Tips for a Successful Plumbing Contractor Business
A successful plumbing contractor business rarely consists of a single employee, and it’s an exciting thing to be so busy that you must hire workers to keep up with the demand. But things change once you become a business owner; it may be very difficult to run your business and perform repairs at the same time. That means taking off the tool belt, putting away the plunger and concentrating on the business.
Know the Profession Thoroughly
Know the skills of the trade inside and out. Although you won’t be performing plumbing duties directly, it is incumbent on you to know every aspect of each process and service. That means, don’t give up your day job as a plumber until you have enough hands-on experience to be able to run your own business. You must provide guidance and training to your employees, be current on building codes, and learn from your fellow tradesmen before you open your own shop.
Even though your jobs may place you in some pretty down and dirty predicaments, you cease to be called a plumber once you are in business for yourself. After you hire workers and begin to build up your business, remember that you’re a businessmen above all else, according to trade journalist and industry expert Jim Olsztynski. Administrative aspects of your business — finances, personnel and marketing — should be the main area of your focus when you hang up your shingle.
Understand Your Overhead
Know what it costs to run your plumbing contracting business. If you don’t accurately capture the costs involved in providing plumbing repairs and service, you can’t set an accurate pricing structure for your clients. Absent this, you won’t make a profit. Examine your overhead costs thoroughly, taking into consideration depreciation of business equipment such as trucks. Know how much work you need to get and how much to bill each other to cover the cost of your labor. Don’t forget about material costs; some of your inventory may be relatively inexpensive but it all adds up, advises Olsztynski. Hire a bookkeeper to keep track of your expenses. You can’t cut costs until you know what they are.
Offer Niche Services
All plumbing services offer drain cleaning and pipe repair, but if you want to find a spot in the market where competition isn’t so fierce, offer niche services, such as specialty construction where customers are prepared and willing to pay more for your work. When your workers complete a custom bath and your client receives compliments on the work, she’s likely to refer her friends to your company.
Enjoy going to work every day. You can’t be successful unless you love what you do. Remain passionate about your industry; stay abreast of changes and grow with the flow. If you lose clients, you must continue to grow your business. Engage in continuing education to keep on top of the changes in business.