Wondering how to launch a successful plumbing business from scratch?
If you are thinking about calling all the shots and becoming your boss, then this post will answer all the questions you have about how to start your own plumbing company and expert tips for success.
Starting a plumbing company is a dream come true for most plumbers. The freedom of finding clients that will have great projects for you to handle and set your hours and prices, and having ultimate control over your activities are some of the reasons why most people think of setting up their own plumbing business.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the plumbing industry is expected to grow at a faster rate now and in the coming years. The industry is full of opportunities because more areas are being developed, old plumbers are retiring and new buildings that require plumbing systems are popping up.
Having said that, starting your own plumbing business is not a walk in the park as there are already many established and new plumbing contractors operating in this field. That’s why many plumbing companies close their doors even before they get started.
Yet, setting up your own plumbing business is not as hard when you can avoid and spot the pitfalls that other plumbers make when starting out. This post will help you learn how to start your own plumbing company from scratch and outrank your competition.
Steps to Start a Plumbing Business
While there are always challenges in different economies, the fact that global shortage of licensed plumbers implies that now is a perfect time to start a plumbing company.
That said, the path to plumbing business ownership isn’t always a smooth ride, but a bumpy one. You should be prepared to put in the effort and time, but it is well worth it. So, if you are ready to become your own boss, this post is designed for you. We have covered everything you need to know to turn your plumbing skills into a thriving business.
Without further ado, here are some steps to help you get started:
To Start a Plumbing Company, Save Money
Just like any investment, to start a plumbing business, you will require capital to fund your dream. The capital required to set up your plumbing company is moderate compared to other home service-based businesses. But your working capital should be sufficient to support all your company requirements.
The amount of money needed to start a plumbing company will be determined by your business model and needs. But you can start with low overhead: one plumber, a home office, and one truck. That said, you will need to save money to get your plumbing business started.
Define Your Plumbing Business
A clear plan is important for success when launching a plumbing business. Such a plan will assist you to map out the specifics of your plumbing business and discover some unknowns. This may seem intimidating especially if you don’t possess any formal business training. But you can still conduct research online to get tips on how to create a perfect business plan for your plumbing company. Here are a few considerations you need to consider:
Name of Your Plumbing Business
Choosing the right name for your plumbing company will help clients find your business, talk nicely about it or even recommend your services. If you operate a sole proprietorship, you may want to get a business name then use your own name.
Who is the Target Market?
For plumbing companies, clients are either residential or commercial types. Understanding your target clients will assist you to define your policies to suit their interests and preferences. For instance, because you are starting a plumbing business, prospects include construction contractors, residents, and other property owners in the region your company is situated.
What Kind of Plumbing Services Will Your Company Offers?
Opting to focus on a niche or specialty will make your plumbing company stand out from all other plumbing contractors in your service area. Focusing on a specific kind of plumbing business will bring not only repeat clients but also a consistent stream of customers from them. Here are some of the services your plumbing company can offer:
Water supply services
- Drainage services
- Gas plumbing services
- Emergency plumbing services
- Mechanical services
Which Area Will Your Plumbing Company Serve?
Defining the area your plumbing company serves will assist you to identify the target market, competitors, client preferences, and potential clients. By understanding all this information, it becomes hassle-free to obtain the attention of your target market.
Write a Detailed Business Plan Before You Start a Plumbing Company
A business plan is crucial as it offers an outlay of your plumbing business and helps you move in the right direction. It will have all the details concerning your business and the whole strategy on how you will start your plumbing company.
Don’t expect to launch your plumbing company off the ground without a comprehensive business plan. Yes, it takes some time and effort, but it’s worth it. That’s because a comprehensive plan gives your new plumbing company purpose, clear-cut strategy, and purpose.
Your plumbing company business plan should include:
- Growth opportunities
- Financial projections
- Long term/short term goals
- Marketing Strategies
Form a Legal Entity, Before You Start a Plumbing Business
Are you asking, “Should I register an LLC for my plumbing company?” if so, we got you covered. The most common business structure available is sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, and corporation.
