From the blog Tips for Having a Successful Plumbing Business
Running a successful plumbing business is much easier with the right combination of business expertise and industry experience. Whether you’re an experienced plumber thinking of setting out on your own or an established tradesman with plans to hire more plumbers, it’s possible to have a successful plumbing business.
The keys to success are the same as many different types of businesses, although there are some unique advantages and challenges in the world of plumbing. Knowing how to approach the challenges and make the most of the advantages is the secret to creating a strong, healthy business that will grow. For example, investing in new technology like ServiceMax to improve the efficiency of your field management is a great move.
Create a Detailed Business Plan
The first step that every entrepreneur should take when starting a new company is creating a business plan. This important document will primarily be used to pitch your plumbing business to investors and creditors; however, the business plan also serves as a guide for running your new company by outlining profit margins, marketing strategies, daily operations, and more.
The most important component of the document is the business model, which outlines the realistic expectations for profitability and day-to-day operations. You’ll use this model to determine how much work you take on, how much you charge customers, and other aspects of running your business.
Also included in the business plan is an executive statement. This element of the plan outlines every aspect of your business. It’ll explain the services your plumbing company provides, the progress you’ve made with your new business, and what plans you have for future operations. You’ll also provide analysis of the local plumbing market, identify target customers, and create detailed breakdowns of your competitors.
Find Vendors That Work Best for Your Plumbing Company
One of the advantages of a plumbing company is that overhead is low. Many businesses don’t require a physical office space, operating out of a truck or van. It’s important for successful plumbing businesses to find ways to keep costs low, because lower outgoing cash flow allows you to keep prices low for customers. One way to improve profit margins is closely examining vendors and choosing those with the best service and lowest prices.
Plumbing customers typically pay directly after services are rendered; successful plumbing businesses make these transactions as easy as possible. When you work with a better payment processing vendor, you can accept credit and debit card payments with a mobile payment reader. The quality of your service is always the most important factor but finding ways to improve customer service leads to customer retention.
Stay On Top of Licenses and Permits
While it may seem obvious, be sure you’ve completed all required licensing and permitting before you begin operations. You’ll need to keep close track of any permits or licenses with expiration dates to avoid working under expired credentials. Even if done unintentionally, operating with an expired license can be damaging for word-of-mouth.
Purchase High Quality Equipment
In addition to great customer-service and lower prices, great results are what keep plumbing customers coming back to your business. It’s much more cost-effective to retain customers than find new ones, making repeat business a key to a successful plumbing company.
To give your customers great results, you’ll need quality equipment. It’s worth the extra initial cost to invest in equipment that allows you to work efficiently and achieve great results. A reliable vehicle is an important consideration for a new plumbing business. If your van or truck is constantly in the shop for repairs, it hurts profit margins. You’ll spend money fixing it and won’t be able to take on work. The same goes for ensuring you’ve got the right insurance policy for your vehicle. As a trades person, there will be times when you need to leave expensive tools in your van, therefore it’s important that your insurance policy covers these against theft and damage. Accordingly, one recommendation is to use a van insurance provider with tools insurance included, like with one sure insurance. Working with better equipment makes it easier for your plumbing business to provide efficient, high-quality service to your customers.
Orient Your Business Towards Specific Services
New plumbing businesses face a crowded market that’s difficult to penetrate. Because there’s a low barrier of entry, there are many competing plumbing businesses. To separate yourself from competitors, consider positioning your business to cater to specific services and clientele. There are several different types of plumbing specializations – water supply, sanitary plumbing, gasfitting, roofing, drainage, and mechanical services. Your business can offer any variety of specializations to find a niche within the local market.
You can obtain additional certification, allowing your plumbing business to offer more services. For instance, with rising energy and utility costs forcing businesses to rethink their infrastructure, certification in energy efficient and water-saving technology is a great idea for a new plumbing business.