposed to approved - which has cost me a couple of really good contracts because I don't want an improver card...... I tried an internet company to do my level 3 but they went bust just before I completed and I could not be asked to go through that useless Exercise again. 

So look at C&G 2396 - the design course - if you can get this course - you're eligible for the JIB black card. Boom - possibly even better than a gold card especially if you're running the job and responsible for the design anyway. It costs less than £2000 and gets you further up the road than trying to do the level 3, which after 20 years of experience is a useless backward step. 

Kind Regards
Tatty
Mr_deep_ 11001215443
24 Posts
Wow thanks Tatty - This has definately given me food for thought as the idea of having to backtrack is my main gripe with the whole procedure. 

I will definately be looking into this as a viable option as well as the possibility of a new route becoming available in september for mature candidates. 

Did you do the course yourself? Did you get your black card and if so so what impact has it had on the contracts you are now getting?
Mr Deep

I did the C&G course in 2014 but did not do the project so never did get that certificate. I re-did the course recently in 2019 - AND the project - but because of corona have not bothered to do the black card bit. In general though the black card will probably be unnecessary for my work and only for my own ego; I have been an NICEIC AC for 11 years with my own company and generally that is enough for any of the commercial contracts that I am chasing. (I am a one man band really having had a couple of apprentices that I have taken through to qualified & I use a couple of self employed sparks to help out on a project by project basis when necessary).

The only time I've really really needed the JIB part (ECS Card) was on the really big construction sites when this comes into its own. No card no job.
I was doing installation work for a BMS controls company and did not have a JIB card, so lost out on a £55 000 contract to install part of the BMS System. (At the London College of Arts behind Kings Cross, London, Base build) - 6 weeks later I was back on the job commissioning the installed works when there was pressure to complete and I spent the next 6 weeks there. UNBELIEVABLE....... All it took was the threat that they were not going to complete unless they allowed this NICEIC AC and his team on site, someone signed off, and we were working on day rates. Pity about the contractural work though - that was done by others. 

We all had Green CSCS Cards.

Very definitely consider doing the green CSCS card - it's for site labourers but it gets you on sites and shows a modicum of health and safety knowledge. 

I have been able to, on occasion,  combine my NICEIC AC bit with the green card and get on sites to do work. The NICEIC bit proves competence enough to those issuing the work and the CSCS bit proves some level of health and safety knowledge. 
 
Mr_deep_ 11001215443
24 Posts
That's annoying - The rule book goes out the window when the pressure is and money is at risk as does health + safety iv noticed with some establishments!

Thanks for the instght mate. I do feel I wont need the cards but at the same time would be a good safety net and flexibility for me. 

Plan is to get up and running for now - as advised by previous posts and then explore my options.

Just need to settle on company name which is not easy for indecisive me lol
Back in 2010 I wrote a company manifesto - an aim - a goal - an eventual destination - so that i could determine where i was back then and where I wanted to head to.

I'd been "in business" for 3 years and an NICEIC AC for 1 year: It is still a manifesto that I refer to all the time to ensure my company is still on course. 

In addition to what I wrote then,  I'd add - it is very important to use quickbooks or a similar accounts package like XERO right from the word go - your life will be so much easier than trying to use excell or similar. 

This was in reply to a guy who posted on this (old) forum about his own troubles at the time.

From 2010:

It seems to me you need a slight change of direction.

I have had a real sit down and think on this same subject in about August last year and here are some of my thoughts; I hope I do not do myself out of work based on them; Please bear with me - these are only my thoughts that have taken years to begin to bear fruit, but they may help you.
http://www.theiet.org/forums/forum/i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif. (I am not a hugely successful business either but I'm as busy as hell at the moment so here we go:

I'm fairly sure that any one of the self employed/small companies around feel your pain keenly. Last year I was in the same boat, and decided that the domestic scene in all it's shapes and forms with the one exception of really smart houses, which come along very infrequently indeed, was a market that had to be avoided if possible.

There are too many people in this sector; competition driving down prices everywhere. Any big construction sparks, from when construction was booming, probably found when the work ran out - as I did - that a small one man band just does not get a look at commercial work, regardless of your experience in this sector. Hence the first stop - the domestic shark tank, which was, and still remains, the only niche really for a one man band operating on a self employed basis. (unless you can find big companies to sub to)
The domestic market has too many short cut sparks in it - further driving up competition. Every single spark can do domestic work to various degrees of competency.

