From gardens to homes: Chris Day’s journey as an NICEIC-registered contractor
Although Chris Day has been running his successful business, Mayday Electrical Solutions, since 2017, he wasn’t always bringing light into people’s homes. Based in west London, Day runs Mayday as a one-man band (alongside his apprentice), having previously been an NICEIC-qualified supervisor for a big London firm. He tells us how he discovered this path was right for him:
“Like anyone, when you get to the age of 15 or 16 and you’re leaving school, you start to ask yourself: where is my place going to be in the world? What am I going to do for the rest of my life? I had to make a solid decision, but as soon as I came upon becoming an apprentice, I discovered a sense of purpose and self-confidence.
“Although the economy was essentially falling to pieces in 2008, I was expected to make my entrance into the working world. I struggled for a bit, so I went into landscape gardening for about six months while trying to find an apprenticeship.”
Landscape gardening wasn’t quite right for Chris though, so he worked his way up the electrical career ladder.
“In 2013, I transitioned into a commercial company and then, in 2017, I decided to start up Mayday. I remember our first NICEIC visit to sign up with the scheme; that’s where everything began.”
Chris explains that there were a few other providers when he was browsing the market, but he chose the NICEIC because of the brand recognition. “It complements our brand as well – it gives customers confidence that they’re using someone who is vetted accordingly,” Chris explains. “Out of all the companies I’ve worked with – from my first company to the commercial company – I don’t know any commercial company that isn’t NICEIC registered.”
Running a business can’t be easy, but Chris says that being a part of the NICEIC has helped his daily operations from the beginning: “When we first started the business, it was important that we had a line of communication with someone who could assist us with things that we were otherwise unsure of.
“Our first job was a customer who had a block of 10 flats, and not long after the property was finished, we got a phone call from them asking for us to come round, as British Gas were refusing to put fuses in. It turned out they couldn’t put the fuses in as the whole building wasn’t earthed.
“That was my first experience with the NICEIC technical helpline. That line of communication gave us the confidence to give our customer the right advice. It helps us find that fine balance between being a business, being compliant and helping customers get out of a sticky situation for a short-term fix and for a long-term solution.”
Another area of the NICEIC that Mayday relies on is the online system. Chris says: “We tend to use the online system because it enables us to carry out work onsite. It reduces paperwork, but also gives us the added security that we know that our documentation isn’t going to be lost. They are valuable documents and, for us, it’s invaluable having them stored up in a cloud.”
Running for more than five years, Mayday is now an established and successful business. Chris offers his advice to anyone else looking to set up an electrical company: “Start with an apprentice; build a team. If you want to spend the rest of your life driving the van from job to job, that’s fine, but it’s crucial you have someone with you to help you work more efficiently. I’d say it’s important to establish a team from day one.”
So, what’s next for Mayday Electrical Solutions?
“Moving forward as a business, we think it’s important that we adopt new technology which helps facilitate the transition into green energy usage, and that we do it correctly with sound advice. We’re looking to capitalise on an expanding market, but we’re going to do it responsibly – and the NICEIC is going to be helping us do that.”