Hi everyone, my name is Eric. Five years ago I decided to start my own electrical business. At the time I was working for a very large contractor a nd doing side work in the evening. I was in the service dept. of the company and got an up close view of the money that could be generated on my own. I decided to go into business full time for myself and spent the next two years working literally 18 hours a day and night in the field and another 2 hours a day doing paper work. I know alot of you have probably done the same thing, so I imagine you will apreciate my story.
During this time my wife and I had two beautiful children. While in the hospital recovering from the delivery of my second daughter my wife realized that her legs were not functioning as normal. The doctors reassured us that it was the medicine used in the spinal and everything would be alright. One month later she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and totally changed our families financial outlook for the future. Finally it got to the point where she was unable to work full time due to mobility and being overly exhausted from doing minmal tasks. At this time I am truly blessed to tell you that she is doing very well but still unable to work full-time. This put alot of pressure on me to support my family single handedly.
Every small contractor is in search of that solid contact that continually provides you with leads that turn into positve sales. Well, 3 years into business, while doing some local networking, I found mine. It was a very large home improvement store. Home Depot. From that first lead until now they have been my bread and butter contract so to speak. I was fortunate to meet other contractors who had the business ethic as myself. When I decided to go into business for myself I decided right from the start that I would be honest, give the customer the best product I could supply , and the customer was always right. Over the course of these last 3 years , I have been involved in atleast 1500 remodel jobs and rarely ever get a complaint. When we on occassion don't see eye to eye with a customer we try to settle the issue quickly as possible and get on our way. The same goes for the other contractors invloved.
In November of this year, a disgruntled customer decided to call local media about a dispute she had with a contractor and they televised the expose. In a matter of minutes I literally watched all the hard work that myself and other good contractors have done go down the drain. Since that televised complaint sales have declined dramatically for everyone involved in our little network. Luckily, because of our relationship with past clients we still get a decent amount of work through word of mouth.
The moral of my story is I wish that people would stop to think of the reprocussions of there actions before they do something like this out of anger. Alot of morally sound business owners are struggling now because of this situation.
While there are alot of bad things happening because of this situation, some good also is happening. For instance, for 3 years I was basically on auto pilot and followed the flow of work. Now, because I have to throw my cards up in the air again I found this site. I have contacted property management companies and sent thank you notes to over 1000 customers with discounted offerings.
Does anyone have any other suggestions or advice that may beneficial to a struggling electrician looking for that next big customer? Also, I may be tossing around the idea of getting a home equity line of credit for those slow periods.