How to start your own plumbing business

how to start your own plumbing business

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Plumbers! Here’s what you need to get started working on your own

Whether you’ve just started thinking about it or if you’ve been running your own plumbing business for the last few years, now is a good time to ask yourself why you want to do it?

Why do you want to be your own business?

Is it to make money, be in control, you just like the idea of it or because you think you can do it better?  The answer probably doesn’t matter. What does matter is that once you know the answer, you set some goals so you can track whether or not reality lives up to your expectation. 

If the goal is to make more money – how much? What do I need to earn per year and how many hours will I need to work per week to make this happen 

Once you know why you want to be your own boss and what the end game looks like you need to ask yourself do you realistically have the skills to achieve those goals. Here you need to be very honest with yourself.  Generally speaking, to start and grow a plumbing business you will need to be a great communicator with excellent time management and multitasking skills be someone who is good under pressure.

If you don’t currently possess these skills then find a way to learn them asap or partner with someone who is otherwise working for someone who is strong in that area might be the best outcome for you.

Talk to an accountant who specialises in working with plumbers

Talk to your accountant about the realities of starting and running your business i.e. how to structure the company, how much money will you need to make, what tax, insurance and compliance requirements, do I need to think about and how much will they cost, do Plumbers generally make any money, and how much do you need to save to start the business. 

If you are already running a business and have never talked with an accountant then you definitely should ASAP.

If you don’t have an accountant you need to find one asap. You could check out these two sites to or to search their partner networks. Ask one of your trade mates who they use. Or talk to us, we know a thing or two about running a plumbing business.

Pick a name for your plumbing business

If by this point you still want to do this you need to pick a business name. You then need to check the domain is available and that you’re not breaching any trademarks. All of the research sites mentioned above have links to sites that let you check availability and actually register the name once you’ve found one you like.

If you are already running a business and have never checked for trademarks then I’d do that right now.

Get your plumbing company online

No one in their right mind is going to want start a business and then try to keep it a secret so one of the first things you need to do is build a Facebook page and a website. For new and existing companies there is not a single valid reason for not having both a website and Facebook page and it really is simple. Don’t be scared of doing it yourself, tools like WordPress can really make things easy. If your struggling with the wording, then we can give you details of a couple of great copywriters (they write stuff that helps sell). Just email us for details.

Get hooked up with Tradify: Job Management Software

If you are just starting out you need to take every advantage you can. One way to get an edge on the rest is by being more efficient, more effective, and deliver a better customer experience every time.

As your business grows important tasks such as scheduling and tracking jobs, maintaining customer and supplier details, quoting and invoicing are going to become more frequent and more difficult.

To help keep a lid on the admin your plumbing business will need a job management system. Tradify will save you time and money and help you embed behaviors that will generate more repeat business and better cash flow.

Much like a website, Tradify is another tool you can have up and running in a weekend so sign up for a trial.

Build your contacts

Now you’ve created the company and built up a digital profile hopefully some work has started to roll in. There is a still a bunch more stuff you can do to fill the pipeline. Essentially, now you are in business you need to go and tell a bunch of people that might refer business to you eg, local real estate agencies, builders, friends, family, the local school and any local businesses. 

Compile a list of all the local businesses you could talk to and figure out how you can build a relationship with each of these potential partners.

If you want to contact a local builder then there’s no harm in an email or phone call to see if they would be up for a conversation about using you and your team as their preferred plumbers. They will be keen to know why you think you can do a better job at a better rate than their current provider so make sure you read the rest of this post to get your ducks in a row.

When it comes to the real estate agent or hardware suppliers operating in the area the same tactics apply. Before you get in touch with these guys you should have a very clear view on;

  1. Why or how a relationship with you would be great for their customers?
  2. Why they should consider you instead of their current partner/s?
  3. How can you prove that working with you is a low risk option? 

If you follow these steps you’ll have a company set up physically and digitally, you’ll have started promoting it and the jobs will be starting to flow – next step, rinse and repeat!

If everything goes well you’re are going to get very busy but don’t forget to keep coming back to the WHY and to the GOALs to stay on track.

Dan Ryder
Dan Ryder

Dan is the founder and managing director of Level Accounting. He's a specialist in helping individuals and small business with all things tax and accounting.

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