- Sole Proprietorship: In this kind of business ownership, you operate your plumbing business without a specific business structure. Your assets, liabilities, and assets are not separated.
- Limited Liability Company: Establishing a legal entity such as a limited liability company (LLC) safeguards you from being held personally accountable in case your plumbing company is issued.
- S-Corporation: Also known as subchapter, these corporations are closed having a limit on the maximum number of members. They offer small plumbing businesses a tax benefit by giving waivers on corporate taxes.
Register with the IRS
The next step when starting a plumbing company is registering your business with the IRS. This is a social security identification number for your plumbing business.
Open a Business Bank Account
Along with forming a separate entity for your plumbing business is opening a bank account to do the same thing. If your plumbing company gets sued, you don’t want your valuables and assets to be at risk. This is a best practice that reduces the loss of any of your assets if your plumbing business is unsuccessful.
This is also known as the corporate veil, and it protects you when things go south. It also makes any type of taxing and accounting with the business’s income and cost easier.
In line with this, get a separate business credit card so that all your business expenses stay in one place. It also keeps your company starting with a good credit rating for any future investments. Ensure that you keep track of business finances and keep accurate records while at it.
After taking care of business licensing and registration, you will be required to safeguard your new plumbing business with small business insurance. You expose it to various risks from the day you launch your plumbing business, and that’s why you need business insurance. One potential lawsuit could make your business close even before it begins. To obtain the best insurance deals, you can use a broker and they will assist you to get the best prices.
Although plumbing company insurance can look different depending on the type of work and size of your business, here are some insurance coverages for your business, especially when starting out:
- Workers compensation insurance: if your plumbing business will have employees, then it is essential that you obtain workers’ compensation insurance. This policy caters to medical bills for any injured employee on the site and costs like lost wages in case the employee cannot work.
- General Liability Insurance: This insurance policy caters to client property damage, client injuries, and all other related lawsuits. If your plumbing company is issued as a result of property damage or injury, you may be required to pay a lump sum for compensation. General liability insurance will assist you to cover these kinds of events.
- Professional Liability Insurance: This insurance cover caters for professional error, negligence, failure to deliver service on time, or breach of contract. If you install a plumbing system for a house remodel and make a blunder in the installation that causes the system to fail, the homeowner could sue you for negligence or error. This insurance policy would cover your settlement and legal costs associated with the lawsuit.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: If your plumbing business uses trucks to transport equipment and tools to the sites, you will require vehicle insurance to cater for all accident-related expenses if your plumbing business vehicle gets involved in a terrible accident.
Hire a bookkeeper or an Accounting Firm
The law requires plumbing companies to maintain accurate books and records. A bookkeeper or an accounting firm will assist you to maintain accurate financial records.
Don’t try to do the bookkeeping yourself unless you are professionally trained in the accounting field. By doing so, it makes you lose motivation and focus, which may hurt your plumbing business growth.
That’s why we highly recommend that you hire an accounting firm to help you avoid headaches associated with missing entries, interchanging different types of expenses, or data entry errors. Outsourcing a professional accountant and bookkeeper will help you overcome these pitfalls.
Obtain the Right Certificate and Licenses
The next step in starting a successful plumbing company is getting all the required certificates and licenses. You can’t legally become a plumbing contractor and provide any services without proper licensing, and doing so will result in huge fines and even have your plumbing company shut down.
Plumber licensing requirements vary from one state to another. So be sure to check out all the licensing requirements and permits that you are going to need before starting your own plumbing company. You need to visit your city clerk’s office for local plumbing licensing requirements.
Lastly, make sure that your plumbers have certificates from a trade school or certification program. Certification varies from one state to another, so research to discover your local area licensing requirements. This not only solidifies the credibility of your company but also serves as a free advertising tool for future customers.
