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Hiya,

I'm new to this forum so treat me gently. Believe it or not I'm actually an apprentice for a very big fire & security company in UK based all over. I'll be qualified in July and hopefully start a fire and security company mid to end of his year.

I've worked in the industry for nearly 5 years doing mainly fire but have installed dozens of intruder, cctv and access control. I'm after some advice on how to start up? What do I need etc such as tools, van.

What's the best way of getting customers to start off with? Ads on websites, leaflets around estates?

I don't want to be messed around with or lead off the subject, I'd like some proper advice if possible. I am very eager and willing to commit myself to long days and wanting a successful business.

For the moment I am going to run this business on a part time basis on an evening and weekends, just to see how I cope with it, whilst still having a daytime job. Do I register self employed whilst still working for another company?

I have a logo all ready, company name will be TPE Fire & Security and have all literature and sales literature ready.

I've seen forum on here which have been very successful like Wolf Fire & Security. They look great and I'd hopefully want to do something like that; start small, build big!

Open to suggestions on how I should start?

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My advice on starting an electronic security company is - don't.

 

However is your silly enough -

 

a) form a ltd; co.

b) inform your current employer

c) advertising - lettered van + website is all we do

 

The problem is, you need to be established & approved to get the work worth doing.

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busy twisting coloured wires & hanging off ladders....

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I'd hopefully want to do something like that; start small, build big!

 

Unfortunately - in this industry - I'd argue the only real 'way in' left is start big already (i.e aquisition), get even bigger...

Edited by datadiffusion

So, I've decided to take my work back underground.... to stop it falling into the wrong hands

 

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Why limited instead of sole trader?

 

prudence 


busy twisting coloured wires & hanging off ladders....

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Quite a bit which will be the same if you are part time (like me) or not.

 

Efficiency Insurance

Public Liability Insurance

Business type car/van insurance

At least some stock as spares against call outs

Ideally a separate landline or at least the appearance of one that directs to a mobile

Book-keeper (or DIY)

Accountant (DIY can be done, but not always the best way)

Vetting if your hoping to be approved

Ltd. status if you're hoping to be approved

 

That's just off the top of my head.


So, I've decided to take my work back underground.... to stop it falling into the wrong hands

 

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My advice would be to read up on all the above and make sure you have a full understanding of everything you are doing or going to do. Knowledge is critical when used in the correct format!

 

You can never learn enough, you have two ears and one mouth. Take in all information available and act accordingly!

 

My honest opinion if you need to ask such basic questions i.e. what do I need tools, van etc. Then you aren't ready and you need to learn a lot more. But i'm just one opinion so go for it if you feel it's right! Good luck!

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My advise would be start off as a subbie this way you will have work while you are doing your own thing, as a one man band you will never earn enough to pay your way otherwise

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Ok so weeks before I left a large national to start up I had the following in place, this was almost 10 years ago now.

Car already signed up

Loads of stock

All of the tools, ladders etc

A years wages saved up in the bank as a backup

Loads of contacts potential customers I had met over the years

Accountant in place

Ltd company set up and ready to trade

Docket books, invoice books etc printed and ready to use.

I think it cost about £6k to put the above in place excluding the years wage I had saved up.

Then a lot of very long hours to get things up off the ground and running and finally never give up just keep going and trying.

And get approval ASAP.

Would I do it again, NO WAY.

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Would I do it again, NO WAY.

I was only saying to one of my engineers just the other day, you boys think its easy for me sitting in a nice warm office, drinking tea made by fair maidens, you forget everytime you have a bad day I also have a bad day, the problem is theres several of you,and sometimes several of you have a bad day on the same day and that means I have a bad day several times the size of your bad day. Then theres the customers, they do their level best to get out of paying, "but the engineer said its the service guys fault" or " I pay £79.00 per year so call-outs should be free"  Then theres the admin staff "I didnt send an invoice because the engineer didnt sign the paperwork" or " I thought I would order an extra one of those for stock because we didnt have any" never mind the fact that we have only used one of those in the last twenty years and its likely to be twenty years til we need another then. Yeah running your own company is a barrel of laughs most days. Still at least I have plenty of £50.00 notes to light my cigars with

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Loads of stock

All of the tools, ladders etc

 

Yeah, ADT are still pretty lapse with stock and plant control now.


Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.


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I'm sure the benefits massively outweigh the guy who has just ordered stock of 60 x claw hammers.

An engineer will always look at the gaffer and think they have it good as in there eyes your creaming the money of the top... Probably don't understand the effort gone into the sales enquiry and the general upkeep of the business let alone the stresses of keeping the company afloat. But that's business in general, everyone thinks there job is the most important.

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Yeah, ADT are still pretty lapse with stock and plant control now.

Yep, see loads of subbies with ADT ladders

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 But that's business in general, everyone thinks there job is the most important.

Everyone is replaceable and usually by someone better, because the boss learns from his mistakes and knows what to look for, a good business is ever evolving. That said I have yet to find the perfect employee, most are successfully running there own businesses

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Whistle is it worth it? Do you make a good turn over?

I'm definitely going ahead with it and just want to put everything in place now so I don't fail. Hopefully I'll succeed, I have a lot of contacts who'd I could work for,

It's exciting!

Hopefully all goes well, I'll probably take on my mate, who will be a fully qualified sparky next year.

So all needed for bare essential is obviously tools etc. I know all that but obviously insurance, back up of money incase all fails etc? Anything else

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Everyone is replaceable and usually by someone better, because the boss learns from his mistakes and knows what to look for, a good business is ever evolving. That said I have yet to find the perfect employee, most are successfully running there own businesses

the sad thing is you actually believe that.....

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the sad thing is you actually believe that.....

I said Most Gaz, you are probably the exception, and everytime I have lost an engineer I have got a better replacement ....though in some cases that wasnt hard

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Whistle is it worth it? Do you make a good turn over?

I'm definitely going ahead with it and just want to put everything in place now so I don't fail. Hopefully I'll succeed, I have a lot of contacts who'd I could work for,

It's exciting!

Hopefully all goes well, I'll probably take on my mate, who will be a fully qualified sparky next year.

So all needed for bare essential is obviously tools etc. I know all that but obviously insurance, back up of money incase all fails etc? Anything else

Turnover is nothing we could all be busy fools you need to make profit not turnover

im assuming its the other statement pete

I assumed it was the one he quoted

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I said Most Gaz, you are probably the exception, and everytime I have lost an engineer I have got a better replacement ....though in some cases that wasnt hard

any business is only as good as the people working in it at any given time,from top to bottom

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Yes our turn over is great turning that into profit is the biggest task.

And then of course paying the least amount of tax on it.

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