Developing a successful plumbing business doesn’t happen overnight. Even plumbers with the best skills around can attest to this. But the good news is that with a little bit of know-how and business savvy, growing a business is eminently doable. And we’re here to help. While these five tips only scratch the surface, they’re aimed at moving the meter and giving you a head-start on your way to more profitable plumbing. You’re welcome!
Provide A Little Plumbing 101
Building relationships with customers is the best way to earn repeat business, not to mention generate those invaluable word-of-mouth referrals. And to develop those relationships, try to educate customers with tips and advice that will save them money in the long run. For example, many homeowners put coffee grounds, grease and cooking oils down their garbage disposals. Or fail to periodically check water-supply lines for bulges, leaks or other signs of wear. Advising them to do these things establishes your credibility and integrity because customers see that you have their best interests – not profits – in mind.
Embrace Efficiency-Enhancing Technology
The old saying about spending money to make money makes a lot of sense for contractors. Sure, buying into advanced technology – think pipeline-inspection cameras and portable water jetters – requires significant capital investments. But experienced plumbers will tell you they quickly pay for themselves.
Inspection cameras, for instance, provide customers with a seeing-is-believing “aha” moment that can close the deal on sewer-lateral repairs on which they might otherwise defer; they also can vividly show you that a clogged drain truly is cleared, resulting in fewer profit-killing callbacks. Moreover, a powerful water jetter will improve productivity by unclogging pipes faster, which in turn boosts revenue by allowing you to tackle more service calls per month.
Speaking of efficiency-improving technology, check out the all-new Sprinter, which features an available 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system that includes hands-free voice activation, a navigation system, smartphone integration and an optional 360-degree rear-view camera for safer operation.
Cutting Prices is Not a Business Strategy
Many plumbers mistakenly believe that operating as the cheapest plumber around is a great way to attract customers and build business. Until, that is, they realize they don’t generate enough revenue to cover their overhead.
As such, it’s critical to never under-value your skills. Plumbing is a service, not a commodity, and should be priced accordingly. In all likelihood, a customer that wants only the lowest price is not the kind of customer you want to cultivate as a client, because they’re just as likely to use an even cheaper plumber the next time around. Loyalty is not their strong suit.
Moreover, leading a race to the bottom in terms of pricing in your market deprives your business of the revenue it needs to invest in new tools and equipment. Or great-looking service vehicles. Or to pay salaries high enough to attract and retain quality technicians.
Of course, educating customers about the value you bring to the table is an important part of the equation. If you can’t justify your rates, it’s difficult to overcome price objections. And if that doesn’t work, it’s time to admit a painful truth: There are some customers you just can’t afford to keep.
It’s said that only three things matter in real estate: location, location and location. In a way, plumbing is similar – just substitute organization for location. This is where the all-new Sprinter from Mercedes-Benz steps in. This warehouse on wheels offers 512.1 cubic feet of maximum cargo space, a spacious maximum standing height of 79.1 inches and a maximum payload capacity of 6,735 pounds.
By providing ample space for carrying an array of tools and equipment and thousands of dollars-worth of repair-parts inventory, The all-new Sprinter amps up productivity and profitability by reducing time- and profit-killing trips to supply houses. The math is simple: Less windshield time per week equals more time for additional service calls. And that results in writing more service tickets.
In addition, having more inventory on board gives you more opportunities to up-sell customers on new replacement faucets and the like, rather than just repairing old fixtures because there’s no room to carry new ones on your truck. The all-new Sprinter makes that eminently doable by offering thousands of customizable up-fits to suit your business needs. And one last note: At a time where there’s intense competition for scarce labor, there’s nothing like The all-new Sprinter to pique technicians’ interest in working for your company.
Differentiate Like It’s Your Job
Most plumbers face fierce competition. So every little thing that differentiates you from the rest of the pack helps. For instance, you can enhance your company’s branding efforts by up-fitting and tricking out your all-new Sprinter with a customized vinyl wrap, creating a unique and memorable look that catches the eye of potential customers. Or create a catchy slogan. Or dress your technicians in professional-looking uniforms. (For example, technicians at a plumbing company in Arizona wear a pinstriped shirt with an embroidered company logo, a white T-shirt, gray pants and black socks, belt and work shoes, plus a jaunty, retro-ish “newsboy” cap to top off