If you’ve made the decision to start a plumbing business chances are you’ll already know about the challenges involved. And, as rewarding as it can be, launching a successful business can mean lots of hard work and dedication.
There are a variety of aspects to consider when starting out on your own. Ideally, you’ll already have some knowledge and experience of plumbing, whether in a domestic or commercial environment. Other factors you’ll need to think about are:
A robust business plan
Before diving straight in, you should draw up a business plan, outlining your forecast for the next year. Include financial aspects such as predicted spending, the type of work you’ll offer and any funding that you’ll need.
You should also consider the legalities around registering your business and think about how you intend to grow your company over the next few months.
It’s a good idea to carry out some market analysis to make sure you have a USP among the competition, particular in your local area.
Your initial outlay will need to cover equipment costs so make sure you take these into account. Common plumbing tools and equipment include fillers and putties, pipe cutters, grips, drills and a range of fittings, valves and thermostats.
You’ll need to consider storage and transport too. Many plumbers choose to use a van to make it easy to carry all their equipment. But it’s important to not leave any expensive tools in a vehicle overnight while working on projects.
Expertise and training
Even if you already have plumbing expertise it can be a good idea to make sure you’re fully qualified and have completed the right training for running a plumbing business. You might consider becoming a member of an official body such as the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering. This can add an extra level of reassurance and trust for customers.
You should also provide any appropriate training for those you employ and make sure you provide suitable personal protective equipment.
Finally, you’ll need to make sure you market your business to your intended customers. Your target audience will depend on the type of plumbing work you choose to do, whether residential or commercial.
When first starting out, it’s a good idea to use social media channels to get the word out and consider advertising in local publications. You should also make sure you’re listed on online directories so your business is easy to find.
Once you’ve got an initial bank of customers, ask them to leave reviews and testimonials to increase your reputation and to help encourage others to use your services.
Other factors to consider include diary management, to ensure you give each project enough time, and budgeting skills. It might also be a good idea to build your network of tradespeople as plumbers often work alongside gas engineers, tilers and decorators. These contacts could come in handy for both you and your customers.