Cables are renowned as the backbone of the modern world. Although the advent of technology and wireless communication has in many ways impacted the industry, it still can’t handle the quantity of data that can be transmitted by the right cable.
Note that with the massive demand for high bandwidth in commercial and residential establishments, and in areas near coastal zones, being a cable contractor is genuinely a viable business to consider. People in this line of business not only install cables but also provide maintenance and repairs.
With this business model, you can choose to start small, right out of your truck, and grow your business at your own pace.
Steps on How to Start a Cable Contracting Business
Conduct Market Research
You must carry out extensive market research to effectively position your business to take advantage of both today’s market trends and anticipated growth opportunities. Note that by understanding your market and shaping your cable contracting business to take advantage of the next big trends in the cable industry, you can easily outpace competitors that have a long track record in the industry.
a. Who is the Target Market?
There is a wide range of target audiences for businesses in this industry. As a cable contracting company, your target audience can range from residents of the suburbs to the US Navy. Your local customers will more or less include homeowners, apartment dwellers, apartment building owners, or new businesses that are opening in the area.
b. Is Cable Contracting Business a Profitable Business?
Yes. However, to achieve success in this line of business, you will need to keep your knowledge of the industry and the technical aspects of cable wiring up to date. This will guarantee you stay competitive and also enjoy a very profitable business.
c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?
- Installing marine grade cables
- Installing cable and satellite television
- Installing and servicing telephone landlines
- Closed-circuit television installation and maintenance.
- Laying fiber cables for ISPs and actual cable for cable companies and telephone companies.
- Maintenance and repair jobs.
- Fulfillment services
- Underground construction
- Structured cabling
d. Who are the Major Competitors?
- Furukawa Electric
- Telco Data
- Corning, Inc.
- Vertex Security
- Paige Electric Company
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Cable Contracting Business?
Yes, state and county licensing requirements for cable contracting companies will vary. The Small Business Administration website offers you the platform to search for business licensing requirements by state. You will also be expected to obtain a business license to run your cable contracting business.
Licensing information coupled with zoning requirements or other permits can be found on the city or county website. As a cable contracting firm, you may also be expected to carry general liability insurance. The specific amount varies from state to state.
f. Is There a Franchise for Cable Contracting Business?
No, there are no pronounced franchise opportunities in this line of business. However, your chances of surviving in this industry will greatly improve if you can find a cable contracting business to buy.
g. What Do You Need to Start a Cable Contracting Business?
- Adequate investment
- A good business plan
- Market research
- Basic technical knowledge about cables
- Marketing plan
Choose a Memorable Business Name
When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.
Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a cable contracting business are;
Creative Cable Contracting Business Name ideas
- Cable Experts
- Tinker Wire
- Reliable Wire Guys
- Pure Cords
- Link Connections
- Premium Contractors
- Zone Cables
- Mighty Cable
- Lines and Visions
- System Cables
- Cable Models
- Alfred Cable Solutions
- Conduit Coverage
- Sky Cable
- Cable Tech
- The Tools Guys
- Cable Empire
- Bluebird Cable
- Oversight Company
- Temple Cable
Register your Business
a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Cable Contracting Business?
You first have to understand that every structure has its pros and cons. Owing to that, you must consider your business and personal goals so you can choose a business structure that will best protect those interests. A limited liability company (LLC) remains the most notable business structure to consider, especially if you are in the United States.
This business structure is legally separate from its owners, so the owners are not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business. As a separate entity, the business also has multiple tax election options.
b. Steps to Form an LLC
- Choose a Name for Your LLC.
- File Articles of Organization.
- Choose a registered agent.
- Decide on member vs. manager management.
- Create an LLC operating agreement.
- Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
- File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Cable Contracting Business?
- General Business License
- Business Insurance
- Health and Safety Permit
- Operational State Facility Inspections
- Cable contractor’s license or a telecommunications contractor’s license.
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Cable Contracting Business?
Although you don’t necessarily need professional certification to start a cable contracting Company; however there are certain certifications you will need to look out for in the workers and engineers you choose to employ for your company. These certifications include;
- SCTE certification
- BICSI Cabling Installation Certifications
- Certified Network Cable Installer (CNCI)
- Cable Television Engineer Certification
- Certification Cable Television Operator (CCTO)
e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Cable Contracting Business?
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Business Plan
- Insurance policy
- Zoning Permits
- Contract Documents
- Employment Agreement
- Business License
- Employer Identification Number (EIN)
- Federal Tax Identification Number (TIN)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?
