Starting your own business is a huge achievement in the professional world, and those who are experts in the field of plumbing are no exception to this. However, if you are trying to create a business that will be extremely successful, there are quite a few things that you will need to know and do to accomplish this. If you have been thinking about starting a plumbing business (or already have one), here are some tips and tricks to boost success!
Below is a list of things you can do to create a successful plumbing business. We’ll cover everything from knowing exactly how to do your trade to getting the right kind of advertising. It may seem like an impossibly big challenge to face at first, but just know that it can be done! Hopefully, by the end of this guide, you will understand exactly what you will need to be successful!
1. Know Your Stuff: Develop an Area of Expertise
Plumbing is a broad term when you come down to it. There are a dozen different areas of expertise or “niches” if you will, that can be found in the world of plumbing. There is a range of things you could specialize in, from pipe repair to working at hospitals or nursing homes.
The reason finding your niche is so important is because there are several hundred other plumbers out there who have found success in the same area that you may have professional experience in. While you can still make anything work to your advantage, you will want to do your research and make sure you have what it takes to make your mark on this industry.
Choosing an area with a low level of competition will undoubtedly suit you best and provide you with the highest likelihood of success. This also means you may need to become even more familiar with different areas of plumbing. Speak to a professional or a friend that you might have in the field and get their advice and instruction on some areas of interest.
You could also become an apprentice or start an internship for a plumbing company to learn some new things. Again, choosing a specific area in which to specialize is important, but being as well-rounded as possible isn’t a bad idea either. The more experience you have and the more areas you are familiar with mean you will have many more opportunities. This, then, brings us to our next piece of advice.
2. Be as Unique as Possible
As mentioned before, choosing a specific area of expertise is vastly important. This is what will make you stand out from other businesses and it is likely one of the easiest ways to gain customers and a larger following. This need for uniqueness extends far beyond just your niche, however. You will need to be unique in your advertising, your work, your logo, your business plan, and anything else you can think of. Your business needs to be memorable!
Doing research may be helpful in this area. Look at what others have been doing and what is popular. You can use the ideas you gain but you can also take them and tweak them to fit your own style. Creativity is the greatest tool you have when you are starting your own business. Your ideas are good ones so put them to good use!
Remember, it won’t always pay to copy what everybody else is doing. You should offer people something that only you can give. Make it clear what you can do and don’t undersell your skills. If it helps, you may also want to bring in some other people with whom you can brainstorm. As they say, the more the merrier, and two heads (or three or four or five heads) are better than one!
3. Develop a Business Plan
This may seem like an obvious step, but obvious or not, it must be taken seriously. You’d probably be surprised at how many people don’t take it seriously! Going into a new business blind and without an objective is a terrible strategy because you won’t appear organized or professional in any way. You must look like you know what you are doing and creating a business plan is one of the best ways to do this.
Now, a business plan does not mean you write down a few slogan ideas and budget reminders. You must thoroughly think through what you’re planning to do with your business. What will the objective be? How will that objective be accomplished? What will the area of expertise be? How many potential employees will you need? What is the budget and how should you price things? All these questions and more should be extensively covered when you are in the process of starting a plumbing business.
You should also include a list of the things you will need to succeed (tools, equipment, etc.). And yes, of course, a logo is necessary. This is another place where creativity comes into play. You ought to have a unique logo that represents you. You will want people to see the logo and know exactly who and what it represents. Make it stand out. And most importantly, don’t forget to spread your branding as widely as possible!
4. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Some businesses can be started by an individual and some require an army. Whether yours does or not will be for you to decide but know that it may not be a bad idea to take on some help, even if the idea is not appealing to you at first. Of course, it also depends on where you want to take your business, how large you want it to become, etc. Having some friends or family members join you in your entrepreneurial journey could prove to be very helpful.
This way, you can delegate as much as needed and you won’t have to take the strain of it all by yourself. Plus, this way, you will have several different minds to help you think of some ways to be different and unique. You will have somebody to help develop a business plan, someone to help design a logo, somebody to handle finances, and somebody to help with any other needs that may arise. You may find this difficult at first but asking for and accepting help are not bad things.
