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If you're at the point in your auto electrician career where you want to go solo and you're wondering what to do next, this is the guide for you. Perhaps you're not sure what equipment you need to invest in, how to register your business or which legal documents you need.
Read on to get answers to these questions and more, so you can get your auto electrical business up and running.
An auto electrical business is a motor vehicle service that installs new electrical parts, or repairs and maintains electrical wiring and components in cars and other vehicles. Auto electricians evaluate vehicles with diagnostic testing equipment to check for faults, and they fix equipment such as mirrors, transmission, ignition, air conditioning and immobilisers.
An auto electrical service can be operated either from a static location like a workshop or as a mobile business that comes to people's homes or provides roadside repairs.
From creating a business plan to getting your legal requirements in place, there's a lot to cover when launching a new business. Follow these steps to get started:
There's a lot to think about when first setting up an auto electrical business. We've broken down the process into categories below, including the equipment and software you'll need and how to find customers.
Most self-employed auto electricians have at least five years' experience in the industry and some nationally recognised qualifications behind them. We discuss the key qualifications you'll need a little later on.
Being an auto electrician is a customer-facing role, so great communication skills and a friendly personality will help you along on your way to success. As they say, your reputation speaks for itself and happy customers are likely to recommend your business to others.
Apart from the technical and personal skills, you'll also need to get your head around how to run your business. While your business is in its initial stages, you're likely to be a one-man-band. Building business knowledge will take some trial and error as you develop marketing skills, financial management and administrative expertise.
You'll generally need to qualify as an auto electrician before you can open up your own business. Not only will this give you the skills to carry out the necessary work, but it will also give you an insight into the industry.
Age isn't a barrier to qualifying as an auto electrician, but you will need to have your Year 10 qualifications in the bag. Once you have these, you can choose to complete a Certificate II in Automotive Electrical Technology or take an apprenticeship. Both pathways will take at least three to four years to complete.
If you do decide to enrol in a certificate of your own accord, it will cost upwards of $6,000. When you become qualified through an apprenticeship, your employer or the government may pay the fees for you. Typically, you'll also receive an apprenticeship wage throughout the training period.
To help you navigate your way through the world of business, you might think about upskilling with a short online course in business or marketing.
You can study a certificate level course or short course through providers such as TAFE or Udemy. You'll find a range of business courses covering topics such as small business management, market research, digital branding and engagement, and financial planning. Here are some courses to consider:
You'll need to invest a good amount of money into buying specialist equipment for your auto electrical business. A few essentials include:
To help run the behind-the-scenes of your business, you may consider buying the following:
The initial stages of setting up an auto electrical business may involve a lot of paperwork. Before anything else, you'll want to register for an Australian Business Number (ABN) and a tax file number (TFN).
Once all of this is in order, the next step is to decide how you want to structure your business and the best fit will depend on your circumstances. Do you want to function as a Sole Trader, Partnership or Company? Here's a quick overview of what each structure can offer you and your business:
No-one enjoys the red tape that comes along with owning a business. However, to protect yourself and your business, well-written legal documents are a must. For an auto electrical business, you may find the following useful:
It may also be worth speaking to a lawyer from the start to ensure your business meets all the legal requirements. Some lawyers you could speak to include:
Luckily, you don't have to sort out the legal stuff alone. There are plenty of legal professionals and services available at the click of a button. If you simply need help writing up a document, there are plenty of legal templates available online too.
You need to be visible if you want to attract new customers to your business. This can be achieved through effective marketing and communication. To increase your visibility across the Internet, you need to make sure that you:
More recently, tradespeople have been using online job marketplaces to advertise their services. These include leading sites such as Airtasker, hipages and Oneflare. The way these marketplaces work is by connecting local businesses with customers in their area.
Generally, on these platforms, people can post a job that they need completing and, if you have the time and the skills to complete it, you can provide a quote for the job. Alternatively, you can post about your services and locals can get in touch with you that way.
Many auto electricians operate a simple pricing system and have a fixed hourly rate for their services. Depending on your expertise and experience, you might be able to charge between $80 and $120 an hour, not including materials. Typically, auto electricians also add on a call-out fee for any jobs that require remote assistance.
Every job is different, so you'll need to factor in the size of the job, how complicated it is and the materials you'll need to use. It's good practice to provide your customers with a quote before you begin the job, so everyone knows what to expect.
Do auto electricians have a good career?
The world shows few signs of losing its reliance on cars to get us from A to B. While day-to-day tasks will require some hard work, auto electricians can receive a good salary in what can be a rewarding career path.
How much do auto electricians earn a year?
Auto electricians typically earn between $60,000 and $100,000 each year. When you own your own auto electrical business, your earning potential could be far higher.
How do I start a successful auto electrical store?
A key factor in running a successful auto electrical store is to provide excellent customer service and to price your services correctly. By providing a fairly priced and high-quality service, your reputation will speak for itself and put you on the path to success.Back to top
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