6 MIN. READ
Demand for electrical contractors will undoubtedly grow as we move from fossil fuels to renewable energy. However, while electrification offers many exciting opportunities, businesses need to position themselves to best serve this demand. Take the right steps in adapting your electrical company to lead the change in your local market, before everyone else catches up.
Electrification is gaining momentum across several sectors. Understanding the push behind this transition will help your business be in the best position to grow.
Industrial sector. Industrial electrification is gaining ground because the cost of renewable energy is declining. And as the overall electric utility sector decarbonizes, manufacturers know that they must make the transition to stay competitive. The move towards fleet electrification will mean lower overall and long-term costs since electric vehicles and machinery have fewer moving parts, require less maintenance and do not need fossil fuels.
Automotive sector. The automotive sector’s shift towards electric has been gaining steady steam and has hit anxiously anticipated milestones. When the combined sales of electric vehicles hit over 2 million in 2019, this signaled that EVs were here to stay. By 2025, electric vehicles will comprise 10% of the new car market. Electrical contractors should pay close attention to these market trends in order to stay current and competitive.
Residential demand. As more EVs quietly pull into residential garages, the demand for the installation of electric charging units increases. EV owners want convenience. They want the assurance and security of having a charging port in their home. This presents a great opportunity for electrical contractors to provide the services that will meet this demand.
Electrical contractors who want to become leaders in their local market must understand and follow the market as it transitions, and they must plot where they fit in and fill the opportunities that are opening up. After mapping out the opportunities in your own niche, it’s time to get to the necessary permitting and groundwork.
When new niches open up, they will often fall under new regulations from local municipalities. Understanding what permits you need for charging installations is crucial for a smooth transition for your business. Additionally, while certifications are not required, they are an advantage when you want to establish your company as a market leader.
Know the differences between permits, licenses and certifications so you can effectively convey your message to stakeholders and customers:
Licensing. Licenses are the required criteria by each state or local municipality that allows electrical contractors to legally work in an area. This helps protect the customer and business owner from any negligence or dangerous work.
Permits. You need to pull permits from the city before any work starts at a job site. There is an application process and costs associated with permits. Permits are nothing new for electrical contractors since you need them for almost all types of electrical work.
Certifications. Certifications are a good way to separate you from the rest of the pack. They show that you have taken the time to learn a specific facet of the electrification field to gain more in-depth knowledge and expertise. You can use certifications as an effective marketing tool when trying to gain new customers.
As you chart your company’s move into electrification, having information and credentials that position you as a leader in your market is important. They will also help establish your narrative as you move into the next step.
Competition in the electrical contracting space can be fierce. Customers want top-rated contractors to do work on their projects. In the digital age, customer feedback and reviews are instant and carry a lot of weight.
To bolster your company’s image and reputation, curate a branding and marketing message that reinforces your place as a leader in your local market. Update your website and marketing materials with information that highlights your expertise in the electrification space and identify your certifications. Create valuable content for your audience as well – showcasing expertise will get you far, as local businesses will start thinking of you as a go-to when it comes to all things electric.
In other words, help your customer base make informed decisions by being value-driven and dependable. This will serve the double duty of instilling a sense of mission into your company.
The renewable energy sector has created developing technologies that require employees to be trained in order to service the emerging customer base. Understanding the intricacies of electrification, integration and the code requirements associated is vital for your business success.
You’ll need to pay particular attention to developing secondary skills in your electricians and subcontractors that aren’t necessarily traditional. For example, they’ll need to work more with digital tools like tablets and need to be far better trained at handling communication than in years prior. When reviews are near-instant, there is so much more pressure to perform and handle customer support than in the past.
Additionally, programs and courses are available for your team to take advantage of and enhance their skills in electrification, home charging installations, solar power and more. Staying current with new technologies and engaging in continuing education will distinguish your company from the rest. In turn, this will empower you to build valuable connections in your market.
Partnering with the right business may be the best decision electrical contractors can make. There are already established and emerging leaders in electrification that provide training opportunities and the chance to partner with them to feed the demand from the customer base.
Tap into networks that provide access to customers who have been vetted and are ready to employ the services of contractors. Building these relationships allows your brand recognition to grow and will give you the experience needed to expand your business. Take advantage of partnerships that offer instructional courses to develop and position your team to keep them abreast of the latest news and improvements in the electrification space. Also gain access to coaching and development services that keep you aligned with the market and open up a new customer base for you to serve.
Ultimately, what you’re looking for are long-term relationships that bring in references, more knowledge and ongoing contracts.
The electrification era is here, and it is growing at a rapid rate. As customers and companies become more conscious about renewable energy and more concerned with the environment, this sector will continue to develop. Electrical contractors have a unique opportunity to plug into this movement, obtain new skills, earn a new customer base and grow their business.
Consumers know what they need and want. You can give it to them while setting yourself up to become an electrification leader in your local area.