People rely on plumbers for services they can’t handle themselves. Everyone who has plumbing (toilets, sinks, potable/sewer water pipes) will need a plumber at some point. Sounds like a potentially lucrative business, doesn’t it? If you’re looking to start a plumbing business, here are some basic steps, from getting certified to using plumber SEO to market your company.
Once you determine being a plumber is right for you (getting your hands dirty and working flexible hours, sometimes evenings, weekends, or holidays), it’s time to get certified. Plumbing requires science, math, and tech skills. Completing a vocational training program and completing an apprenticeship can qualify you for licensure.
Pick Your Niche
You might want to focus on unclogging drains or fixing leaky pipes, or more advanced tasks such as sewer line inspections or home renovations. Your business can focus on a broad range of services. Before you continue, you’ll need to decide if you will be a residential plumber or one who deals in construction, sanitary equipment, or commercial maintenance.
Invest in Your Expertise/Equipment
There are many costs involved, from obtaining certification to purchase a service vehicle, to procuring the equipment you’ll use every day. You’ll need office equipment, a computer, a mobile phone, and tools such as pipe wrenches, saws, drills, propane torches, pipe cutters, and more.
Establish Your Business
Before you meet a single customer, you will need to:
- Create a plan for starting your business and for the long run.
- Submit documentation required by state and local agencies.
- Create a legal business entity to avoid personal liability in case of a lawsuit.
- Register for state and federal taxes (before opening for business).
- Open a bank account dedicated to your business finances.
- Set up an accounting system for tracking financial performance and filing taxes.
- Get business insurance, including workers compensation insurance if your state requires it.
- Create a service agreement and pricing structure.
Create an Office
Your primary work is in the field, but you’ll need an office to take phone calls, keep records, and work out your marketing campaign. A home office might work if you’re comfortable, but make sure you have room for a desk, computer, filing cabinet, and equipment.
Develop a Marketing Strategy
Without a marketing plan, your business won’t go far. You can start with business cards and a logo. Referral programs, which leverage word of mouth to grow business, are useful as well, and where you can also apply discounts and other benefits to those who refer customers to your company.
Nowadays, a marketing strategy is incomplete if it’s not online. You should have a business website for your plumbing services; that’s because the Internet is where most people search for them. A user-friendly website can help customers learn more about you, your company, and products and services. Don’t forget social media either. A LinkedIn, Facebook, or Google+ page can attract many new customers.
Then there’s plumber SEO, which uses content, keywords, reviews, and other strategies to promote your brand. It should be in your strategy and is something a marketing company like National Positions can help with.