Auto Charge Electric
“Running a business is time consuming, and it’s easy to overlook how the business is doing as a whole. Working with [SBDC Advisor] John made a huge difference in maximizing our performance and growing at a pace we could handle without going into debt.”
Auto Charge Electric, Inc. is a husband and wife owned full spectrum electrical company servicing the greater Bay Area. They specialize in electrical maintenance for residential, commercial and industrial clients with an emphasis on high end luxury homes. After successfully being in business for a year and a half, owners Len and Jacqueline Bourcy reached out to the Marin SBDC to help them develop a strategy for growth.
Len and Jacqueline Bourcy specialize in electrical maintenance for residential, commercial, and industrial clients with an emphasis on high-end luxury homes. They have worked on large-scale state park projects, installing electric car charging stations, and working on 10,000 square feet homes.
Len & Jacqueline Bourcy are thorough with their projects, meticulous with details, care about the aesthetics and organization of a project, and educate clients along the way which has helped build their reputation and business.
Their advice for other small business owners is to take the necessary classes to prepare your mindset for running a business, don’t be afraid to pay for advertising, don’t be scared to ask for help, hire appropriately, pick a good name that will encompass growth in the future and streamline processes as much as possible.
After successfully being in business for a year and a half, Len and Jacqueline Bourcy realized they wanted to develop a strategy for growth and needed guidance on this. Before launching the business, they took a small business course which gave them the foundational understanding for starting, but now they had different questions: should they grow the business by purchasing another vehicle and hiring more employees, or was there a more efficient way to grow? This is when they reached out the Marin SBDC and started working with SBDC Advisor John DeGaetano.
When they started to work with John, they thought adding a vehicle would help with their growth, but John helped them understand how to analyze their financials, reprioritize goals and determine other ways to grow. They also realized their employees were not ready for that jump in responsibility. At first, Jacqueline declared random growth numbers but now has learned how to calculate projections accurately and know how to tackle financial growth in a realistic manner.
John was extremely patient and genuinely cared about their business and growth. He always brought up questions they didn’t know to think of and helped them stay accountable to implementing the tasks. He helped with setting pricing (feeling confident to raise prices), finding the right contractors, identifying how to move through areas of challenge, and giving them new ideas. Specifically, he helped in the following ways:
- Taught them to focus on our most profitable areas and grow in those areas vs. seeking out a high volume of jobs, specifically in less profitable markets
- Helped further educate them on using reports to analyze our book of business. Using reports quarterly, breaking them down via class, looking at the P&L as a percentage of income
- Analyzed inefficiencies in the business; specifically our cost of labor and how to decrease that number
- Introduced them to dynamic pricing, offering tiered pricing to customers allowed us to win more contracts over time
- Expanded business by adding one full time employee, one part time employee as well as renting a commercial space
- In 2016 cost of labor for some projects was up to 35% of our income. Through employee training, increasing job bids and providing incentives for employees to become more efficient our YTD cost of labor is now 15% of our income.
- Identified our most profitable channels through analysis of P&L reports and increased winning bids by 16%.
- Created obtainable annual goals that has led to exceeding revenue projections each year
- No turn over with employees which is unprecedented in this industry. Inspectors, contractors and other business owners tell their employees they are lucky to work for Len because he trains them and is exceptionally organized.