Purchase the Right Equipment
Since you are just starting out, you don’t have to spend all your capital on the newest equipment on the market. All you require are reliable tools that can help you get the job done. Concentrate on obtaining essentials and any additional tools if you offer specialty jobs. A professional uniform and a CRM and business card are also a good investment, and these can assist track your services and making sure that your plumbing business appears professional.
When You Set out Your Own Plumbing Business, You Will Need to Nurture or Form Relationships
Establish your plumbing company as a credible entity if you wish to dominate your local market. You can achieve this by implementing tips to make sure that your plumbing brand performance and presence are accurate and consistent.
Outsource the Plumbing Work
Outsourcing or hiring some plumbing work can free up the time constraints and stress that may occur when working alone. Although you may prefer offering such plumbing services yourself, outsourcing some tasks to contractors that specialize in specific aspects of your plumbing business will offer relief, especially when working with fixed project time frames.
Work With Professionals
Professionals succeed because they have diverse ideas of how to best deliver results on a specific project. When starting a plumbing business, you should bring this diversity by hiring professionals with fresh perspectives and unique ideas to your plumbing business. Experienced professionals won’t drain your money, instead, they will save you thousands of dollars by offering expert opinions on all issues.
Consider outsourcing professionals in different areas of your business from legal, accounting, to marketing. This is because such professionals understand plumbing industry tricks and secrets that would take many years to learn on your own.
When starting a plumbing business, the next step is determining the kind of material you would use to complete clients’ projects. After identifying your preferred brands of plumbing materials, you should talk to plumbing materials in your local area. It is also advisable to obtain a supplier who offers you a great credit line. This will assist your plumbing company to deliver on the client’s project even when experiencing cash flow problems.
Set Up an Office and Possibly a Warehouse
It goes without saying that you will need an office to operate your plumbing business. Setup your office at a location that suits your plumbing business and can easily be accessed by prospects or customers.
Admin tasks are also crucial when starting a plumbing company. You also need an office where you can receive phone calls from customers, keep crucial documents and conduct your marketing campaigns. Besides, you will also require a warehouse to store your plumbing tools and equipment.
You Will Need to Obtain Leads To Start a successful plumbing Company
Obtaining qualified leads is among the main challenges that new plumbing business owners face. But, getting quality business leads is the core of any new plumbing business. Here are some tips on how to generate commercial and residential plumbing leads for your new business:
Embrace Good Branding
Most new plumbers tend to ignore the importance of having a strong brand, especially when starting a plumbing company. But great brand identity is crucial in creating client loyalty. You can utilize the items discussed below to define your plumbing business and drive your company to success:
- A Unique Plumbing Company Logo: A well-designed logo does several things to advance any business including your new plumbing venture. It is not a symbolic representation of what your plumbing company offers or sells, and it is a visual that attracts your potential clients to your plumbing services or offerings. A unique logo will help prospects to verify and identify your plumbing services.
- Unique Business Card: a business card contains all your contact details such as website address, email address, company location, fax number, phone number, etc. A unique plumbing business card comes in handy when prospects or customers want to contact your company for plumbing services.
- Get a Professional Plumbing Website: No plumbing business can grow without having a vibrant online presence. This is because most people look for services or products online including plumbing services. They typically visit a plumber’s website to know more about your products and services. If your website design is easy to navigate and user-friendly, people will dwell there for a long time. This implies that many of them may consider hiring you for plumbing services.
Promote Your Plumbing Business
Your plumbing company can only grow if prospects or clients are aware of it. Nowadays, internet marketing has taken over when it comes to reaching large audiences interested in your plumbing services. Here is how you can take advantage of internet marketing to promote your plumbing services or products on the Internet:
- Integrate Search Engine Optimization: SEO is crucial to making sure that your plumbing website ranks higher in the search engine result pages. Search engines like Google crawl through plumber websites like yours and search for keywords related to search queries. When a homeowner types in “reliable plumbing services in your locality, you want them to find you. To achieve this, your plumbing website should implement both off-page and on-page SEO best practices. A professional plumber marketing agency like Blackstorm Design + Marketing can help to integrate SEO strategies into your plumbing website.
