Cathy’s story to starting up as an electrician
We were delighted to talk to Cathy about her career and starting up Little Miss Electrical.
With a ton of great advice for fellow tradespeople and entrepreneurs, this is a must read on how to give back to the industry.
Introduce yourself! Tell us about you and your business
I’m Cathy, the founder of Little Miss Electrical. We are a female-led, and currently all-female, electrical business covering West Yorkshire.
Over the past 5 years, I’ve grown my business from being just little old me to a team of 10. I’ve managed to offer apprenticeships and opened the door to young budding female apprentices. Little Miss Electrical gave them an entry point into a trade that has been traditionally male-dominated and just a little bit scary and sometimes challenging for women to get into.
What was your biggest challenge starting out? And then how did you overcome it?
Leaving my previous career in law was the hardest bit. I’d signed up to a course to retrain, but I hadn’t committed to actually making the jump. It was always “once I’m a qualified solicitor, I can leave,” which meant I could have been tied to it for years despite how unhappy I was.
Finally, taking the jump one day after a brash comment from a manager, I had to get my things together and make it work!
What is your best advice to other trades looking to start their own business?
Get as many reviews from customers as you can! This helped me so much starting out. That one happy customer could vouch for me meant the next one was willing to try my new business out, and it kept going from there.
We now have hundreds of 5* reviews on our various platforms.
If you could have done anything differently with your business, what would it be?
I think dream big from the start. Take your branding as an example, think how you’d want to look if you were a national business and had hundreds of employees. Think how you’d want all of them to look, and go from there.
Our branding has developed over the years to something I now think looks professional. At the start I never saw us getting this big, so a more casual look felt ok.
It’s taken time to develop professional branding, systems and uniforms, but the sooner you do it, the better.
What’s your biggest achievement with your business?
Creating so many jobs has been a hugely rewarding part of my business. I feel such a sense of pride in training newcomers and being able to create new positions for others.
I beam seeing one of our team progress to a new level of independence because I didn’t have someone to push me forwards and had to get there myself.
It’s so nice to pat myself and them on the back for progression.
What made you join Checkatrade?
I saw the advert on LinkedIn for 3 months free, and a fellow tradesperson had the sticker on his van. I asked how he found Checkatrade, and he said it was great.
Once we signed up we were inundated and had to come off for 6 months while we recruited more staff as we couldn’t cope with all the new enquiries!
So, when you first joined Checkatrade, what size was your business?
5 employees in 2 – 3 teams.
What size is your business now?
10 employees in 4-5 teams.
What would you say to fellow trades about joining Checkatrade? Was it worth joining?
Absolutely! They’re always developing things to make a good sensor that works. Both the online and the leaflets have been successful for us.
What’s the biggest benefit of being on Checkatrade?
We get loads of new business, and that turns into repeat business.
What are your plans for the future?
I’d like to keep growing the team and bringing more women into the industry.
Awesome, thank you for your time, Cathy!
Do go and check out Cathy’s member profile page for her business Little Miss Electrical.
Check out Cathy in our Become the Boss series
Who better to get advice from than Cathy? If you’re looking to start your own trade business, make sure you check out Become the Boss, a free series of videos and emails to help you get your trade business started. It includes a free strategy call!