Make From £300-£600 A Week From This Simple Business To Business Sideline Opp

Business Opportunity Idea

If you’re looking for a simple biz opp …. something that you can run from home in part time hours …. and which needs no special skills or experience to speak of … then this could be for you. It’s a great service idea that almost every business needs.

The opportunity is portable electrical appliance testing – or PAT testing as it’s known.

What Is PAT Testing? Anyone who runs a business using portable electrical appliances must inspect them regularly to ensure they are safe. While many businesses do PAT testing there are many, many who don’t. So this opens up a great little business opportunity providing PAT testing to all those businesses who are currently breaking the law. Plus of course all those businesses who do PAT testing but want a better/cheaper service than their current testing service provides.

Any appliance that can be moved –ie. is not fixed down or built in – must be inspected regularly. It doesn’t matter if they are large or small. So while computers, laptops, copiers and desk lamps must be inspected even a large freezer needs to be checked too. Many offices have hundreds of these appliances.

Getting Started: This business is suitable for either part or full time operation and you can work it from home. You’ll need a phone and a little office space at home. And transport to travel between your customers. You won’t need a PC or any Internet knowledge for this one. You will need a few hundred pounds capital for training and equipment, plus of course marketing.

Training & Skills: You don’t need to be a qualified electrician to run a PAT testing business and you do not need any electrical experience or knowledge or formal qualifications.

Now, although it’s possible to teach yourself PAT testing – there are even DVD’s which explain how to do it – the quickest and easiest way to become competent is to do a short PAT testing training course. Check with your local further education colleges as they often have cheap courses and some people may be able to get free/subsidised courses.

To do testing properly you will need a specialist piece of equipment called (funnily enough) a PAT tester. Basically, you hook the appliance up to the tester and it will tell you if it is safe or not. The tester is small and portable and can be carried easily.

You can buy a PAT tester from specialist electrical wholesalers. Used ones often turn up on eBay for around £50 or less. So have a look, you may find a bargain.

Selling Your Service: Use the same marketing methods that any business uses. Newspaper ads, ads in ‘Yellow Pages’ and a website would all work well. But use a pro-active, direct approach when you first start. Go out and actually find customers rather than waiting for them to come to you. You can call round and see local businesses, telephone them or send them a sales letter mailshot.

Remember, a good angle to take is to focus on the legal and safety-related need for PAT testing. These are good selling points for any product or service.

PAT Testing Procedure: Here’s a quick briefing on how to carry out PAT testing. The government’s Heath and Safety Executive or HSE recommend a two stage inspection procedure. The first is a visual inspection of the appliance – check for anything that is obviously broken or worn and which might make the appliance dangerous to use. The second is a test using a PAT tester – you simply plug the appliance into the device. The appliance needs to pass both stages to get an overall pass.

Once you have tested an appliance the rules require that it is marked with a ‘Pass’ sticker – or withdrawn from use if it fails. You should also draw up a written record of the appliances you have tested and the test result. Give a copy to the customer and keep one for yourself.

Note: The frequency with which PAT testing is required depends on the type of appliance, whether stationary or handheld, and where it is used.

Pricing Your Service: Most PAT testing services charge per item tested. This can range from as little as 60p per appliance up to £5 per appliance – depending on the size of the job. If it’s an easy job – for example small, simple, newish appliances all located close together in the same building – you can charge less (and vice versa).

So, some back-of-an-envelope calculations: Say a customer has 100 appliances in their office. That’s not many actually. Say you charge £300 to test them all. It will only take you half a day. Now say you do two similar jobs in a day. That’s £600 a week, before expenses, for a one day a week part time sideline.

Turn full time eventually and it could be much more.

7 Responses to Make From £300-£600 A Week From This Simple Business To Business Sideline Opp

  1. Mike Harvey Reply

    August 14, 2014 at 11:37 am

    i noticed that the example given is for £3 per appliance for an office.I have enquired and the going rate is for 50p per item, that would realise £50,bit of a difference. Regards Mike Harvey

    • Nick Laight Reply

      August 15, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      From my research 50p per item is dangerously low and suggests that the proper testing isn’t being completed. I would agree however that £3 is perhaps a little high now that the service has completely rolled out and a more realistic £1 – £2 is more typical. Further, as PAT testing is a legal requirement and the business owner is liable for safety, then they are not going to automatically go for the lowest price and indeed in this case a higher price might actually work in as raising the perceived value of the service.

  2. Graham Reply

    January 13, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    I am a retired PAT tester. One hundred tests in half a day? If a half day is four hours then that means twenty five tests per hour. Only in your dreams! – If all the items were lined up neatly on a table you might just about do it, working fast – but the reality is that you often have to crawl under desks and retrieve cables from behind filing cabinets in order to unplug them for testing.
    To do the job properly you must open the plug and check the connections, check the cable for damage, plug into the tester and run the tests – ie. earth continuity, insulation and operation under full voltage. You must complete and apply a label, and enter the details on a record sheet. {unless you have a high tech tester which records it in memory}
    I wouldn’t trust a tester for sale at £50 on Ebay. I would expect to pay between £150 and £300 depending on the age, make and spec of the tester. A secondhand tester would also need to be calibrated for accuracy by a specialist company, costing around £50+
    I hope I have not rained too heavily on your parade – but PAT testing is becoming quite competitive as electricians are doing it as a sideline.

    • Nick Laight Reply

      January 23, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      Hi Graham – thanks very much for sharing your personal experience of PAT testing to WRMM – as you have clearly shown, this opportunity has changed since we first published this blueprint – I will make sure that we updated to refelct these changes asap…

  3. martyn bolus Reply

    January 17, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    This scheme was posted in April 2013 – how about some feedback on results to date ? Is 50p or £3 a valid price per item for this service (it does make quite a difference !) Martyn B

  4. Steve Reply

    March 24, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Interesting. Is this something that is done in the U.S. as well?
    Haven’t ever heard of it but it sounds very good.
    Got your name from Mark Anastasi’s Laptop Millionaire book
    Thanks.

    • Nick Laight Reply

      April 1, 2015 at 8:37 am

      Hi Steve – thanks for your post… the PAT testing is a service you can offer because of UK/European regualtions – if you have a similar law in the US then it could certainly have the potential for a business…

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