Now is a great time to start a boiler repair and plumbing business. This is because the industry is expected to grow over the next few years due to new construction.
Plus, existing homeowners are investing in remodeling homes. Many of these projects require the expertise of a plumbing contractor.
If you want to capitalize on this growth, it’s time to get started. Would you like to know more about starting your own plumbing business?
Read on to learn what it takes to start your business and build it from the ground up.
Have Experience with the Plumbing Industry
How much experience do you have in the plumbing industry? Are you just getting started or have you been working for others for years?
You want to make sure you have a foundation to start with. To begin with, you need to have a high school diploma or a GED to get into a trade school or plumbing certification program. These are usually short programs that give you the knowledge and hands-on skills to work in the industry.
After the certification program, you want to get an apprenticeship so you can learn more about the industry and the day-to-day work that plumbers do. Some certification programs combine classroom work with apprenticeships. Therefore, it won’t cost you years of time building up your experience.
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You also need to be licensed to work as a plumber. The requirements will vary by state. However, at the beginning stages of your career, you can get a journeyman license. That usually requires at least two years of experience.
Decide on a Business Model for Your Plumbing Company
You have a few options to start up a business. You can be an independently owned business or a franchise, or you can buy out an existing plumbing business.
There are pros and cons of each. An independent business gives you complete control, but you have to do everything yourself.
With a franchise, you operate according to the franchise’s rules. On the plus side, you have the marketing and brand support of a larger company.
When you buy out an existing business, you can get a steady stream of customers right away. However, you need to make sure to purchase a business with a great reputation. You don’t want to buy a cheap business with a bad reputation because you won’t be able to rebuild it.
Know Your Niche
Your next step is to figure out what kind of business you want to run. Do you want to have a business that focuses on small residential projects? On the other hand, you could decide that commercial plumbing projects are a better fit for you.
You want to decide your niche early on because your marketing, branding, and business plan will be dictated by who you want to work with.
The reason why you want to limit your scope of services early on is that you will be working with few resources at the beginning. You want to use those resources wisely. If you have a broad range of services, you’re going to have to hire other plumbers and buy equipment to take care of those jobs.
By having a smaller scope, your business is more focused and you’re using fewer resources to serve clients. That means more profitability.
Start Planning for Future Expansion
Keep in mind that limiting your scope early on doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it. You can start with one area and expand into other areas as your business grows.
For example, you might start off with a business that works in small residential plumbing projects in Fort Collins, Colorado. You could later expand to boiler repair Denver, which gives you a new market and a new service.
Research the Competition
You have to know who’s offering what in your niche. Therefore, take a look online at your main plumbing competitors. Pick three to five of the top ones and study them. You want to note:
- How they market themselves
- The services they offer
- How they try to set themselves apart
- Who they target
The time you spend doing research will guide you in positioning your own company. You can find areas that aren’t being served by your competition. That presents a big opportunity for your new plumbing business.
Write Out a Business Plan for Your Plumbing Company
This is the thing that new business owners love to skip. However, it can go a long way to determine your success or failure. A detailed written business plan makes your business more likely to be successful than companies that don’t have one.
That’s because a business plan looks at every aspect of the business to determine whether or not it stands a chance to be profitable. You also know what the risks and obstacles are before you do anything else.
The main components of a business plan tell the story about the business, such as the founders, the business structure, the daily operations, and the financials. The financials are the most time-consuming, but the most important.
Get Good People Around You
There’s a lot you know about plumbing, but it’s likely that you don’t know much about running a business. Everyone starts with little knowledge, but the difference for successful people is that they know where they need help.
For starters, you probably don’t know much about the different types of corporate structures for your plumbing business. You’re not an expert in tax law, either.
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That’s why a good team is critical to your success. You’ll want to start with a business attorney who can tell you how you should structure your business. You’ll also want to have a great bookkeeper and accountant on hand.
As your business grows, you may decide to outsource things like marketing and sales to people with these skill sets.
Obtain Your Licenses and Approvals
Now it’s time to make your business official. You’ll need to register your business with the secretary of state’s office in your state. You may need to obtain local business licenses, depending on where you operate.
You may also need to make sure you have a contractor’s license in your state. That allows you to hire subcontractors and employees for jobs. Many plumbing contractors are licensed to take on large projects, such as septic tank replacements.
If that’s not confusing enough, some local jurisdictions like New York City have their own licensing requirements. If you have questions about getting the proper licenses in your city and state, contact your state’s board of plumbing contractors for guidance.
Finance and Buy Equipment
You’re inching closer to getting your business started. You’ll need to have proper plumbing equipment to take care of your customers.
Some of this should have been addressed in your business plan. For example, you should have outlined what you need to get started and how much it costs.
You can take your business plan to the bank and get a small business loan to pay for the equipment. Of course, they’re going to want to make sure that you have good credit, too.
Build Your Brand
Building your brand is where the fun part of business begins. This just means working to get new clients. Especially if you decided to start an independently owned business, you need to define your brand.
That doesn’t mean create a logo. Instead, your brand is the first thing customers think of when they hear about your company.
In the case of a plumbing business, professionalism and reliability are two things your customers might think of when they think about your business. Moreover, your brand will be the foundation of all of your marketing efforts. It will dictate the messaging on your website and the colors in your logo.
Start Marketing Your Plumbing Business
There are countless ways to market your business. You can invest in search engine optimization, blogging, social media, and networking.
What’s more, you want to do a mix of online and offline activities to get started. You’ll be able to see what works well for your business and invest more resources to what’s working.
No matter what you do to market your business, you have to be out there consistently and give your strategies time to work.
Devote Time to Self-Improvement
You need to think of yourself as someone more than a plumber. Additionally, you’re a business owner with a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders. There’s a lot that you need to know to run a profitable business.
It’s also your responsibility to stay up-to-date with changes in the plumbing industry. This allows you to deliver better services to your customers.
For these reasons, you should devote a little time each day to self-improvement. To do this, you can take a course on business financials or read books about leadership.
Start Your Plumbing Business Today
Starting a business is tough in the beginning stages. This is because you need to get the right clients and deliver outstanding service. It’s long hours, up and down income, and a bit more stress than you’re used to.
It does take patience and attention to detail to build your business. However, remember that you’re much more than a plumbing contractor. You’re a plumbing business owner. You need to know a little bit about everything from marketing to sales to accounting.
Do you want more business tips that will help you get your business up and running? Take a look at our Marketing section for helpful articles.