No. Aside from protecting your cable contracting company name and logo, you may have no reason to worry about intellectual property protection.
Do your Cost Analysis and Budgeting
a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Cable Contracting Business?
The cost of starting your cable contracting business will range from $6,500 to $20,000. Note that some of your most notable costs will be tools and equipment such as wire cutters, tool belts, and cabling wire. The other large expense could be a down payment on a vehicle to transport materials, though often contractors require customers to provide all materials themselves.
b. What are the Cost Involved?
- Setting up a business name and corporation: $150 – $200
- Licenses and permits: $100 – $300
- Insurance: $100 – $300
- Business cards and brochures: $200 – $300
- Website setup: $1,000 – $3,000
- Tools and equipment: $2,000 – $5,000
- Down payment on a vehicle to transport materials: $3,000 – $10,000
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Cable Contracting Business?
- Target Audience and Services Offered
- The Choice of Location
- The Required Licenses and Permits
- The Size of the Facility
- Tools and Equipment
- The Cost of Hiring and Paying a Business Consultant and Attorney
- The Cost for Furnishing and Equipping Your Facility
- The Cost for Insurance Policy Covers
- Cost of Recruiting and Training Your Staff and Engineers
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility?
No. You can choose to start small by keeping your office in your van. You will only need to acquire a laptop with a wireless card and also subscribe to a wireless Internet service so you are always connected.
e. What are the Ongoing Expenses for Running a Cable Contracting Business?
- Facility lease or rent
- Employees salaries
- Utility bills
- Marketing and advertising fees
- Other expenditures will be on a per-project or per-assignment basis.
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
- Chief Executive Officer: $76,400
- Human Resources and Admin Manager: $54,560
- Sales and Marketing Executive: $52,411
- Cable Runners: $51,330
- Accountant: $48,000
- Receptionist: $32,480
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Cable Contracting Business?
To start a successful cable contracting business, you will need enough money for equipment and other business expenses. Note that seed money can be acquired from banks via loans.
Write a Business Plan
a. Executive Summary
Bluebird Cables is a new and reliable supplier of telecommunication services to residential, commercial, governmental/educational, healthcare, and alternative telecommunications providers (Internet Service Provider and Competitive Local Exchange Carrier – ISP/CLEC) market segments in Seattle, Washington.
Our primary aim is to develop and maintain a hybrid fiber-coaxial network that will enable us to serve our market by offering both active and passive services: TV programming (partner), Ethernet circuits, internet, dark fiber, collocation, and telephony (partners).
b. Products and Service
Coupled with our main product, the following value-added features are available:
- Quality of Service prioritizes customer traffic over competing for traffic on the network
- VLAN×, a virtual local area network provides a secure, private connection (tunnel) between two points using a public network
- Troubleshooting and technical support
- Bursting rate, additional bandwidth available above the customer committed rate over a short (burst) period
- IP address, permanent, unique address for identifying the customer to the internet
- Troubleshooting and technical support
c. Mission Statement
Our mission at Bluebird Cables is to grow a formidable company that provides community-based solutions and services to boost the quality of life and economic growth of our community by helping to eliminate the constraints of location, distance, and time.
Our vision at Bluebird Cables is to maintain customer service advantage, develop advanced/required products, and extensively gain market share.
d. Goals and Objectives
- Enhance competitive advantages
- Improve distribution channel effectiveness
- Transition to an agile organization
- Change focus from product to market and solution focus
- Ensure long term fiscal viability
- Re-establish technological innovation/leadership
- Maximize the community value of the network through the continued evolution of the infrastructure
e. Organizational Structure
- Chief Executive Officer
- Human Resources and Admin Manager
- Sales and Marketing Executive
- Cable Technicians and Runners
a. SWOT Analysis
- Existing infrastructure represents a barrier to entry for new competitors
- Recycling revenue
- Local customer service
- Fiber infrastructure
- Distribution channels/Market confusion
- High Fixed Costs
- Product Cost Structure
- Commoditized components as well as high growth components.
- Expansion in purpose and volume of use of both Ethernet and collocation
- This industry is driven by new and growing technologies.
- The need for networks capable of supporting technologies such as Cloud Services, IPTV/OTTv, and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
- Government regulations and bureaucracy
- Government transparency
b. How Do Cable Contracting Businesses Make Money?
These businesses charge for their services in one of two ways: fixed bids or time and material.
