Starting a business is one of the most stressful and rewarding things you can do. Starting a plumbing business is even more exciting because of the endless opportunities.
The amount of new construction is increasing, which is creating more demand for plumbers. More demand means that there’s plenty of business for the taking. Why shouldn’t you capture some of that market?
You can’t have a great plumbing business without the right tools though. Find out what tools you absolutely need and how you can start a business that thrives.
1. Drain Inspection Camera
Technology has changed how plumbing is done these days. Drain inspection cameras can show you what’s really going on in a drainage system.
There is a broad range of cameras on the market. They’ll vary by battery life, camera head adjustments, and high definition video. Some cameras are more portable than others.
Before you invest in such a tool, you want to make sure you think about how you’ll use it to find the best one for you.
2. Snakes & Augers
Every plumber needs a snake. It’s the plumbing tool that you have to have. It’s used to unclog the most stubborn drainage issues in pipes.
If a clog is very bad, then you can resort to using an auger.
3. Hand Tools
There are a variety of hand tools that you’ll need to do your job. Plumbing wrenches and faucet keys are essential to do your job.
You’ll definitely need pipe cutters, like the ones you’ll find at TigerFish Tools. Pipe cutters are a necessity if a pipe has become so damaged, it needs to be replaced.
Other tools that you’ll need are for soldering, like soldering paste and soldering wire.
New business owners are so excited to do what they love and help people that they don’t realize that they have to manage a business too.
You’re responsible for everything from marketing to customer service. It can feel like you’re working 3 jobs on some days.
SmartService is a suite of tools that helps plumbers manage the business. You can send out invoices, receive payments, manage equipment, and schedule appointments within the same program.
When you’re starting your business, you’re going to be responsible for most of the work and you won’t be able to spend too much time doing admin work. SmartService has an app so you can take your admin work with you.
5. Office Management Tools
SmartService will do a lot to help you manage your business. There are still other tools that you’ll need to help you manage the backend of the office.
Cash flow management is a must, and you need to have good accounting software to do that. QuickBooks is the standard for all accounting suites. The good thing about this is that it integrates with SmartService and a lot of other programs as well.
Now that you know the essential tools you need to start your plumbing business, let’s take a look at how you can start your business.
How to Start a Plumbing Business
There’s a little bit of research that you need to do before you start to invest in equipment. You want to get an idea of the lay of the land. You need to research the competition and spot any potential markets that aren’t being served.
You’ll be tempted to skip this step and might decide that you want to work with anyone with a plumbing problem. It’s in your best interest to resist this temptation.
You need to figure out who your core market is because your marketing will need to speak to them directly. If you generalize your marketing messages to try to reach everyone, you’ll miss the mark and reach no one.
Do some research online to find out who the top plumbers are in your area. Find out who they serve and read reviews to find out why customers love them.
Franchise or Independent
A plumbing business isn’t easy to get off the ground. That’s partly why some plumbers choose to franchise their business.
A franchise provides a system to help you run your business and get new clients right away. You basically have a template that you must follow to remain a franchisee.
As an independent plumbing business, you have complete control over the business. You’re also responsible for every aspect of the business including marketing.
Set Yourself Apart
The most successful businesses aren’t successful because they’re the best plumbers or the smartest people. They’re successful because they are crystal clear about who they serve and why people would go to their business over the competition.
They also do that in a way that is concise and clear. That one short sentence is called a unique selling proposition. You need to have that down to attract the right customers to your plumbing business.
To start a business, you’re going to have to jump through a number of bureaucratic hoops. You have to have some kind of training to start a plumbing business. At the very least, you should have a level 2 or 3 diploma in Domestic Plumbing and Heating.
You’ll also have to obtain the appropriate business licenses. You have to decide if you should set up your plumbing business as a sole trader or a limited company. There are advantages and disadvantages to each legal structure for your business.
You should consult with a legal professional before deciding. There are legal and tax implications for your business.
Start Your Plumbing Business
You have a lot to think about when you’re starting a plumbing business. You have to have the appropriate licenses and legal structure. You also have to know who you’re serving and why they should use your plumbing business over the others.
Most of all, you need to have the right plumbing tools that’ll help you serve your customers better.
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