MK Electric recently worked with Nick Bundy, owner of Nick Bundy Electrical, to review its newly launched MK Base range. Here he gives his thoughts on the product and offers tips for managing tighter client budgets without compromising quality.
When I first came into the industry MK was everywhere, from sockets to switches and terminal boxes. It’s a brand that I’d never really fitted until now, mainly because I often find myself working to a client budget and the price of the sockets and switches compared to other brands was just too much. That has all changed now the MK Base range has arrived, offering a product at a competitive price but with the quality associated with MK Electric and a 20-year guarantee. I installed the product as part of a recent house rewire video for my YouTube channel and I was impressed. On the back of the dual USB socket, for instance, it’s not too thick. Sometimes you can find they’re way too deep, and you have to fit a pattress. We use 35mm backplates and it fitted nicely. The nice big screw points mean I can get some get pressure on it to tighten it up too.
5 TOP TIPS WHEN WORKING TO A TIGHT BUDGET
Knowing where and how to save both time and money on a job is vital, so here’s a few tips to make sure both stay under control:
1. Choose time-saving products
On jobs with tight budgets, it’s tempting to use low-quality parts to reduce the costs. But this can be a false economy if they take more time to install. One feature that stood out to me on the MK Base switches was that they have good sized pins and you have big enough terminal points to use a decent-sized screwdriver. We’ve fitted other budget ranges and found that they’re so small you end up using a tiny 2.5 flat head to tighten them up. We were able to use a 4mm across the install in this case.
2. Identify risks before/during a job
When you’re on a job, it’s important to keep to the scope of work so that the project stays within budget. Many readers will have been on jobs where instead of taking up three or four floorboards as (wrongly) anticipated, it ended up being far more time-consuming! That’s why it’s important to identify any risks that may affect the cost of the project and warn the customer beforehand. There are often tasks that have the potential to be more awkward than we initially thought, but we won’t know for sure until we can take a proper look. We tend to build these risks into our budgeting so that we can manage customer expectations. Once we’re on the job, it’s good to continue to think ahead and look out for any upcoming issues that could risk going over budget. This way, if something unexpected comes up we can discuss it with the customer in good time and give them the option to requote the job and change the plan, if required.
3. Look at alternative installation methods
The most expensive part of a job is our time, so if it can be done without impacting on safety or performance, this would reduce the cost for the client. For example, if a customer wanted additional sockets installed, instead of sinking the cables, you could surface mount them and use trunking to hide the cables as a cheaper option. This could work for back-of-house areas that aren’t as visible to customers or occupants.
4. Quote for extra work (if requested)
Another way that a job can start to creep outside of budget is when customers want extra tasks done without realising that these would add to the price they’d been quoted. By providing additional quotes to the customer for these jobs, you can make sure that they’re happy for you to carry out the extra work.
5. Ensure the customer has choice
On bigger jobs, it’s nice for the customer to have options, even if the budget is small. You can easily do this by offering different finishes for the same product. Some manufacturers have ranges with modules and front plates that can be mixed and matched, so you can combine premium-looking switches with a less expensive front plate or vice versa – MK Base being a prime example. It’s a simple way to take your offering up a notch and open up opportunities to upsell without straying too far from the original budget.
To watch Nick’s Base review video click here
To get more details on the MK Base Range click here