How to win in a residential electrical market

Let’s all admit the truth. As electricians, we do not find the world of residential electrical installation “Sexy.” Most people hang their hats on commercial and industrial projects. Residential wiring is classified as a headache with lower percentages. Most supply houses cringe at the thought of having to deal with a residential electrical contractor. You will not find many electricians pounding their chest exclaiming “I wired that 1500 square feet ranch!” But what if our egos stop us from looking at the truth at an industry producing over 1,000,000 residences per year? What if the most untapped market of success lies in residential wiring? Like Morpheus, I am here to offer you a choice. Time to go down the rabbit hole a look a 5 reasons residential electrical wiring is beneficial to your company.

  1. Exposing yourself

    When bidding on larger projects you sit on the edge of your seat fearing that you may have forgot something. A project that can lock up any number of guys for a long time can be unnerving. You can work for 6 months only to find that the profit was small or worse, led to a loss. When you are first starting out in the electrical world this can be damaging to your company and in some cases fatal. This is where residential wiring can be a godsend for your company. When bidding on projects on a much smaller scale you can take the stress of your estimators. If we bid on 5 houses and average 15 to 20 percent profit the result can put large amounts of income into your company much faster. 100 houses can quickly take your company into a million dollar enterprise.  Worst case scenario is you can lose but the rebound from one project into another is less dramatic. This method of gain and train can help build capitol and lead to steady expansion into other division while giving you a clear advantage.

  2. The moving billboard

    Want to build a fast exposure in a city? Residential wiring is the answer for you. As you build crews, vehicles become an important method to move materials and equipment from one job to another. I always love when people make the comment “I see your vans everywhere!” Nothing says established than a moving fleet that is averaging a new job every 4 to 5 days. Remember, logo those vans and keep them clean. You are building a moving billboard that will lead to large amounts of curiosity and of course work.

  3. To train or not to train

    If you are wanting to build a set of employees that understand timelines and effectiveness start your new employees in a residential setting. Sure, you still have to have qualified employees but the methods of residential wiring allow for installers to get a feel for how the equipment and installs on an easier level. This allows for new apprentices to build what I like to call the “third eye.” Once they have the basics of how basic wiring methods work they will be more comfortable moving up into larger scale jobs. Also, the pay rates for residential are usually smaller. This allows for you to get the most profitability for your company as the employee grows.

  4. You want me to put that where?

    As we all know electrical equipment can be large and require large amounts of space to store. Especially for larger jobs. Gear, lighting packages and overall large spools of wire will eat up some space. This can cause you to need larger warehousing abilities. Not with residential wiring. Most equipment in a residential application can be condensed into a small amount of space. The trick is to have the ability to order each house down to the part based on design and estimate. Programs like REMS allow for 99 percent accuracy for individual jobs. Why warehouse when you don’t have to? Why have electricians gathering parts and lists when they should be installing? Win percentages always ends up in the overhead you need to operate. Keep it low and in line and you will always succeed!

  5. Moving on up!

    Residential wiring is only a first step and can hybrid into projects such as apartments, hotels and senior living facilities. Each of these types of projects largely incorporate similar wiring methods. In most cases NM wiring is still allowed and your electricians are used to the fast pace methods and installation. This can produce large amounts of profit and help prepare your installers for larger commercial applications. The same methods of design and product preparation can be used as well. You will find yourself growing at a faster rate than you ever imagined.

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