Starting a business is no small feat, especially if you are starting with a tight budget, and plumbing businesses are just as hard to start as other businesses are. However, you shouldn’t let it get you down, because though it might be a tad difficult and overwhelming at first, it is still very possible! The question is, what can you do to start a successful plumbing business without needing to break the bank?
Below you will find a list of ways that will help you to grow your plumbing business while saving money at the same time. From advertising to finding plumbing gear, you will hopefully find every one of your questions answered here. So, without further ado, here are the ways to successfully start your own plumbing business!
1. Choose an Effective Method of Advertising
One of the most important components of starting your own business is having an effective method of advertising. You should pick a method that best suits you and the budget you have. If you are starting your business with not a lot of money, don’t worry because there are still plenty of options for you to choose from!
Some might call it old-fashioned, but flyers are one of the best ways to go, especially if you don’t have much to go on. These can be posted in public areas—anywhere from libraries to shopping centre bulletin boards. This is easily one of the cheapest ways you can go about advertising your company. Plus, flyers often offer a visual representation of what potential customers can expect from your company, which might help it seem more appealing. You will have a farther reach this way.
If you want to cater more to the modern, digital side of the world, you might be better off trying some social media advertising (which can be coupled with flyers!). You can start an account with several different platforms which will also give you access to different kinds of people and therefore increase your opportunities.
Because of the digital world we live in, you can likely expect to get to a lot of people via social media if you provide quality content for your audience. If you have enough money, you could also consider investing in a website. Costs for this may differ here and there, and you may not have enough money upfront to make it work, but if you do, this is an idea you should definitely consider!
2. Work with People You Know
Whether you work with people or not is your choice, but having some manpower will allow you to delegate, and you won’t have to shoulder the entire burden by yourself. However, what if you don’t have money to pay people? In this instance, you ought to probably pick someone you know and are close enough with that you can start up without having to pay anybody (at least at first).
If you work together long enough to startup, you will be able to split the profits later. Working with strangers in a scenario like this might be stressful, especially if you don’t have a whole lot of money to work with. Having a friend by your side means you will be more comfortable when you are trying to work through problems and make decisions for the good of the business. Plus, you probably won’t need to recruit many people right at the beginning anyway.
Grab two or three friends and work together to develop a business plan, design a logo, and accomplish whatever else you may need to do to be successful. Plus, creativity is important for startup businesses, and more than one mind will most effectively help you to come up with a good supply of ideas.
3. Know Your Stuff: Gain Necessary Experience
Naturally, you will need to make sure you know what you’re doing before getting started. There are a dozen different areas that can fall under plumbing. You will need to decide where it is you want to specialize. You will also need to gain as much experience as you possibly can. You won’t want to start advertising your services and then have somebody request something you don’t know how to handle.
Make sure you work hard in your chosen field so you’re prepared for anything that may come up. Believe it or not, you won’t have to spend a whole lot of money to gain experience. You can either talk to friends in the profession or, if possible, you might even be able to get a job, apprenticeship, or internship with a plumbing company to see the way things work. Of course, this may not be possible if there are any required costs that you’d have to pay.
The overall point is, there are plenty of options you can choose from to gain the experience you need to succeed as a plumber. The reason friends are a good way to go is they won’t be likely to charge you for any kind of research or hands-on experience you want to obtain.
4. Do Your Research
And speaking of research, don’t neglect it by any means! You should look into the kind of competition you are likely to face in the industry and your area specifically. Good knowledge of the competition should help you to gain an understanding of exactly where you should specialize.
As mentioned before, finding your niche is important, not only because you want to specialize in an area you are familiar with, but because it will say something about your creative ability. If there is stiff competition in a certain area, you might want to try getting experience in an area whose services are not as widely offered.
People are usually drawn to what is different and creative, and if you can offer services that are both of those things, you are likely to find plenty of success. This is also a good reason for you to gain as much experience as you possibly can. The more you know, the more you can offer, even if your specialty is in one specific area.
