When you quote for a job, customers will either have been asking friends and family or Google, what they should expect to pay, so you might not have much room for manoeuvre.
So you need to work smarter, by investing in goods that are quicker and easier to install.
Word of mouth is powerful, and spreads faster than ever these days. It’s taken on new dimensions with internet sites that rate traders and local neighbourhood forums. The world will soon know if you’ve installed duff products, whether the job was fitting a fused spur for £50/e56 or rewiring a family home for £5,000/e5,558. You simply cannot afford the risk of being associated with failing products.
The best way to boost your productivity and profitability is by minimising the time it takes to do, and avoiding altogether the need ever to go back and put a bad job right.
You’ve probably got a good idea how long a task should take, based on experience, but I’d like to suggest that you look again at some of the routine jobs. Our focus on the installer market has included a determination to design products that you can fit much faster. Refinements like bigger wiring blocks, replaceable cable knock-outs, glands shaped for UK’s oval cables, or putting all the wiring in an outdoor light’s back box so that the heavier floodlight can be clipped on in seconds, all give you time (as do wall brackets that won’t remind you of trying to build flat-pack furniture).
Squeezing extra functionality like timing and RCD protection into standard back boxes, so that you only need to make a simple wire-for-wire replacement, have been another great leap forward, pioneered by Timeguard.
Of course, quality counts, and key things to look out for are how many years the manufacturer has been prepared to guarantee the goods for, and that they are tested and rated to do the job you have in mind. For instance, lower-quality PIR switches might not have been tested with the LED inrush currents associated with their rating. At Timeguard, we were among the first manufacturers to highlight this problem and give a clear indication of tested LED ratings on the boxes.
Looking inside the box pays dividends – especially if there’s no information on the outside. It will show you how easy and quick (or hard and seemingly-endless) wiring anything from a PIR to a porch light up is going to be. For instance, putting all the wiring in the back box is another way we help to give you precious time. It’s obviously going to be much easier to wire in a small back box and then simply clip on the heavier light and reflector unit, than battle with the whole system at the top of a ladder.
By pre-fitting PIR or photocell sensors to the wiring blocks, we turn installation into even-quicker plug-and-play. This year, we’ve added even-larger wiring blocks to our latest range of LED lighting, with an extra terminal available for looping out.
Ever had to start again because you made the wrong knock-out? Why not choose Timeguard products with replaceable knock-outs, like our Weathersafe Vision outdoor sockets. Captive screws are always a good idea too – check out our new LED range for an example of that.
In summary – fit kit that’s been designed with a focus on what you, the installer, need in terms of reliability and easy installation. You’ll benefit from good reviews and endorsements, and maybe even a shorter working day.