Compliments to the contractors sparking life into a property near you
Talented twosome Alex Wheeler and Tom Hutton, Co Founders of A&T Electrical and Building Services, explain that one of their key challenges has been building a client base.
Tell us what your business is/what your business offers?
We are an electrical and building contractor based across London and the South East. Our business offers practical and creative solutions for commercial or public facilities.
What was it that inspired you to set-up your own business?
After being self-employed for over ten years each, we decided to take the plunge and start a business. We both worked as independent subcontractors and wanted to experience life as a small business and the best option for us was to work in partnership and combine our skills.
We’re both passionate about what we do and saw the potential for success, which was the final push for us to start our own company. A&T Electrical and Building Services has been running now for almost two years and continues to grow day by day. We now have an apprentice and we support him through his studies to learn our trade.
Construction can be a very tough industry to crack and relying on others to get you work can sometimes be difficult – we learnt that very quickly, although we’re both hugely driven to build our own success. The creation of our business has indeed helped us to carve out our own future. We now have the freedom and opportunity to shape a future for ourselves, but we never take this for granted. We want to grow a business that inspires others to learn our trade and the stepping-stones are already in place for this.
Do you think an Entrepreneur ISA and a Small Business Savings Allowance would have helped aid your company’s growth in the early stages?
We do! Any support that the Government can provide to help small businesses we would welcome with open arms! With any small business, getting it off the ground and building up a pot that can help you through the difficult times is the key to future success. Cash flow is one of the biggest concerns of a small business and having enough money to cover you through difficult times can be a real struggle.
We’re still in the infancy of starting our business and are realistic about the challenges we could face. But we’re both feeling optimistic.
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced so far?
The biggest challenge was moving from being self-employed to building up a client base as a limited company. Selling your business to clients and encouraging them to trust you to carry out the work can sometimes be tough, but when the first client comes through and you’re able to showcase the fantastic work we can do, it’s a huge confidence boost.
We’re dedicated each and every day to land big projects and to maintain the success we see in our company today and to ensure that we continue to bring money into the business, even during quieter times.
Planning ahead is one of the biggest issues we face and we’re always thinking about what we’re doing from one month until the next – especially as we now have employees who are relying on us to keep them busy with work and a steady income.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Our first piece advice would be to ensure that you have a good accountant working for you, so you don’t have to focus on finances on a daily basis. This allows us to concentrate on securing business and planning for the future. Ultimately, spend your time on tasks where you can offer the most value to your business.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to explore the new and unknown. Without taking risks you’ll never reap the benefits, so always have belief in yourself that you can do it.
What is your proudest achievement to date as a company?
Looking to expand our company and doing so with additions to the team. It’s a proud moment when you can say you’re offering someone the same opportunity that you were given at 16, who also wants to learn a trade.
Keeping young adults engaged in the building trade is important to keeping our economy turning and our business is helping someone to do that – which we are really proud of.
Alex Wheeler and Tom Hutton are the Co-Founders of A&T Electrical and Building Services.