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How to start a satellite installation business

Despite the growth of online media, satellite TV continues to prove popular with homes and businesses. So, with demand not going away, here’s how to start a satellite installation business from scratch.

Why start a satellite installation business?

Most homeowners and businesses today want digital aerials installed for the benefit of satellite TV services, internet, and high-quality signal.

In fact, not only is satellite installation in high demand, but it’s thriving.

So, with ongoing opportunities to service these systems, there’s no better time than now to become a self-employed satellite installer.

From getting your installation business up and running to marketing and insurance, read on to learn just how to get started.

Creating a satellite installation business plan

The first thing you want to do with your satellite installation business is create a business plan. This will let you lay out what you want to achieve with your business, and help you reach these goals.

Below are just some core areas to include in such a plan:

  • Business goals – your business’s aims and how to achieve them
  • Startup costs – how much it will cost to start your business and how you’ll finance this
  • Finances – how you plan to manage your business finances in the future
  • Services what services you plan to offer your customers
  • Audience – what sorts of customers you plan to tailor your services towards
  • Prices – how you intend to price each service you offer
  • Operational area – how wide an area you plan to operate in
  • Marketing – what forms of marketing you plan to take advantage of
  • Work hours – how many hours you plan to work a week, and if you intend to work weekends

Take your time thinking about what these areas will include, and make sure you fill it out in detail.

And if you want more help doing this, you can download our free business plan template below.

What qualifications should a satellite installer have?

Satellite installation is very technical work, so customers will want to know you have the right training for the job. Experience alone won’t always be enough to convince your customers, which is why it’s important to have formal qualifications.

With these at your side, clients will be far more inclined to trust your capabilities. Below are the most relevant courses to strengthen your business profile:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Electrical Installation
  • Level 3 Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Service advanced apprenticeship
  • Installation engineer advanced apprenticeship

Do I need to get industry-certified?

Along with credentials, gaining industry certifications will only benefit your satellite installation business.

Joining a trade association, such as the Confederation of Aerial Industries (CAI), for example, will give you even more clout.

This does involve passing an assessment process to gain membership. But upon becoming a member, you’ll be formally recognised in the industry. This in turn can go a long way in enhancing your reputation and attracting more customers.

Do I need a CSCS card?

In some cases, you may have to install satellites and aerials in designated construction sites.

If this is the case, you will need to acquire a CSCS card. Doing so is a legal requirement to work on construction sites.

And without one, you could miss out on valuable business opportunities.

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What business skills does a satellite engineer need?

While the technical know-how is essential to be a successful satellite dish installer, it’s not the only skill set required. You’ll also need to develop key business skills that are essential for success. These may include:

  • Team management – some installation jobs will require extra support from junior staff, who will need direction and training
  • Organisation – you’ll need to make sure you can staff jobs properly throughout the week so they’re completed on time
  • Practical thinking – satellite installation isn’t always straightforward, and you will need to come up with sensible solutions in certain situations
  • Numeracy – as with any work in engineering, you’ll need basic maths skills to make the required installation calculations
  • Independent working – at first, you may be running the business on your own, so you need to be able to complete jobs safely and efficiently without extra support
  • Technical understanding – not only will you need expertise in broadcasting, internet, and telecommunications, but you’ll also need to be familiar with business hardware and software
  • Health and safety knowledge – you’ll often be working at height in all weathers, so you’ll need to keep both you and your colleagues safe
  • Physical fitness – satellites and aerials can be heavy, and you’ll need to be able to lift them throughout the day

Naturally, there are plenty more skills to consider when becoming your own boss. So, it’s always worth taking the time to think about what other areas you could improve.

How to start a satellite installation company

With the initial stages of starting your business covered, it’s time to look at the core components. Namely getting your company registered and insured.

Take a look below to ensure you have the following crucial steps covered:

1. Getting your business registered

First, you’ll need to legally register your business with HMRC and decide on its structure. This means deciding between being a sole trader vs limited company, as both have their advantages and disadvantages.

  • For example, a limited company tends to be more tax efficient, but you’ll face more paperwork
  • Sole trading, on the other hand, is simpler to set up, but you’ll be personally responsible for business debts

So, make sure you weigh up each structure and decide which suits your business goals best.

2. Getting your business insured

After getting registered, your next step should be acquiring the appropriate level of cover required.

Doing so is vital, especially if you’re a sole trader, to prevent financial issues should an accident occur.

We always recommend getting both public liability insurance (a requirement for Checkatrade members) and employer’s liability insurance.

However, there are also many other types of tradesperson insurance out there to consider on top of these.

3. Accounting and bookkeeping

One key area you’ll need to think about as a business owner is who will handle your finances.

Will you be doing it yourself or will you be hiring an accountant?

