Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in home care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Carly Steiman, Founder of Lady Electric, located in North Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I run a residential electrical company servicing homeowners in Vancouver. I tackle power failures, lighting consultations, and smaller electrical jobs. My clients are lovely people, as I like to say, "Nice people, referring nice people." :)
Tell us about yourself
I've been working in the electrical world for 15 years now. I have worked in the residential sector mostly, some commercial and industrial. I've been a member of IATSE 873/891 for 10 years working in the lighting department of the film - from rigging and shooting to set wiring. I went to Ryerson University for Architectural Lighting Design and had been focusing on the residential industry recently. I missed helping homeowners and setting the mood in spaces where people live and make memories with their families. It leaves a meaningful impact and a good impression on electricians and the service industry.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
The biggest accomplishment, I would say, is making friends with my clients and leaving a good impression that my work and professionalism speak for itself. Being able to help, sometimes without even going to the home and just a phone call, empowers homeowners to understand their homes better. Instilling confidence in someone? That's a big accomplishment!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
There are a lot of unnoticed and unpaid hours that are mandatory for the ship to sail. From staying on top of emails, communicating with clients, sourcing materials, invoicing, bookkeeping, taxes/payroll, keeping the truck tidy, material pick up, meal prepping, and then doing the manual labour! It's not an easy job to stay on top of, but I got two-day planners, and I'm a type A organized, so I manage to make it work, get in my workouts and maintain great relationships outside of work too.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Accountability! If you say you're going to do something,
follow through. Plenty of people can talk a story, but to follow through, communicate and stay on time? A beautiful thing!
- Leave the ego at the door. Don't forget we are all human. There are going to be mistakes and surprises, and sometimes it's inevitable! Being transparent with the clients about what's going on, accompanied by an apology, is such a profound ability to flex. There's always a way to remedy something; sometimes, you have to eat the costs. At the end of the day, you got to do the right thing. Sometimes it's not easy, but upholding your dignity and honour is what it takes to be a decent human!
- Use a day planner and make it a habit! Forming habits takes approx 30 days to instill, so you may grunt and huff about a day planner, but it's the ultimate tool for staying on top of everything, crushing your goals, and being successful! 😍
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Life is full of opportunity, and it's not going to be served to you on a silver platter. You must have your mind and eyes open, be curious, hungry, and a little brave and give it a whirl! Abraham Lincoln's life was a testament of success after so much hardship and failure. His biggest quote that stuck with me was "Perseverance, Perseverance, Perseverance!". Keep trying until it sticks, and in the process, we learn, grow, and become more empathetic humans. It's a wonderful experience!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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