Working as a plumber can be quite profitable. However, this is not a business many entrepreneurs would want to pursue. This is due to the common belief that being a plumber is a handyman’s job. This is hardly true, as there is a great difference between a plumber and a handyman.
A plumber is a person who specializes in the installment and maintenance of systems used for potable water, drainage systems, as well as sewages. A plumber also maintains piping, fittings, and fixtures that are involved in the distribution and use of water in a building. A plumber specializes mainly in the act of plumbing.
A handyman, on the other hand, also known as a fixer, is a person, mostly without any formal training, who specializes at a wide range of repairs, mostly around the home. He/she doesn’t have a specific area of specialization.
How to Start a Plumbing Business?
After serving as an apprentice plumber for the period of time required, it is very natural for you to be thinking of starting your own plumbing business.
Most entrepreneurs planning on starting a plumbing business sometimes take courses just to improve. This is quite laudable because the only way to have a successful plumbing business is to have a lot of experience.
Owning a business isn’t always easy. It takes a lot of hard work trying to put together every little detail.
Here are a few steps to take when starting a plumbing business;
1. Decide on what particular plumbing service you want to start:
Plumbing business can be of two types, it can concentrate primarily on the selling of tools and supplies or installing new plumbing work, or repairing existing plumbing work. Some plumbing businesses offer a combination of both services. To begin with, you can decide which business model thrives mostly in your niche. Or you can as well render both services.
2. Have a plumbing business plan
After deciding on what plumbing business model you want to start, the next thing to do is draw up a successful business plan. A business plan is key to implementing a business model, especially if you’re looking for funding from investors.
The plan would help you describe and shape your business. Your business plan should contain the mission or objectives of your business, market research, client analysis, projected costs and revenues, equipment prices, materials, transportation, payroll, etc.
3. Register your business and acquire a license.
To legally work as a plumber in many countries, you must have a valid plumbing contractor license. Licensing requirements vary by state, make sure you contact the local legislation on what’s needed to set up your plumbing business. While this may be true, there are many similarities between every state’s licensing requirements, and this information is available on the internet. You can glean something from that to know what to expect when contacting the local authorities.
4. Look for a trusted supplier for your plumbing tools.
Having a trusted supplier of goods is necessary when starting a plumbing business that deals with the sales of plumbing tools. Because unless you already own our plumbing equipment, investing in tools will be a huge deal. Aside from the tools and equipment necessary to start the plumbing business, you would need reliable transportation to make visits to job sites easy and smooth.
Some necessary equipment you might need to start a plumbing business includes:
- Reliable truck or van
- Pipe cutters
- A circular saw
- Extension cord
- Office furniture and supplies.
5. Find an office in a profitable location
Finding an office in a profitable location is of utmost importance. Location is one of the most important aspects of any business, including the plumbing business. You would want your business located in a place where it would be easy to locate and visit job sites. Your office should be located in a place that is easily accessible to customers.
6. Build an online presence
We are in the era of technology, where everyone has a social media account. Having an online presence would help boost your business. The first thing to do when building an online presence is to build a website. Building a website would help you market your business, even in your absence. Your websites should contain all the relevant information your clients would need, including pricing, hours of operation, and the types of plumbing services you offer.
You can always generate more interest locally by combining specific keywords with popular search terms throughout your content. However, as long as you’ve already established a quality website that includes digital marketing and your business account on social media is active, customers will surely find you. It might take some time (Rome wasn’t built in a day, never forget that), but you would eventually find customers.
It is also very advisable to have a social media account. Having a social media account would help you market your services more, and you would also be able to run paid ads. You could also join focus groups and companies that would connect you to customers.
7. Hire and train workers.
Most entrepreneurs prefer to go solo when starting a business. Most plumbers prefer working alone but remember you were once someone’s apprentice. Having other plumbers working in your business would boost your business because you would then be able to visit more than one job site at a particular time.
When hiring plumbers, it is important to try to find trustworthy ones with wonderful qualifications and experience. You would also need to consider other factors, such as accounting for their wages, insurance, and cost. You could also start a plumber apprentice school, where people get paid to train and learn.
8. Build a reputable reputation
The one thing that keeps a business running for a long time is having a good reputation. Using materials of quality products and being completely trustworthy and honest with your customers would help you retain them.
When you perform top-notch jobs, customers will be encouraged to leave favorable reviews on your social media platforms. Some customers may even go as far as recommending you to their friends and family. Be sure to always post accolades or awards you acquire for outstanding customer service on your social media platforms and websites.