How to start an electrician business in South Africa

Find out what you need to know about starting an electrician business in South Africa.

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How can you start an electrician business in South Africa?

Electricians work with the design, installation, and maintenance of household or business electrical systems. Does this interest you? Discover more about starting your own electrician business.

We chatted with Fred and his son Conna about their experiences starting and running their electrician business, GMP Projects ([email protected]).

Be inspired by what Fred and Conna had to say about their business.

What led you to start your own business?

"While working for a company, I did serve my time as an apprentice in the electrical field and passed my Trade Test and Red Seal.

"I saw the plumbing field as a challenge, did my time as an apprentice, and got my Plumbing Certificate. With that as a starting baseline, I decided to work for myself."

What personal qualities do you need to start your own business?

"A lot of perseverance. Know that you have to be on call 24/7.

"As you have not set a goal for yourself in the future, you must put your work before anything else.

"I advertised in newspapers and handed out flyers and business cards."

Did you have an informal start to your business? 

"I registered my company, and with my first job, it took off from there."

What challenges did you experience when starting your business?

"Cash flow was a huge challenge, as I did not want overdrafts and accounts at my suppliers.

"Also, getting publicity, so people know about my business."

What challenges do you currently experience running your business?

"I'll give you an example. First, I completed an electrical installation for a client. Then, once I was done, the client informed me that he only had some of the money available and would pay me the rest ASAP, which could go on for a long time."

Why did you choose to have an electrician business?

"My dad was an electrician, and I started working with him on house and factory callouts while I was still at school.

"I wanted to know how things work and how to fault-find a problem from a young age."

What are the benefits of having your own business?

  • "I travel from one job to another and meet very interesting people.

  • "As I love my work, it does not always feel like work.

  • "I am my own boss, and if I make some money at least it ends up in my bank account."

Are there disadvantages to having your own business?

"If there is no work, there is no income, but if you are an employee of a company, you are quite certain of your salary."

What advice do you have for starting an electrician business in South Africa?

  • "First, you get qualifications.

  • "Then, save a sum of money, as your expenses are a lot when starting."

How did you fund your business at the start?

"I saved money for a startup and knew people who made fliers and business cards to let people know about me."

Find out more about small business funding

Learn more about business loans or other lending options.

What makes South Africa great for starting a business?

"To be able to do more than one type of job as in other countries you are limited to a certain job."

Is it worth it to have your own small business in South Africa?

"I do believe so. It is hard, but if you give people a good job, they will come back, talk to their friends, and your reputation as a good electrician goes far by word of mouth."

Chatting with Fred and Conna left us inspired. Do you still have questions? Then, read on to learn more about starting your own electrician business.

Learn more about starting an electrician business

How do you set up your own electrical business? You first need to register with the Department of Labour (DOL) before you can tackle any electrical installations. This will open your world, enabling you to work for another company or start your own business.

Get your DOL Certification

You’ll have to get the following:

  • An appropriate degree or trade qualification

  • A Wireman’s Licence or employ a person who has one.

  • Pass the trade test.

  • NQF Level 3 minimum with a Technical Senior Certificate.

  • Pass the SANS 10142-1 national examination.

Perhaps you are starting your own electrical business without having a Wireman’s License.

  • In that case, you will have to submit to the DOL the registration card of your licensed employee. 

  • An ESTA assessor then approves your trade test, the NQF Level 3 examinations and the SANS 10142-1 national examination. This forms part of your Wireman’s License.

Submitting your application to the DOL

Complete the application form from their website and submit all the required documents.

Get experienced first

No one can be an expert from the start. After you have obtained your DOL certificate, join an electrician business to gain some experience.

You’ll learn how such a company operates and how it deals with its challenges. Then, it will be safer and easier to start your own company after a while.

How will your customers pay you?

Yoco offers a range of card machines to meet all your needs. Get safely paid on the spot for each callout.

What is the cost of starting an electrician business in South Africa?

The startup capital you could need for your business can range from R15 000 – R30 000 or more.

If you need fast funding for your electrical company, Yoco makes available Yoco Capital to qualifying* Yoco merchants. *T's and C's apply.

Are you not a Yoco merchant yet? Sign up with Yoco now.

How will you manage your business?

Keep your fingers on the pulse by carefully managing your business income, employees and all other business operations. As a Yoco customer, Yoco offers you the Yoco Portal, a free business management software, and the free Yoco App.

Do you need more information about starting a business?

Learn more about starting your own business in South Africa.

Get started and grow with Yoco

We at Yoco have helped grow 250 000 businesses so far. Take a look at some of the success stories described in our blog. These are entrepreneurs who decided to join Yoco and get paid. So, what are you waiting for now?

If you have any questions, contact us, and we’ll be happy to help you.


Disclaimer: Please get financial advice from a certified financial adviser. This article is for informational purposes only.

Source: How To Start Electrical Company In South Africa

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