We put the questions to Dan McAdam, founder of Re-Wired, a firm that offers specialist support to electrical contractors to help free them from the burden of daily administration and business tasks.
Q. Where did the idea for Re-Wired come from?
Sitting in a pub (of course) about six years ago I was having a drink with a friend of mine, Ross, who is an electrician. He explained how difficult everything had become in terms of trying to keep up with the day-to-day paperwork as well as spending each day working on the tools. He had a young family and was finding it incredibly stressful (“almost impossible”) trying to juggle his private life and business/administration responsibilities at the same time. I remember saying to him: “surely there must be a way of alleviating this stress and helping you out” to which his reply was: “if you can make it work, you’ll save my marriage Dan”. That is when I started giving the concept some serious thought and appreciated just how much of a requirement there is for a service such as the one we provide. Ross was my very first customer and he is still with us to this day!
Q. As the founder, what is your own professional background?
I previously ran a lighting company that specialised in converting commercial premises to LED and offering finance for each project. During this time I gained a great understanding of the lighting industry. I was then offered a business consultancy role at a large electrical contractors who were interested in setting up a domestic division. Here I was able to gain the additional knowledge required (such as the difference between an RCBO and MCB) to fully support our domestic electricians working on the road. Unbeknown to me, but the experience also helped me secure the knowledge I’d need to launch Re-Wired.
Q. How does Re-Wired work as a concept and how is it useful to electrical businesses?
The concept works very much as a consultancy. I like to find out exactly what a potential customer is having issues with and then offer the appropriate service to help with said issue. I like to look at the main two benefits as being: a) we can help the electrician to develop and grow their business, and b) we can aid with improving their overall work/life balance. Its always great to see a company expand and succeed but the most rewarding part of it all is receiving a text message from a partner thanking me because “the kids have got their Dad back!” I think the service is quite unique, as all my staff have a background in the electrical industry and we’re more than capable of discussing the colour temperature of an LED GU10 or helping with other tasks.
Q. What outsourced services does Re-Wired offer?
We offer assistance with many different tasks, including quoting, call handling, scheduling the diary, invoicing, emails, marketing and general business advice.
Q. How important is it that an electrical business owner who may be more ‘hands on’ is free from the shackles of managing the different elements of the business?
I think its unbelievably important for so many reasons, the most important being the sanity of the business owner. I’ve taken on clients that have been working on their own for 10 years, with them experiencing some good years and also some bad years. Once they successfully outsource the administration we’ve often doubled (and sometimes tripled) their turnover in a 2-3 year period. I don’t think the problem is that electrical business owners don’t appreciate the burden of the ‘paperwork’ it’s just very difficult to know who to give it to if you aren’t in a position to take on a full time member of office staff. Due to our understanding of the industry, terminology, materials, requirements, and best practice we can hopefully be that safe pair of hands an individual has been looking for.
Q. What sort of costs or subscription fees are involved?
There are a number of services and options tailored to the clients’ requirements which all vary in price. We offer simple call handling all the way up to a full back-office support. Prices vary across the offerings, so a chat is always the best place to start.
Q. How is the business progressing so far?
Business is great, however I feel we haven’t really scratched the surface of what’s possible. We’ve grown to a team of seven quite quickly with two more recruits on the horizon. I literally have the most incredible team working with me, bonded by our shared desire to make a difference and the fact that life is unfortunately too short, so we should probably have a laugh along the way. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to James Dewane a couple of years ago. James is a business improvement specialist and runs The Toolbox community to help electricians grow and develop their businesses locally. As a result, I’ve had a captive audience for the last couple of years with many of his clients becoming customers of mine as well. I’m eternally grateful for the support he has shown me but would now like to spread the word a little further. We’re currently working with approximately 40 electricians up and down the country and all have enjoyed a great deal of success. I like to think we’re the missing piece of the jigsaw. Our clients can concentrate on being a great spark and we’ll take care of the rest.
Q. What would you say to those electrical businesses who may be sceptical about using a third-party service like this?
Give it a go, you’ve got nothing to lose. There’s no sign up or legal contract so the worst case scenario is that it doesn’t work and you’re back to where you are. The best case scenario, however, is that you earn more and do less!
To get more details about Re-Wired and its services click here