Electrical engineering is a growing field. You may be interested in starting your own electrical business to provide much-needed services in your area, be your own boss, and create the working environment you’ve always dreamed about. But where do you begin?
There is a lot of work that goes into starting any small business. Before you can accept your first job, you’ll need to do the necessary planning, organizing, and researching prep. Here’s a simple guide for electrical engineers to help you start your own business.
1. Write a business plan
A business plan is a written document that outlines your business goals and how you will reach them. It typically includes details of your finances, how you will operate, and marketing activities. This is also the place to research the local market and competing electrical businesses.
Your business plan will grow and change over time, as you take on more jobs, hire employees, and make other changes to the business.
2. Organize your finances
Keeping accurate financial records from day one is important to building any successful business. Creating a budget and setting up the books is a good place to start. These are also a part of most business plans. This step may also include applying for business loans or securing other financing, if needed.
An important tip for any small business owner is to keep your business and personal accounts separate. Co-mingling your money can complicate matters, especially at tax time.
3. Research regulations
There are typically legal requirements that you must meet to start a business. This includes choosing the correct business structure (i.e., sole proprietor or LLC), filing a business license, and registering for a tax number. Electrical engineers may need to obtain further licenses and permits to legally work in some states.
Local zoning laws are also worth looking into. Regulations or home owner’s association (HOA) bylines may prohibit you from running a business from your home.
4. Register your business
Once you’ve made most of the big decisions discussed above, it may be time to formally register your business with your city or state. You may need to file a “Doing Business As” (DBA) or “Fictious Business Name” (FBN) application to secure your business name and help keep others in the state from using it.
If you will be working in multiple states (or are working towards this goal), filing a federal trademark for your business name can help protect it across the country.
5. Set up your online presence
Customers and clients expect the businesses they work with to be online. Even electrical businesses should have a website and custom email domain at the bare minimum. Social media accounts might also be useful, depending on the types of jobs you take and the clients you work with. You don’t need to have a social media profile on every site but maintaining a few key ones could be useful for finding new customers.
Your online presence may also include digital advertising and customer reviews. It might be helpful to hire a full time employee or freelance marketing assistant to help you manage these, along with your social media and website updates.
6. Consider engineering insurance
Once you’ve established your electrical business, you will probably want to protect it. Engineering insurance is one way to create a safety net for your livelihood. Depending on the structure of your business, you might consider policies such as:
- Professional Liability – This insurance can protect professional service providers from potentially devastating financial damages resulting from alleged negligence or error in the delivery of your services.
- General Liability – Also referred to as Commercial General Liability (CGL) or “slip and fall coverage”, this insurance can protect your business against bodily injury or property damage lawsuits from outside parties.
- Business Owner’s Policy – This is a combination of policies, combining covers such as General Liability insurance and business personal property coverage, to help protect small businesses from costly interruptions to service.
- Workers’ Compensation – This type of policy protects you against medical expenses and lawsuits that can arise from employee workplace injuries and illnesses. It could also pay lost wages as a result of the work injuries that an employee sustains.
No matter what type of electrical business you are starting, with hard work and determination you could be on the path to success. All of this pre-work may take time, but you’ll be glad you did it. Knowing that you’ve laid the groundwork for your business can help take some of the stress out of those first days and weeks of owing your own electrical business!
Starting a business takes time, which is why BizInsure makes buying insurance as quick and simple as possible. Find and compare policies online, then click to buy. You’ll be done in minutes and receive your policy documents instantly, so you can get back to work.
Visit our website today to learn more about engineering insurance.