Due to start-up costs, it may be easier to do your finances personally to begin with. However, as your business grows, it can often be easier to hand this work over to a trained accountant. This will save you time and help you avoid any accidental mistakes.

Why not think about your small business accounting options to see what would work best for your trade business?

4. What equipment is needed for satellite installation?

Finally, you’ll want to think about, and purchase, your installation tools. Being well prepared is essential for leaving happy customers who’ll recommend your service again.

So, make sure you invest in quality equipment so you can complete work efficiently and to a high standard. You don’t want shoddy tools that are likely to break and cause costly delays.

Below are the essential tools we recommend for any satellite installation business:

  • A ladder
  • Electric drills
  • Masonry tools
  • A socket wrench kit
  • Coaxial cable strippers and cutters
  • Cable compression tools
  • Compasses
  • A Satellite Signal Finding Meter

You should also make sure you have a valid driving licence and a van. That way, you can easily transport all the tools you need between jobs.

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How to grow your satellite installation business

Having covered the previous points, your new satellite installation business should be good to go. But all these will count for little if you don’t have a way to grow your business outwards.

With this in mind, here are the four core areas to think about for business expansion:

1. Scalability

In order to grow properly, your business needs to scale to meet demand. This means checking to make sure all areas of your business operate properly together. That’s why we suggest looking at the following areas:

  • Streamlining – take a look at how your business functions overall and nip any bottlenecks in the bud before they become a problem
  • Finances – make sure you have a solid financial safety net in place before you look to expand, just in case
  • Work quality always be sure to check that you can continue to deliver exceptional work as you take on more jobs
  • Hiring – don’t wait too late to hire new team members, otherwise your current team could become overworked

2. Digital marketing

Essential for all modern-day businesses, digital marketing will help get your business name out there. Therefore, we recommend taking advantage of all the following digital mediums:

  • Websites – all businesses need a site to be found online, so make sure you build a business website as soon as possible
  • Social media – trade work is very visual, so you can display your skills by marketing your business through social media
  • Online directories – digital directories, like Checkatrade, continue to be popular with customers, so consider signing up for one

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3. Traditional marketing

Still important in today’s marketing world, traditional marketing can do wonders for your business when done right. Here are the core areas of traditional marketing you should make use of:

  • Print marketing – print media marketing can be a great way to get your business noticed, especially in physical directories
  • PPC – effective PPC marketing will make it more likely for your business to appear higher on Google
  • Branding – all companies need good branding, so you should look to invest in branded workwear and van vinyls
  • Sponsorship – acquiring sponsorship can go a long way to getting your business name out there in your local community

4. Additional marketing strategies

Finally, if you have the spare budget you might want to consider implementing any of these additional marketing methods:

  • Customer reviews – the modern word-of-mouth, collecting good reviews will massively help your business grow
  • Networking – working and chatting with other local businesses can be a great way to open doors to more lines of work
  • GMB listings – setting up your Google My Business profile can make you more relevant to customer searches online

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into growing your business. So, if you want more help in this area, download our free marketing guide below.

Market your satellite business with Checkatrade

You should now have a good idea of how to start a satellite installation business from scratch. But if you want to lend yourself an extra hand, then why not let Checkatrade boost your business?

From getting your own business profile to discounts on training and workwear, Checkatrade has plenty of member benefits.

  • Exclusive offers and discounts on business essentials
  • Trade app access to job management, messaging, invoicing tool, live profile updating and review requests
  • Reduced rates on public liability insurance
  • Profile page optimised for online searches
  • Work guaranteed up to 12 months
  • Visibility in local directories
  • Plus more work with satellite installation job leads coming your way!

Get in touch with our team today to learn about our vetting process and flexible membership options.

Satellite business FAQs

How much should I charge for satellite installation?

Pricing usually ranges between £150-£250. However, prices will ultimately depend on the type of work you do and how long it takes.

A complex job across a large corporate building will naturally take longer to test and complete compared to domestic satellite installations.

What hours does a self-employed satellite installer work?

The average installer tends to work 40 hours a week. However, their shift pattern will vary according to deadlines.

That’s why some businesses offer a flexible service that can result in late evening or weekend work.

How can I earn as a satellite installer?

Earnings for a new satellite installer average around £21,000 per year, while more experienced professionals earn around £33,000. But by running your own satellite installation business, you have the potential to earn far more than the industry average.

However, bear in mind that some of your time will be non-chargeable. For example, travelling between jobs or visiting new sites to cost up jobs.

You may also be unable to work at certain times. Such as during bad weather or when a customer fails to arrive on time.

Content disclaimer: This content has been created for general information purposes and should not be taken as formal advice. Read our full disclaimer here.

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