- Google Search Ads (PPC): If you want to scale your plumbing company online fast, then Google search ads is the way to go. Even though it’s expensive, Pay-per-Click is among the most effective and fastest ways to generate qualified leads for your plumbing business. If done properly, PPC has the following advantages; it helps your business obtain hot leads since they are searching for a plumber in the area and even though a bit expensive, it brings immediate results.
- Google Display Ads: These ads are almost similar to online billboards and allow users to set their minimum or maximum price. Its benefits include; they provide a cheaper and quicker way of getting your plumbing brand out in the local area and prospects can click on your ad and get further information.
- Develop an active social media presence: Your plumbing company should have an active Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Social media advertising is an inexpensive way to generate qualified leads for your new plumbing business.
- Door Hangers: This is an effective way of reaching targeted neighborhoods. You can utilize these tangible ads strategically placed in a prominent location to win new customers.
- Direct Mail: Direct mail can also help you obtain valuable plumbing leads if done properly. You can email well-designed leaflets and postcards to potential clients, particularly those in areas that are hit most by natural calamities.
Focus on Scheduling Service Appointments When You First Start a Plumbing Business
Your key to growth for a new plumbing business lies in capturing as many qualified leads or clients as possible. An important factor in attaining these objectives is providing convenient ways for clients to engage with your company.
When scheduling an appointment, always remember the following:
Answering the phone
Always respond to a business phone call courteously and professionally, because ringing phone calls are the lifeblood of any plumbing company.
Respond to all calls with a positive smile.
Make sure that your customers are always happy by being helpful and empathetic.
Collect all the information about a specific project accurately. Avoid the errors of omission, which might make you underprice or overprice a project.
Work Within Your Client’s Schedule
Always work with your customer’s schedule to avoid inconveniences that may leave your customer less satisfied.
Once You Start Your Plumbing Company, Focus on Improving Everything
Plumbing is a service-based industry, and profits can change from time to time. Factors such as weather occurrences and excess material orders will affect profits. That’s why plumbing company owners need to do a lot of planning to improve their profits. Growing your plumbing business depends on new clients and ideas, which can be attained by:
- Improving your plumbing advertising strategies
- Improving your booking rate and phone skills
- Enhancing your sales skills and closing rate.
- Improving client satisfaction
- Keep your plumbing website updated.
Frequently Asked Questions on How to Start a Plumbing Company
How much money do you require to start a plumbing company?
The answer to this question will depend on various factors. But assuming you have a plumbing license and van ready, you should access at least some working capital from a financial institution to launch your plumbing business.
Is starting a plumbing company worth it?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a master plumbing operating a one-person company makes about $45/hour, working eight hours daily can earn up to $100K annually. These statistics prove that plumbing is a lucrative career with a higher earning potential compared to other trades.
Can you start a plumbing company without first being a plumber?
If you want to set up a plumbing business without first becoming a plumber, you will require a good attorney or lawyer. It is challenging to form a plumbing company without being a plumber at first. An employee within your business must have a license and adhere to the regulations and rules to operate lawfully.
How long does it take to become a licensed plumber?
Depending on the path you opt to follow, it can take anywhere between 3-4 years to become a licensed plumber.
Final Thoughts on How to Start a Plumbing Company
If you have come this far, you now know everything on how to start a successful plumbing business. Understand your specialty to avoid stiff competition from everywhere. You must have a clear and detailed business plan to help you utilize your limited resources. Besides, you must have visuals such as business cards and professional plumbing websites amongst others to make a first and lasting impression on prospects or customers.
As your plumbing business grows, it will reach a point where you will be managing a team of plumbers from your office. Pay close attention to experience and work ethos when recruiting new plumbers. Go through each candidate’s previous work references and history and obtain a clue whether she/he is best suited for the job.