- Fixed bids: Using this method, they extensively analyze a given project and estimate its total cost, then add their markup (typically 10-20%). They will most often estimate the cost of each job and all of the materials to come up with a profitable bid that will also be competitive with any other bids the property owner might receive.
- Time and Material: By leveraging this method, the contractor and the client agree on a fixed hourly rate and mark up for materials. Note that this method is not always common and is perfectly suited for small projects where the client does not intend to collect multiple bids.
c. Payment Options
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment with cash
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
- Always put together better contract proposals
- Use strong customer value propositions (CVPs) to set the business apart from the competition.
- Create a blog to offer cable installation and troubleshooting tips, news, and company information, sharing news about awards and other company achievements.
- Ensure that the business website is up to date and easy to navigate.
- Ask customers to provide testimonials that the business can use on your corporate website and in advertising.
- Leverage a proven partner with the experience to assist in the execution of a well-detailed cable contracting company marketing strategy
- Leverage word of mouth marketing
a. How Much Should You Charge for your Service?
According to reports, businesses in this industry tend to charge around 10 and 20 percent above the total cost of a project.
b. How Much Profit Do Cable Contracting Business Owners Make a Year?
According to experts, how much profit you can make as a cable contracting business owner will depend on your area of specialization, location, reputation, and other factors. To make space for your company in this industry, it is pertinent you consider working with small and reliable local clients who value the quality of the services you offer.
Note that by gradually building up your portfolio, your company can with time bring in from $150,000-$1,000,000 in annual profits.
c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
- Area of specialization and services offered
- Number of clients
- Business expenses
- Marketing plans
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Cable Contracting Business?
According to industry reports, the profit margin for cable contracting businesses as of October 31, 2022, is 12.66%. However, certain breakthroughs in the cable testing approach now aid contractors to reduce the time of dealing with testing issues by more than 50%, adding up to 10% to overall profit margins.
e. What is the Sales Forecast?
- First Fiscal Year (FY1): $480,000
- Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $960,000
- Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $1,620,000
Set Up your Office
a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Cable Contracting Business?
- Proximity to the target audience
- Government and regulatory controls
- Accessibility of the location
- Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What State and City are Best to Open a Cable Contracting Business?
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Gulfport, Mississippi
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Fargo, North Dakota
- Little Rock, Arkansas
- Cheyenne, Wyoming
- Denver, Colorado
- Chicago, Illinois
- Detroit, Michigan
- Phoenix, Arizona
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate?
Most often, cable contracting companies have to acquire a work vehicle, such as a truck or van. They will also need to acquire ladders and meters to enable workers and technicians to carry out cable adjustments. Sourcing these tools in advance will save time and effort later.
You will also need to acquire a laptop with a wireless card and subscribe to a wireless Internet service to ensure you are always connected. You will also need a cell phone to use for business only.
Truth be told, hiring the right people is a very important hallmark if you intend to attain success with a cable contracting company. You will need to seek workers who possess the willingness to do the hard work required for cable installation.
You will also need to train them in specialized installation techniques, customer service, and other key areas. In addition, as your cable contracting business grows and expands, you will need to hire additional staff to ensure you always meet up with your workload.
Note that if you fail to put a system in place to monitor workers, you are encouraging inefficiency. Therefore, consider leveraging employee scheduling software or even a fleet GPS solution to ensure you can monitor your employees and their operations.
Launch the Business Proper
To successfully start this business, you have to be ready to navigate a vast range of issues. Some of these hurdles will take time to surmount, while some may be less challenging depending on how much funding you have and your industry experience. Nonetheless, ensure you handle these issues mentioned below before you start offering your services.
- Regulatory and licensing concerns
- Industry experience
- Talented workers
a. What Makes a Cable Contracting Business Successful?
To succeed in this line of business, you must stay updated especially in terms of cable and communications technology. You wouldn’t want to lag behind and have your competitors take up a substantial share of your market.
Ensure to always read up on the latest breakthroughs and obtain training to guarantee that your skills remain relevant. Once you can land an encouraging number of satisfied and loyal customers, you can be assured of steady flowing business for years to come.
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Cable Contracting Business?
As an owner of a cable contracting business, most of your days will be spent inside clients’ homes or offices and you will be installing everything they require. However, when you are not installing or maintaining cables, your days will be spent marketing your business, communicating with customers (or prospective customers), and possibly ordering and receiving equipment for customers.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Cable Contracting Business?
- Industry experience
- Management experience
- Knowledge of industry trends
- Customer service skills
- Troubleshooting skills