5 Tips For Starting Your Own Plumbing Business
by Mashum Mollah Starting a Business 11 March 2019
Whether you’re an experienced plumber looking to finally break out on your own or new to the profession, now is a great time to launch your own plumbing business. Due to increased college enrollment over the last few decades and a strong labor market, the number of young people taking up careers in trades like plumbing, carpentry, and electrical work has declined sharply, leading to a shortage of tradespeople. And as the housing market continues to be strong, plumbers, along with other trades professionals, are in increasingly high demand.
But while the majority plumbers are highly skilled at what they do, many of them lack a strong business background. If you’re considering launching your own plumbing business, here are five tips that can help get you started.
Know your customer base:
Are you looking to specialize in residential work? Or are large jobs in commercial buildings more to your liking? Some plumbing companies concentrate on new construction, while others focus on the restoration of historic buildings. And many plumbers do a little bit of everything. Whatever type of jobs you decide to specialize in, it’s important to understand who your potential customers are and to consistently gear your marketing efforts toward that group.
Build a strong business website:
Once you have an understanding of your target customer base, you will need to build a business website. There are several easy-to-use platforms, such as WordPress, that make it easy to build a website on your own, or you can choose to hire a professional website designer. Whatever you decide, you should make sure that the copy on your website is well written and free of typos, and that basic information like your address, phone number, email, and hours of operation, is easy to find. You should also be sure to include some information about yourself, including your years of experience, areas of expertise and the geographic area you cover.
Including a page on your website where customers can leave reviews is also a great idea. Oftentimes, people looking to hire a plumber or other type of trade professional look at customer reviews first, before deciding whether they want to contact them. As an example, these Melbourne plumbers have created a very good customer review page on their website.
A representative from Fix It Right Plumbing in Melbourne, Australia, says, “We have found that customer reviews are very helpful in keeping our business thriving.”
Take advantage of your existing professional network:
Even if you’re just starting out, you probably have more of a professional network than you think you do. People you attended trade school with, people you worked with as an apprentice or at another plumbing company, former customers, friends, and family members can all be excellent resources when it comes to getting the word out about your new plumbing business, or when you need to hire help such as another plumber, an administrative assistant or a marketing professional. Attending professional networking events can also be a great way to expand your network. Make sure to contact everyone in your network as you are launching your business.
Cultivate word-of-mouth advertising:
The better the service you provide to your customers, the more customers you will have because happy customers who feel valued are more willing to recommend you to their friends and family. You can also provide customers with incentives to recommend your plumbing company to friends by offering discounts or free add-on services to those who recommend you.
Spend some time each week marketing your business:
Although you will hopefully be very busy doing plumbing jobs, it’s important to spend some time each week marketing your business. Create social media pages for your business on popular platforms like Twitter and Facebook and make it a point to post updates often. Information about specials you are running, photos of finished jobs, and news articles that are relevant to your business and customers all make great posts. Creating paid social media posts on sites like Facebook and Twitter can be an inexpensive way to reach a lot of people in your area.
Other marketing ideas include creating a weekly or monthly email newsletter for your customers and giving away inexpensive items such as refrigerator magnets and pens with your logo and contact information on them, insuring you will be the one on your customers’ minds when they need to hire a plumber.
If you really are too busy to tackle marketing tasks on your own or feel that doing so is too far outside of skillset, consider hiring a part-time marketing person to take care of these tasks for you.