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How I Built My… with On the Tools Award winner Theo Webster

At the age of 23, Theo Webster has his own business and the title of ‘Electrician of the Year’ from the recent On the Tools Awards.

We sit down to chat about hard graft, drills and the vital seconds you can save by not drinking tea or coffee.

How did you get started in your trade?

I always knew I wanted to do something hands-on as I was never very academic. So during my last year of school I spent all my half terms and holidays doing work experience with a local electrical contractor and then when I finished school I was fortunate enough to get an apprenticeship. I spent five years working there before moving to another firm.

And what do you do now?

At the age of 23 I run my own electrical installation company trading as ‘Theo Webster Electrical Services’. I work in and around north Devon taking on domestic, commercial and industrial wiring.

I was also lucky enough to win ‘Electrician of the Year’ at the 2016 On the Tools Awards.

Describe your typical day

My typical day consists of a lot of hard grafting, grunting and scrambling through the smallest spaces imaginable!

Working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week takes its toll on you physically and mentally. I genuinely love going to work even more now that it is for myself, turning up at a job and not knowing what you’re going to come across keeps things interesting!

How would you say you go that extra mile for your customers?

I try my hardest to work my schedule around my customers’, working regular hours as well as evenings and weekends. I always offer up plenty of suggestions to help customers make the right choices, as the electrical industry is constantly evolving. I then can offer them exactly what they want and need.

I also do the occasional bit of work to help out local organisations whether that’s drama groups or town councils to get my name out there.

If you had to choose, what’d be your favourite bit of kit?

I spend a fortune on tools – anything to make life a little bit easier or give a better finish to a job!

But out of all of my tools I would say my favourite (and most used) would have to be my Bosch 18v SDS drill.

How do you unwind?

To be honest I don’t really have the time to unwind. But if I do have a rare evening or day off I spend it with the wife and my daughter.

What are you most proud of?

It makes me proud knowing that I’ve started my own business from scratch with the support of my family. I’m also proud that I’m able to provide for my family independently so my wife can stay at home with the little one.

And of course winning ‘Electrician of the Year’ after only been self-employed for seven months.

We’re brewing up – what’s yours?

Nothing I am afraid! I’m not a tea or coffee drinker so no time wasted by the kettle for me.

Finally, what’s your top bit of advice for anybody thinking of starting out in a trade?

Expect a lot of laughs, long days and a good career for the rest of your life. But don’t think it’s going to be easy. You definitely get back what you put in to it! And for those of you thinking of going self-employed, make sure you’re ready financially, mentally and that your partner is also prepared!
It’s a big step and probably the toughest thing you will ever do, but it’s so worth it.