So, you have been toying with the idea of being an entrepreneur rather than working for someone? Taking a leap from working as an employee to turning into your own boss can be intimidating, but again what is business without risks? We have listed a step-by-step approach to what Test and Tag is and how you can start your own business
What is Test and Tag?
It is imperative to understand what Test and Tag is before you contemplate making it your thriving source of income. Test and Tag is the process of checking the safety of portable electrical appliances. Although not mandatory, under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, it is the responsibility of every employer to ensure the safety of their employees by getting their portable electrical appliances checked every 12-24 months. This is where a Test and Tag technician is summoned to ensure all the items are safe to use under AS/NZS 3012:2010.
Are you eligible?
There is a common misunderstanding that to become a Test and Tag technician or start your own business you ought to be an electrician. In fact to enrol in a Test and Tag training you don’t need any prior experience, skills, or qualification. You heard that right! All you require is to complete a 2-day face-to-face course in the Test and Tag course and you are eligible to work independently. The course entails gaining all skills and knowledge required to test and tag as per Australian standards.
Choosing your Portable Appliance Tester
Without a well-functioning Portable Appliance Tester (PAT) your idea of a business with great service cannot be accomplished. Before investing in a PAT Tester you ought to do thorough research on what is available in the market that aligns with the range of test and tag services you will be offering. You also need to decide on how much you are willing to invest. The price of PAT testers ranges from $600 to $3000 and over. You may also want to check on how quickly and easily you can capture data, the bigger your volume of work is the more advanced your PAT tester requires to be that include RCD testing and 3 phase compatibility, print tags and if they can be re-tested which will save you both time and money as a business.
Building your business from the ground up has its learning curve. After you have chosen your business name, set your ABN (Australian Business Number), you want to work on a business plan. This template https://www.business.gov.au/Planning/Business-plans/How-to-develop-your-business-plan can help you with the process of understanding your goals for your business better. Subsequently, you have to work your budget and how much you want to spend toward the business. Your initial investment may range between $10-20k.
While you need to thoroughly know your industry as a sole trader or contractor, staying up-to-date about the trends and changes is crucial too. Understanding best practices (punctuality, friendly demeanour, safety, and promptness, etc) and applying them to your business so that your clients trust and believe in your services will not only earn you a loyal customer but also good word-of-mouth. Quoting Rand Fishkin, “Don’t build links. Build relationships,” because building your reputation through exceptional and quality service will take your business a long way.
There are several platforms that will allow you to advertise your business. While direct referrals are the best there are, there are also social networks and apps you can try to get your business some digital footprint. Social media pages, Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree are fruitful mediums to put your word out there. Several must-have tradie apps can help you advertise your business. You can also make cold calls to offer businesses your service or contact electrical companies who prefer to outsource the test and tag job to someone else rather than do it themselves. The nature of testing and tagging is repeat work, so making a note of reminding your clients when their testing is next due is exhibiting good customer service, dedication, and efficiency.
Every business has its challenges. What is important is to take the first step. If you are keen on entrepreneurship your first step would be to enrol in a Test and Tag training to propel your career.