If you have the luxury of knowing all these different skills, you can advertise as such, and people will likely be twice as drawn to you. If they have the option to go to someone who can cover a wide variety of things, they will probably take it, so if you are determined to become a popularly chosen expert, this is a great way to achieve that kind of expertise.
5. Obtain Necessary Permits, Certifications, and Licenses
This is probably the most unfun part of starting a plumbing business, but it is also one of the most important parts. You will need/want to get all the legal stuff out of the way before you start the business up. Without doing so, you may find plenty of success, but if you get caught operating without proper consent/permission, the consequences could be severe.
You will first need to obtain a plumber’s license which will allow you to operate as a plumber on a general basis. Different bodies in each state manage licences. In Queensland, the QBCC is the statutory body that administers plumbing and drainage licences. States may have a dollar value threshold, for which a licence is required to perform work above the threshold, however in states like Queensland carrying out plumbing and drainage work of any value requires a QBCC licence.
Keep in mind that the laws will vary from state to state, and you will need to do your research about the laws in your area. Just know that you will need to get your legal affairs in order before anything else. This will help you to avoid any sort of legal repercussions that might occur later in your career.
If you were to operate without a license, you, as well as the people you are working with might be forced to pay hefty fines. Plus, a lack of certification will convey a sense of serious unprofessionalism to any potential customers. It will be very hard to find business because people won’t want someone without a license or certification working on their plumbing; they’ll think you are an amateur with no sense of professionalism.
6. Develop a Plan Before You Start
Going blindly into business without an idea of what you’re doing or what exactly you want is sure to end in disaster. You need to thoroughly plan what your desired future is for your company or else you won’t get very far. Making a business plan usually entails quite a lot. You need to cover just about everything in the book.
You need to determine your plans for pricing, how you are going to finance certain things, how much the gear will cost, what the logo will look like, etc. Simply having a logo and a scribbled-down menu of your services is not enough. Conveying a sense of professionalism is more important than ever because, as mentioned above, this will help you to draw in customers.
This is part of the reason that having friends to help you out is such an important part of starting a business. Having those friends/business partners means you can delegate as much as you need to to help your team be successful and effective. Somebody can handle finances, another person can take care of putting a website together, someone else can design the logo, etc.
Teamwork does make the dream work if you let it! Again, make sure you don’t leave anything out that could be an essential part of your business’s success. Be thorough, and you will thank yourself when you decide to use those tools for the good of the startup. It will be more than worth it.
7. Equip Yourself—Get Materials Secondhand
Once you have your legal affairs in order and have created a plan for the business, it’s time to get ready for business. This means buying all the gear and tools you need to succeed. If the word “buying” makes you cringe just a tad, that’s okay. If you are on a tight budget, you may not currently possess the funds for this, but there are more ways than one to get what you need.
First, you could try finding equipment secondhand, though this can be a gamble. You will, of course, need to buy a few things brand new, like tape and pipes. You may even need to find a vehicle that will be able to transport your equipment around, though hopefully, you will already have something like this.
You can try buying your materials from a secondhand store or a junkshop that has parts. Of course, you should keep in mind that some of the cost for materials will be covered when you start charging for your services. You can use some of that revenue to invest in supplies as well. If you can find used tools that are still in good shape, you can use those as well!
8. Keep Going: Stay Happy as a Plumber
Things may not work perfectly at first. Being in business is hard, and you will certainly have to work through some rough patches. However, if you are willing to stick with it, you might find that your struggles have been worth the time and the difficulty in the end. Be patient, especially through the process of getting legally certified, since that step can sometimes take quite a while.
Most of all, you should do your best to stay happy and passionate about your line of work. This can get difficult sometimes, especially if you are sick of the routine. However, if you are willing to retain your passion for this business that you began with your own two hands, people will notice. But why is that a good thing?
Not only will this help you to remain excited about what you get to do for work, but it will also be a good sign for your customers. If people notice that you are passionate about what you do, they will assume that you will put a healthy amount of effort into your work and never do anything halfway. If you can convince your customers that that is the kind of person you are, you might be shocked at how successful you could become.