James Dewane – Founder of “My Electricians ToolBox” - Having been an electrician for over 25-years, I know only too well that difficult economic times can leave any electrician scrambling for work along with all the others. Like many of you, I started out as an apprentice; learning the craft of my trade – but not the skills to market yourself and your company.
However, along the way, I learned that marketing was a skill you really need to survive in business. I can’t claim to be a millionaire – nor do I want to be – I also don’t consider myself a marketing guru – but I have found a simple system that works and allows me to work-to-live not live-to-work. I served my apprenticeship with a small family-firm before, becoming fully-qualified and going on to work for a company who specialised in rewiring council houses (house bashing) where I quickly rose to the dizzy-heights of Foreman.
My next move led me to work for a major security company who had contracts to work on everything from universities to the Channel Tunnel. I quickly rose to the position of UK and Ireland Operations Manager with responsibility for 400 staff, and during this time I really started to take an interest in the business side and decided to study part-time (with the Open University); graduating with a degree in Business Management and then carrying on to study for an MBA. When this company was eventually bought out by Lufthansa, I decided it was time to take control of my own destiny and go into business for myself; returning to my roots to specialize in the Domestic and Residential market. You’re probably thinking I’m going to tell you that I was an instant success – but I wasn’t.
I had a London-based office, nine staff and four vans on the road and, although turnover was high, the business was leaking money and I was spending much of my time fire-fighting and resolving staff issues. I was also working ridiculous hours and had little time for anything else. At this point, I knew in my heart it was time to liquidate the company and walk away with nothing. But hard knocks make you stronger, and I had realised that surviving in business is all about marketing.
Armed with a vast amount of knowledge about success and failure, I decided to start another company; only this time it would be marketing driven. I also knew that I had to be more selective and find a proper work/life balance that would make me happy, I was tired of being a busy fool. Today I employ just two staff, but my work-book is usually full three months in advance, I can pick and choose the work I do, and I don’t wait thirty days or more to get paid. More importantly, I’ve found that work/life balance that means I make a decent profit, get to enjoy quality-time with my family, and regularly enjoy my pastimes of Scuba-diving and flying a two-seater Cessna aeroplane.
However, what I’ve enjoyed most of all over the last few years is making it my mission to find the cheapest and most effective ways for local Electricians to market their services; something on which I’ve already spent in excess of £40,000. The results of this time and money is a marketing resource I designed specifically for my fellow UK electrician’s called the “My Electrician’s Toolbox”, I also run regular webinars to teach electrician’s a simple Five Step System to market their businesses.
If, like me, you’d like a full work-book, to pick and choose the jobs you take, make healthy profits and have the time to enjoy your family and your social life – Then I know I can help you.