Plumbing is one of those jobs that is always going to be in demand. If you have the skills necessary to work as a plumber then you should have no trouble finding yourself work. However, starting a plumbing business isn’t going to be easy. There are plenty of people out there who need your services, but how do you get your services in front of them?
There will be numerous well-established traders and businesses that you need to compete with. Not only will you need to match them in terms of the services that you offer to customers, but you will also need to be able to match them in terms of the price you charge. If you are going to compete with big businesses while using the budget of a small business, you will need to have a well-oiled business with a carefully planned budget.
If your plumbing business is going to make it, you will need to know exactly what you’re getting into and how you will deal with the challenges that lie ahead. You don’t want to enter into this venture without a clear plan for the way forward.
Find Your Niche
Just as with any other business venture, your business will need to offer something that your competitors can’t or don’t. In the context of a plumbing business, this will mean purchasing the necessary tools and equipment to be able to perform services that aren’t currently on offer in your area. Different areas will be in need of different skills and services, you need to know your local market before you can decide what your best option is going to be.
For example, if there is no-one offering sewer cleaning in your area, or there are only one or two others who provide the service, investing in the necessary equipment could turn out to be a very smart move. Make sure that you ask yourself these questions before you commit to any purchase. Also, make sure that you are certain that sewer cleaning is what your local area needs.
Once you have identified a niche, you can then focus your marketing efforts around what makes your business unique and what services you can offer that others can’t. You will often be able to charge a higher rate for more specialized services, so purchasing equipment may well be a solid investment.
Training and Experience
You may have worked as a plumber previously in your life or you might be completely new to the game. In either case, there will be new skills you can learn and new techniques for you to experience. The more experience and training you have, the more valuable you will be. If you want to be able to charge more for your services, you should work towards earning new accreditations and taking on new training.
Whatever your niche is, you want to be able to provide the best possible service to those who hire you. If you are to achieve this, you will need to know your niche inside out. The longer you work in a given field, the more experience you will gain. Couple this with more advanced training and you will find that you continually improve.
Sort Out the Legal Mumbo-Jumbo
Whenever you open a new business of any type, there is always going to be some paperwork that needs to be done. There will also be rules and regulations governing what you can and can’t do when running a plumbing business in your state. If you fail to find out what these are beforehand, you will be held responsible for any breaches.
One of the first things you should do when you are planning to start a new business is to make sure that you completely and totally understand the market that you are entering into and any restrictions that exist upon it. If you are starting a plumbing business then you will need to obtain a license from the state, in fact, you will need a plumbing license and a contractor’s license, in addition to a plumbing permit.
There is also a multitude of other forms that you need to sign and submit for individual jobs. Oh, and don’t forget about liability insurance! Starting a plumbing business can quickly become expensive and you need to keep on top of your administrative tasks. You might also want to think about taking out equipment on individual pieces of equipment, the ones that you use on a daily basis.
Make Your Website Stand Out
It used to be the business card that was the quintessential tool for promoting a business. A business card made it possible to put your name and business out into the wider world where someone who needed your services might stumble upon it. However, today the business card has been replaced with the website.
It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do or how big your business is, people will expect you to have a website. Not having a website is seen as a sign of unprofessionalism and can make your business seem like it isn’t serious. Given how accessible good web design tools are, and how easy it is to hire a web developer to build your website, there is no excuse for a cheap or ineffectual website.
Make a Business Plan
Every business should have a business plan. A business plan details your plans for your business’s future, what you want to achieve, and how you will go about achieving it. By setting out clearly what it is that you want to achieve, as well as how to achieve it, you stand a much better chance of success than if you’re trying to wing it and make it up as you go.
A business plan should be more than just financial projections. It is important to stay on top of your budget and to put together a business plan that takes into consideration your evolving financial situation.
As time goes on, you will find out how accurate your plan is. When real-world events cause your business to deviate from your plan, you should reshape your plan so that it accounts for the new reality. Your business plan should be an evolving document, not a static and rigid set of targets that you either succeed or fail to reach. When your business doesn’t meet the financial targets you’ve set, you shouldn’t view this as a failure. Instead, take it as an opportunity to refine your business plan and adopt a more considered approach.
Starting a successful business is always a challenge, it’s a competitive world out there and those that can’t keep up will quickly fall. If you’re going to make your plumbing business a success, you will need to start it the right way. Getting your business off on the wrong foot can doom your venture before it has even begun. Following the above advice will give your business the best possible start and the best chance of success.