Learn how a Bristol-based Electrician saves hours each week with Powered Now
Taking the stress out of audits, admin & paperwork
Starting an Electrical Business is Stressful
Alex Rook of Rook Electrical has been an electrician all his working life, spending a substantial amount of it managing an electrical department for a heating company.
In June 2019 he took the plunge into self-employment, wanting to get back to hands-on customer work rather than managing other team members.
“It was quite stressful in the heating company and the problems I was having to sort were usually plumbing ones!” says Alex.
“I wanted to focus more on the electrical side of things, and I could only really do that by going out on my own.”
Dealing with the challenge of Job Management Systems
Having worked for a larger organisation Alex had some insight into job management systems that didn’t quite do what they promised.
“They’re supposed to save time and make life easier,” says Alex, “but there can be issues."
“Starting out on my own I didn’t want to fall foul of things like having to enter data multiple times, and then not being able to find customer information quickly and easily.”
Alex was looking for a job management tool that was reliable and tailored to his trade and to the size of his business.
“I also wanted software that would help me manage the certification process,” he says.
“In fact this is how I found Powered Now on the app store – by searching for trade certificates. Powered Now is one of the few job management apps that specifically caters for these.”
Why Powered Now?
“Powered Now does exactly what it says on the tin!” says Alex.
“As a one-man-band, I needed a tool that supports small businesses, and the amount of functionality that’s all in one place in Powered Now is great.”
Supporting accreditation audits
As a member of trade accreditation body NICEIC, Alex must have his work audited every year.
“Powered Now helps make the audit a lot more straightforward,” he explains.
“As well as checking insurance, equipment calibration and all the documents and regulations, when NICEIC come to visit they also want to see a database of jobs, and check all the certification logs."
“Having the jobs and certificates all in one place on Powered Now, rather than having to cross-refer to the job information from a separate system, is one less headache at audit time.”
Saving certification costs
NICEIC charge a nominal fee for certificates raised on their app, whereas PoweredNow allows certificates to be created within the subscription fee for the tool.
“It’s only pence, but it does mount up,” comments Alex. “Powered Now saves this cost and gives me the added benefit of having the certificate alongside the job.”
“In just over 2 years I’ve carried out about 2000 jobs for 1500 customers in my local area,” says Alex.
“I was quite surprised how members of the public responded to a tradesman who took their call personally, scheduled the appointment, sent reminders and then turned up to do the work!"
“I think they’re quite impressed because they don’t always have that experience. Powered Now makes it easy to provide an efficient, reliable service with a personal touch. Even little things like having a postcode finder built-in means that customers feel confident that I’ll be able to find them. I like being my customers’ single point of contact throughout the job – it builds trust, and means there is less confusion between making the booking and the final certification.”
Commenting on how Powered Now helps to chase up payments Alex says:
“Powered Now shows the statuses and dates of invoices so it’s easy to track when payments are due. I’ve created some templates to chase late payments. My wife keeps an eye on payments and helps me send the reminders out of Powered Now. It gives customers the impression that there is an accounts team following them up. Luckily we’ve not had to use the 4th reminder yet!”
With a slick appointment system, Rook Electrical is booked up weeks in advance, making for a very steady local business.
"Most of my work is within a 2-mile radius of home too,” Alex says. “If I’d known I would have bought an electric van rather than a diesel!"
“I’ve also recently decided to take Fridays off to spend with my wife. I’m busy every day, have nice customers who pay and am enjoying stress-free working!”
“PoweredNow is definitely saving me time, and helping me invoice quicker,” says Alex. “I’m now able to invoice at the job because it all comes out of the app.
“There are also some good features that I didn’t realise would be so useful and time-saving – such as the ability to take photos and make notes during the survey that are then attached to the job record."
“Having the financial functionality saves me time with tax returns too. My accountant is happy with what I send over from Powered Now.”
Alex has built a very steady family business in Rook Electrical.
“I’m not really looking to expand at the moment, as the business is just right for what my family needs,” he says.
“I can see the possibility of my son becoming an apprentice in the future and being able to inherit a ready-made and efficient business.”
“Working with Powered Now has been a very good experience. The tool is great, and it definitely helps you get more organised in your business,” says Alex.
Powered Now says
"It’s good to hear that Alex has built up such a strong customer base over the past couple of years as a sole trader – and that Powered Now was his job management tool of choice right from the beginning of his new venture.
It’s very pleasing that the features of the tool are helping him create the kind of business that supports his family in the way he wants it to.
Tradespeople are amongst the most highly regulated profession, with lots of different accreditation bodies monitoring their work. We deliberately designed Powered Now to work in conjunction with the most prominent associations and to make the trade’s experience of complying with regulations and audits as easy as possible.
Alex always gives us great feedback and suggestions on additional functionality, and it’s with dedicated customers like him that we can continue to offer the best tailored service to small businesses.
We wish Alex continued success – and look forward to the time when his new apprentice starts using the app too!"