When it comes to steak—or dessert, for that matter—bigger is definitely better. But in the electrical trade, that adage doesn’t always ring true. Just in time for Small Business Saturday, we’re celebrating the small electrical contractors that think big. Here are a few tips and resources to help you boost business, stay lean, and reduce your Total Cost of Install (TCI).
Streamline Inventory Management
Poorly managed inventory is particularly costly for small electrical contractors. If you order more materials than you need, profits can dwindle and returns rise. If you don’t have the materials you need to get the job done, your best workers sit idle while you watch your Total Cost of Install balloon. If you’re striving for greater profits and lower costs, take a closer look at how you manage inventory supply.
Reduce the headache of managing jobsite materials with the Graybar SmartStock® inventory management system. With a convenient organization system, including barcoding, a PDA scanner, and sophisticated ordering, you’ll never wonder what materials you have on hand or where to find them. Setup is straightforward, and Graybar will tackle post-project returns for you.
Bid More Efficiently & Accurately
For small contractors, creating accurate, competitive bids is tricky. If you bid too high, you could lose the job. If you bid too low, your profits plummet. Winning new business is important, but bidding shouldn’t cost more than it’s worth. Small contractors can’t afford to lose out, so don’t let human error be the deciding factor.
Take the guesswork out of bidding with electronic estimation software from Graybar. With the click of a button, you can price out materials and labor far quicker than you could by hand. If you’re submitting one or two bids a week, shaving a few hours off the process could save you tons of time in the long-run. As the old saying goes, time is money.
Improve Cash Flow
Small contractors are no stranger to cash flow issues. Running a lean business is important, but sometimes you need additional funds to purchase inventory, hire subcontractors, or make it through a seasonal lull. Securing a loan from a bank can be an arduous, lengthy process, which isn’t exactly helpful when you need quick cash to cover unexpected expenses.
Graybar’s financial solutions help small contractors overcome common cash flow issues. With an approval rate of 75-80 percent for qualified applicants, working capital loans start at $5,000. Here are some of the benefits:
- No long-term commitment or hidden fees
- Flexible terms that range from 6-24 months
- Receive funds in as few as five days
- Flexibility for additional capital
- No restrictions on how you use the loan for your business
With Graybar Financial Services, you can also offer your customers the option of a monthly payment for capital expenditures on certain projects. With costs spread out over time, your proposal rises to the top and your customers could even see savings from day one.
Here are a few additional resources to help you boost profits and cut costs:
- Uncover Your Total Cost of Install
- Luck of The Irish: 3 Ways Electrical Contractors Can Earn More Green
- Landing Steak-for-Dinner Customers: Website Content That Converts
Over to You
As National Market Manager at Graybar, Todd’s goal is to find the best products and solutions to help contractors work more efficiently, stay safe on the job, and win more productive and profitable business.