5. Be Ready: Assembling Gear
This is another step that may seem obvious but it is still very important. Once you have determined your business plan and objective as well as your area of expertise, you will need to immediately determine what supplies will best help you to achieve that objective.
You will need all the obvious things (saws, pliers, wrenches, tape, etc.) to be able to do all the work of an average plumber. This will also likely include sanitization items such as hand sanitizer, soap, or whatever else might be necessary for cleanup. However, assembling necessary supplies also means you need to find whatever tools will help you to grow your business and get the word as far out as possible.
You will likely need to invest in business cards, flyers, and any other means of advertisement that you may need to use. Additionally, as mentioned before, extra manpower and “employees” or business partners might also be necessary to your success. All of this will likely take a lot of money and time, but if you want your business to be as successful as possible, this will be not only necessary but is also very much worth it in the end.
If you are going to purchase all this gear, you will need to make sure you are buying high-quality equipment because you will want your investments to last for a long time. Cheap gear will need to be replaced more often, so sometimes it’s worth it to buy the more expensive items. Again, it will probably be a little pricey upfront, but you want gear that will hold up.
7. Advertising/Website Construction
Once you have hammered out all the essential details, it is time to start getting the word out there! Advertising is a key component and could very well mean the difference between success and failure. You will need to carefully plan out your advertising method and keep a record of all the expenses that may go into it. Thankfully, there are dozens of ways that you can choose to advertise, and it’s a good idea to vary your approach and use different communication methods.
The world we live in now is very digital so using social media is a fantastic way to gain notoriety. Try using several platforms to reach different and larger audiences. It might even be a good idea to have a social media manager who can take care of all advertisement-related tasks and/or issues. This is probably one of the fastest ways to get the word out there.
Depending on how big you want to grow your company, it’s probably a good idea to build a website as well. This will not only help with advertising, but it will also help you to let your customers know exactly what they’ll be getting if they come to you. Having a website is something that most customers deeply appreciate because it gives them an idea of what to expect. It will also give them a means of contacting you which will make it a lot easier on them and you.
Some might consider it old-fashioned, but you can always print off flyers and put them around your neighborhood, in your community centers, at local grocery stores, and anywhere else you can think of where people might see it. This may appeal to the older people in the area who are not as active on social media or the internet. Not to mention, it is quite possibly the cheapest way to advertise.
Plus, a flyer will also be able to give potential customers an idea of how creative and unique your company and its services are. Flyers, if nothing else, will be a visual representation of what you have to offer. Plus, flyers will give customers a way to contact you and find information about your website and social media pages.
8. Legal Responsibilities
This is quite possibly one of the most important things you can do to prepare to start your own business. The only thing worse than not having a lot of success is being successful and then getting in trouble for it because not everything was done to the letter of the law. This is probably the least fun part of the entire process, but it is one of the most important ones: get your legal affairs in order before starting anything!
You will need to get a plumbing license before anything else. If you are discovered operating without one, the legal repercussions could be pretty severe. You may also need other permits such as a practice permit, a plumbing permit, and a contractor’s permit as well. Keep in mind that the legal work could vary somewhat depending on the field you plan to enter, but these things are almost always going to be necessary.
There are several other permits you may need to acquire as well. How many usually depends on the laws in your city and state, so make sure you know what those are. You can even ask a professional plumber about their company and the steps they had to take to get it started. Make sure you have all these things in order before getting started.
9. Love What You Do!
Believe it or not, an important aspect of having a successful business is that you remain passionate about what you do. If customers can see that passion, they will get a sense that because you love what you do, you are going to put your very best efforts into your work.
Plus, if you start to lose your drive for the work, you may find that the business isn’t quite as exciting as you thought it might be. When this happens, you will likely feel that you wasted a lot of time and resources on a business that will have become unimportant to you later on. Find ways to stay involved in the industry and keep looking for fresh ways to reinvent your business.