Tips for Growing a Plumbing Business

Starting a plumbing business in 2023 and beyond is not pouring business capital down the drain. According to statistics, the plumbing consumer market grew by 3.2% annually between 2017 and 2022.

That has translated into more business for plumbing companies. However, with the number of plumbers steeply rising with the consumer market, there is fast-rising competition. Therefore, you must pay close attention to how you start and grow your plumbing business to succeed.

Some top tips for starting and growing your plumbing business include factoring in the starting budget and getting business financing, identifying your niche, getting the right tools and equipment, and investing in effective field management software.

Here’s a deeper look into the plumbing business and how you can start and grow a successful venture.

What’s Fueling the Demand for Plumbers?

There’s a high global demand for plumbers, backed by compelling data. In the U.S., U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, various statistics show that the need for qualified plumbers is increasing, with insufficient professionals available to fulfill the demand.

Data on the Australian plumbing market shows that a plumber can easily make over $80 hourly. In the American market, a plumber earns an average of $55,050 annually. Well-paid plumbers make up to $100,000 annually.

plumber repairing underground hot water line

However, this doesn’t mean that the industry is immune to periodic highs and lows. The plumbing market operates much like any other consumer market, albeit with more favorable market forces to make earning a decent living easier.

However, you must still do the hard work necessary to start a successful company out of your existing plumbing skills.

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How to Start and Grow Your Plumbing Business

You must do several vital things to successfully start, operate, and grow a plumbing business. They include the following:

Consider Your Startup Budget

In the beginning, you’ll need considerable cash to get your business up and running. Typically, your startup costs will include the following:

  • Your tools and equipment
  • Your van
  • Rent for the business space
  • Office supplies like a printer and computer
  • Marketing costs
  • Licensing and insurance costs

You’ll also need to set aside money for personal expenses within the first year or so.

Typically, starting a plumbing business will cost $6,325 to $8,150. The general breakdown is as follows:

  • Business license and registration – $75 to $400
  • Business insurance – $600 – $2,000 annually
  • Plumbing business software – Around $400 depending on the provider
  • Tools and inventory – About $5,000
  • Branded uniform and work boots – $100 to $200
  • Business cards – $150

If you don’t have a plumbing certificate or work truck, you’ll spend $5,000 to $10,000 on plumbing education and $3,000 – $30,000 on a work truck.

funny plumber truck

Get Business Financing

You can seek alternative business financing options if you don’t have ready funds to start your plumbing business. Some options you can look at include:

  • Business loans – Your bank or an online lender may offer you a small business loan or line of credit. Alternatively, you can ask friends or family for a startup business loan.
  • Government funding – You can get a small business loan and other business financing options from the Small Business Administration’s funding program.
  • Business grant – There are several business grant programs that award small home service businesses with grant funding. Some of these are offered by local, federal, and state governments.
  • Credit card – You can get a business credit card with a low interest rate to help maintain a healthy cash flow during the early days of your plumbing business. However, ensure you pay the credit early each month.

You should also separate your personal finances from business finances by getting a business bank account. Separating your finances will make your work easier during the tax period.

Identify Your Niche

Most people think of drain cleaning and pipe repair when referring to plumbing services. However, these common services have a lot of competition, making it hard for a new business to succeed. That’s why it’s crucial to find your niche.

Research the market and discover plumbing services that rival companies least offer. For instance, you can start a custom bath repair business or specialized installation services for gas and water pipes.

You may also venture into the installation of sanitary equipment.

Receive Training and Gain Experience

For your business to have direction, you must know your plumbing niche inside out. Therefore, gaining first-hand experience in your work area will be beneficial, especially if you’re not a licensed plumber yet.

You can start by being an apprentice in a plumbing company. An apprenticeship will allow you to develop and sharpen your skills and establish your brand as an authority.

You can alternatively take plumbing courses from trade schools and community colleges.

tired plumbers resting

Get the Right Tools and Equipment

A plumbing business needs a reliable work vehicle and the right tools, supplies, and equipment to run effectively. These include pants, work gloves, boots, helmets, drills, saws, plungers, plumbing snakes, hoses, wrenches, fittings, and couplings.

If you don’t use professional tools and equipment, your jobs will be subpar, tainting the brand’s image.

The kind of tools, supplies, and equipment you’ll need will also depend on the number of installations or projects you take on regularly. Buying expensive equipment may be unnecessary, especially if you don’t need it often and can rent it.

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Invest in Effective Field Management Software

Field management software gives your business an edge in delivering its services quickly, efficiently, and effectively. It does this by:

  • Providing reliable communication tools for your crew – Your plumbers on the field can easily communicate with in-office staff to deliver services faster and streamline workflow.
  • Giving your business tools for customer relationship management – Maintaining a positive relationship with customers is essential for the growth of any business. A field management software solution will make it easier to record and store customer information, gain insights into what they want, and deliver the right services.
  • Improving inventory management – Apart from getting the right tools, supplies, and equipment, you must monitor their movement in and out of your business’s warehouse or storage facilities. Software inventory management is superior to manual inventory management since it costs less and ensures a well-flowing supply chain.

Use Technology to Grow Your Plumbing Business

Modern plumbing businesses are turning to technology to gain new leads and thrive. Consider adding the bill of software tools to your business’s budget to help you in marketing, service delivery, inventory management, and other core processes.

Contact a trusted plumbing technology partner today and learn how they can help you in your venture.

plumber adjusting pipe valve
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