Get the Spark for Electric Supplies: Start Your Own Business

20/09/2018 18:00 | Start a business

electrical supplies

The electrical supplies sector is a massive industry that generates substantial amounts of revenue every year. Here, we take a look at the state of the industry, where its heading, and why franchising is so well suited to the industry.

Electrical industry

The UK electrical industry generates an approximate annual revenue of £24 billion and employs around 175,000 people across the country. It includes electrical goods retailers, as well as the work of those technicians responsible for installing, repairing, and servicing electrical systems in homes and other types of construction. After a recent slump, the industry has grown slowly but consistently over the last few years and has achieved a stable growth rate of roughly 0.3%. This points to a healthy future for the industry and is a good sign for anyone hoping to open a new business in the sector.

Just under 45,000 businesses are operating in the electrical industry. Though there are large-scale organisations working in the sector, it still predominately consists of smaller organisations and independents. Contracting still plays a large role in the industry, and many electricians operate as self-employed workers. However, not many go as far as setting up their own business.

Read more: Buy a Business with Franchising

The future of the industry

The electricity industry is heavily intertwined with the construction industry. Consequently, booms in construction have a knock-on effect on the electricity sector. Conversely, a struggling construction sector will limit profitability in the electricity industry. In tough times, the industry struggles due to price competition, with different business and contractors dropping prices in an attempt to win what little work there is.

The industry also currently has an issue with skills shortages. As fewer people train as electricians, electrical engineers, or specialist retailers, theres a smaller talent pool to draw on, and the industry suffers from a lack of expertise. Finally, government efforts to subsidise residential construction has also had a significant impact on the industry, supporting it and encouraging growth during a tough period.

UK electrical supplies

The electrical supplies industry is diverse and covers a wide range of stores and products. This includes both residential and commercial equipment, such as lighting fixtures, heating systems, ventilation systems, generators, and air conditioning systems, amongst other things. It is dependent on the production of raw materials, particularly metals, such as copper, aluminium, and steel. This means that prices in the industry often fluctuate due to an increase or decrease in the value of these materials. In the UK, research and development play an essential role in ensuring that electrical suppliers can refresh and revitalise their product lines constantly.

Specialist businesses

In the UK electrical sector, there are numerous niches in which a company or franchise could fit. For instance, electricians can specialise in certain types of build, such as homes, hotel refurbishment, office spaces, or outdoor events. On the other hand, retailers can specialise in residential or commercial goods or a particular type of electrical product. In this respect, there are excellent opportunities for a business owner with some expertise and the ability to exploit gaps in the market.

Benefits of the franchising system

Electrical suppliers can benefit from adopting the franchise model in many different ways. Currently, franchises specialising in the provision of electrical good or services are limited to home repair experts and general DIY stores. Few electrical suppliers utilise the franchise model to their advantage, and there's certainly an opportunity to be had if a talented, business-orientated individual can create a well-branded, high-quality retailer thats capable of servicing the needs of customers across the industry.

The franchise model is advantageous for many reasons. Here, we take a look at the top three and examine the benefits that franchising has over traditional start-up operations particularly in respect to the electrical supplies sector.

1. Brand reach

First and foremost, franchising allows you to expand your brands reach and target many more customers. While independents can market themselves effectively, its much harder to build a recognisable brand when your business is limited to a single premise. Large, successful brands all have one thing in common they achieve greater recognition by spreading across different regional markets and advertising to as many people as possible.

Franchising is designed to facilitate this type of growth and to expand the reach of a brand. However, its important to note that businesses still need to dedicate serious resources to their marketing efforts if theyre to build a successful brand. Expansion alone wont result in the development of a powerful brand experience businesses need to create a coherent identity and utilise the same tone of voice in all of their advertising efforts.

2. Training

Some of the most significant benefits of the franchising system are the training opportunities. These opportunities are particularly important in the electrical industry, where theres a great deal of specialist knowledge to get to grips with. The best franchises are those that understand the importance of staff training and ensure that their employees are fully prepared for their roles. This may take the form of regular workshops, online e-learning opportunities, or conferences. Events like these are also useful when it comes to keeping up with the latest developments in the industry.

3. Ongoing support

Finally, franchises can provide individual franchisees with a great deal of support and guidance. This ensures that all franchisees have the best possible chance of turning a profit and growing their businesses. It also guarantees that all franchisees are operating to a similar standard and that the brand is protected as a result.


The electrical supplies industry makes an impressive contribution to the UK economy. Within the industry, theres plenty of opportunity for new businesses with a strong brand. The industry is also well suited to franchising, even though there are few franchises currently operating in the sector. If youre looking to start a new business in the industry and feel as though youve got what it takes to run a large-scale business network, franchising may be the best way to grow your organisation.

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