Do you want to start a plumbing business but don’t know the essentials of starting one?
Starting a plumbing business isn’t easy. And there are lots of things you need to know before you even think about starting your own business. In fact, it’s like starting any business — Your startup costs are invested in money and equipment. But if you already have experience working as a plumber, the investment might be lower for you than for someone who is completely new to the industry. However, without customers, you might have to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars more into buying additional documentation or materials.
If you do decide to start a plumbing business yourself, here are 7 things you should consider first:
Find Out If You Really Want It!
Asking yourself “do I actually want to do this?” is probably the most important question you can ask before getting started with any new venture, so this should be the first thing you consider when thinking about starting a plumbing business. Do you want to make a lot of money quickly or would you rather work for yourself doing what you enjoy? Would you prefer working on a client base that loves you and wants more of your services, or would you like to cater to an area full of angry customers who hate everything you do? How long will you have to wait before making enough money to live comfortably? Will you be able to provide sufficient support for your children during those times when they’re at school/college or daycare? The answers to these questions are very telling. But don’t worry too much about them yet — there are plenty more steps to take once you’ve decided whether or not you’d like to become a plumber.
Determine Your Financial Needs
It might seem obvious now, but one of the major reasons many people fail is because they haven’t set aside enough money for their business from the outset. Yes, you could go into debt, but the quicker you get yourself onto a steady financial path then the better off you’ll be when your children eventually leave for college/school or you are forced to stop due to illness/injury. Remember, your primary goal should always be to ensure your family has food and other necessities while keeping a consistent income coming in. Once you’ve got yourself sorted financially you can move on to answering some other questions:
Figure out What Permits Are Needed & Licensing Requirements
If you plan on running your plumbing business from home you may find that you won’t need a license, as the state won’t be regulating your activities. However, if you plan on having others in your household help you out by providing service to clients, it becomes increasingly necessary that you obtain a General Contractor License, also known as a BCPL. This is simply a government-issued permit that allows others to assist you with your services without becoming licensed themselves. Depending on the level of your planning and education, obtaining the BCPL can cost as little as $50-$75. Depending on what exactly you want to do, you should research more so you can find the correct permits and licenses in your area.
Decide How Much Money You’ll Have To Spend
In order to start up a successful plumbing business, you’ll need to purchase a vehicle, equipment, furniture for your office space, phones, internet connection, etc. These items aren’t cheap, so once again you need to decide whether or not you’d prefer to pay cash or borrow using credit cards. For the former option, you’d need to budget around $5k – $10k depending on how much you end up needing. Borrowing however requires less risk since you still have time to save for the initial costs, but you also need to remember that interest rates are higher than ever and you may need to pay back your loan for a couple of years.
Plan On Building Up A Client Base
When starting a plumbing business you need to be careful where you spend your time. In order to build an impressive portfolio, you must put your best foot forward by marketing and promoting your services and products as thoroughly and effectively as possible. And yet, we all know that it’s very easy to spend hours going through Google searches looking for things such as “plumbing services in”, “plumbers near me” or “how to prevent clogged drains”. The sad fact of the matter is that these phrases alone can earn you a ton of traffic, but unless that traffic converts to sales, you’ll only just break even.
As you continue building up your skills you’ll learn that certain keywords perform better than others, although the majority of people will search for general terms such as ‘plumbing’ or ‘drain repair’. If you can rank highly for these two search queries then you’ll immediately gain a competitive advantage over anyone else offering similar services, but it’s impossible to target each keyword individually. The easiest way to increase your site’s visibility is to create quality content.
Use routing software like the ezbz App to help keep all of your jobs and employees in line.
The ezbz App helps make life easier for plumbers and other businesses, while also giving them the opportunity to organize their day-to-day activities efficiently. It can help plumbing businesses by keeping track of all of the customer’s information, whether it be the address, phone number, or job description. Routes can be created using the app, allowing plumbers to easily access all of the needs of each customer without having to go back and forth throughout the day. This can help create more organization within your business, and decrease mishaps or misunderstandings at a job, as everything they need to know will be right on the app. Routing software is key when it comes to making sure your day-to-day tasks are efficient, timely, and successful.
Don’t Forget About Your Customers… They’re Crucial!
There’s no denying that when it comes to plumbing businesses, customer satisfaction is paramount. Unless you consistently offer high-quality work and outstanding prices you’re bound to struggle with attracting new customers. But what most plumbers fail to realize before setting up shop is that while it’s true that many potential clients will turn to their friend’s recommendations first, word of mouth is rarely reliable. Therefore, if you want to attract the right sort of clientele you should focus on advertising the benefits, special offers, and discounts available to them. By doing this you’ll prove yourself to be more valuable than any other plumber in town. Remember: the key to being successful isn’t about how fast you grow; it’s about how long you last.
A lot of people dream of owning their own business, but few ever take the steps to make it happen. Though there are many reasons why a small business may fail, it is also true that a small business can be a successful source of income, if it is started and run correctly.
We call her The App Mama. Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at ezbz App Nancy Schwab focuses bringing entrepreneur’s visions to life. Nancy uses her decades of business experience to teach clients how to maximize their apps. Nancy’s favorite part of her work comes when clients grow their businesses through technology. In her down time, Nancy enjoys spending time with her husband, cheering on the Green Bay Packers, and traveling, particularly to places with a beach.