So decide where you want to fit in -

1) Domestic - well no, I don't want to fit in here, but will pick up the work if it is profitable.
2) Commercial - yes, I'd like to fit in somewhere here. By fit in, I mean as the primary principal contractor supplying directly to the client - not as a subby to a large company.
3) Industrial - I'd love to fit in here especially in automation and control pannels as I've done loads of this sort of work - but have little or no "in" to this sector, but will keep the business aims and focus open to this sort of work. Invite it - if you will.

So I have decide what sector (s) I'd like to cater to, how to get it?

So back to exploring the sector that is commercial - what and where can I fit?

As a small business I am never ever going to get in if I look and feel like a one man band/maintenance/odd job man; Big electrical installation and maintenance companies use people like this all the time - people who want to arrive for work at 0800 and leave at 1700- there's nothing wrong with this at all; but it's not a business. Subbing to big companies is the same result - when the big company runs out of work, you have no customer base, no work and are in dire sh1t. You'd be better off employed with benefits. This is not a business either.

Step 1: Look and feel attractive to your customer base -

How to do this: In my own case -

1) form a ltd company

I did this a few years ago heading towards being a proper business in the future with the view that in a few years time that I could say I'd been operating for many years - other companies like this and are reassured by it.

2) In order to look and feel like a company, to other companies, I need to be a part of a recognisable governing body; this is reassuring to the commercial customer (NICEIC AC)

3) All my paper work takes priority numero uno. It is formatted correctly, is uniform, looks professional and has all the required details on it that any business anywhere will need - this is all open public information anyway, just summed up on headers/ footers/ signatures. Other companies are reassured by this.

Step 2: Identify your own strengths: Try to find areas where I differentiate from most other sparks. Find those market sectors that are under catered to or the majority of electricians are afraid of - if you're afraid of it or don't know anything about it, it is likely other sparks are in the same boat; find out - and do it.

Step 3: Market your selves as an indeterminate sized company, avoid reference to small or large. Advertise on the best place to be seen by your customer base - in my case I've tried loads of of cheap stuff; best value for money in my experience - Yell.com

Step 4: Always continue to aim for your eventual goal. Never play or work to the lowest common denominator - you'll find you are the lowest common denominator soon enough if you do. Always find challenges - this come in all forms - sometimes that comes in running a business; especially cash flow. My, and many small businesses biggest killer.

Step 5: Stay determined, this down period is just for now, the business is forever - at least until I retire in 30 odd years. Think long term thoughts.

I hope some of this helps, it is only my own thoughts. I feel the same way you do often enough - have a beer on me and enjoy the week end
http://www.theiet.org/forums/forum/i/expressions/beer.gif

 
AJJewsbury 77361768
1622 Posts
Thanks Andy - I will have to discuss this with the local authority i guess to fully understand the procedure because as it stands, i dont understand how the LABC will be able to check after the job is complete. Surely they will need to visit at particular stages of the install to be worth checking it at all?
Indeed - I've been through my local building control route a couple of times over the years - both times they wanted to inspect 'first fix' before any cables were covered over. Just getting cables within zones and grommets on the boxes usually earns you a "you seem to know what you're doing" comment. On the first job (kitchen extension) that's all they did as far as I remember - the second time (part of a complete renovation) a few years later they sent in one of their council electricians (plus apprentice) to spend an entire day doing a full I&T once it was complete. I gather the difference was that they used to have a BCO who 'knew a bit about electrics' who would sniff out the bad jobs early - but having lost him they had to resort to sending in real electricians to every job.

   - Andy.
lyledunn 83218531
299 Posts
I have to say, first class piece Tattyengland, very insightful indeed. I will have 38 years under my belt come October this year. I announced my intention to go self-employed at my wedding reception. I think my new father-in-law almost went into apocalyptic shock with my own father not far behind! Much in your piece gels with my own experience, however, I didn’t have a road map and just went as and when opportunities arose. I went to my first job on a push bike and as things picked up I used the wife’s car until I bought my first van, a second hand Fiat Fiorino. Eventually forced over the VAT threshold it spurred me on to become a real business. At one stage I had 20 lads and even more on a casual basis. I loved motor control but it just didn’t happen. Everything steered me towards the hospitality industry. We undertook M and E for a large fit-out company which failed owing me a ton of money. I took them over and was the main contractor on fit outs for twenty years. Never ever intended that but there you go! 
should also say that all through those years, I kept my hand in by teaching part time. That definitely helped me keep close to the electrical installation industry and I am very glad about that!

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