Plumbing is a system that deals with flow of fluids using pipes, tubes, tanks or any other material that conveys fluids through it. The person who deals with plumbing is called a plumber and this word is very common to our knowledge. Nearly every one of us have used the service of plumbing from plumbers as and when required.
In our homes, offices, factories, plants, farming, etc. in most of the places of our use we need the flow of water and that is when the role of plumbing comes into play. All the structures that one can see around oneself has required the plumbing services in order to fix pipes, tubes, valves and tanks into the structures for various uses. As one can see growth in infrastructure development one can also assume a significant growth in the plumbing industry.
Earlier plumbing was limited to class of people but now it has grown to a very new extent and now has turned out to be an industry where companies are earning thousands of dollars by selling plumbing services to the required customers. In United States, plumbing is one of the most expensive services and that literally takes a toll on the pockets of Americans.
Thus many of the citizens themselves try to fix things on their own but not all are qualified enough to carry out the task and that is where one needs the plumbing services. Plumbing services as one knows doesn’t only confines to housing industry but also extends to various industries like fire services, air-conditioning services, mechanical services, drainage, metal roofing, gas, water, sanitary, industrial waste, etc. Both domestic and commercial industry requires the need of plumbing services and there’s a huge demand for both.
In the United States, plumbing industry was estimated to $95 billion in 2013 and it continues to grow at a faster pace than any other service industry. One can understand the importance of plumbing industry from the fact that plumbers earn more in comparison to people employed in any other services.
If one plans and executes their business in an efficient way then one can earn a decent amount from the same. This article therefore aims to educate and guide people who are interested in plumbing industry and want to invest in it. The article will step by step guide the readers on how to start a plumbing business.
Starting a Plumbing Business: Overview
Before you start your business it is always important to be well versed with the facts of the industry in which you are entering. The plumbing industry to this date has become very competitive and advanced and it has basically shed away the traditional methods. The industry as one knows has its set of pros and cons. So let us know about them.
- Many of the owners of their homes and business do not have any expertise to repair and maintain their plumbing system and hence they require plumbers for even small repairs.
- Since the business of infrastructure is ever continuing and therefore there is always a requirement of plumbing services in the field
- There are various jobs in the plumbing services which is not only limited big contractual plumbing services but even to small services for minor repairs, maintenance and installments.
- Not every can do this plumbing job as this field requires expertise and certification which only plumbers and their services have thus this field also assures job security.
- Job growth in plumbing services is positive and one can see a 16% growth in the field of plumbing services
- Since USA is already developed and the living standards of people are quite high, jobs like plumbing which in other developing nation is quite cheap remains to be costly in USA and not many people invest in this field hence the rate of success is high
- Hourly charges of plumbers is expensive and you can earn a lot in this field
- Plumbing at the end of the day is labor service which requires you to be at site doing things that on office going person doesn’t do.
- As a plumber you have to bear the problems of doing things which most people would not like to do. You may have to repair a sewer pipeline, toilet pipelines, industrial pipelines, etc.
- You have to be quite flexible in your service as and when invited as there cannot be a fix hour for work and you can be called for emergency services even at mid night.
- Some problems are not that simple and require professional expertise and therefore you should be very well versed with your field job. At some cases you may get struck with odd problems which a desk job doesn’t have.
As you have got a brief overview of what exactly is plumbing service and what are the pros and cons you can easily make you mind whether you want to go ahead or drop your business idea. If you have made your mind to go ahead then here is step by step guide on how to start your plumbing business.
Research about Plumbing and Plumbing Services:
What you may know from outside may not be true from inside. What you may think as a money making business can be full of hardships and troubles therefore it is important to dwell into the topic and research as much as you can.
Interact with people who are already into this business. They will give you insights about the business. Ask them questions and note down their answers. Hire a professional firm that conducts feasibility analysis of business ventures so that you can not only get a deep understanding about the business but it will also answer your questions. Some pertinent questions that come in mind are:
- How to take the initial step into the business?
- Which place would be ideal to start your business?
- What is the present market condition of the plumbing business?
- Which plumbing expertise is most sought after in the market?
- What would be the initial cost of starting your business?
- What expertise is required to start your business?
- Challenges and competition in the market
- Who is your target market?
- Return on Investment and the time required
Apart from these there are many other pertinent questions that can be raised and answered through your feasibility analysis. Using the feasibility analysis report you can move on to write your business plan.
Write a detail Business Plan:
A business plan is important as it gives an outlay of your business and helps you in moving in the right direction. A business plan will have all the details regarding your business and the whole plan on how you will start your business and what will it take to start. The answers to the questions raised in your feasibility analysis will be answered and it will help you in writing your business plan.
Don’t mistake that this plan will only serve you but it will help you in securing loans, getting new investment, etc. Business plan will also have all the technical details related to incorporation of your business, legal entity, documents required, other procedures for starting your business, details of finance, business structure, team structure, your field of expertise and other very pertinent information. Take professional help in preparing your business plan.
Choosing your Expertise, Specialty and Magnitude of Service:
Plumbing services are rendered at various expertise levels, specialty of fields and magnitude of service. It is not that easy for you to be expert in all kinds of plumbing services, in all areas and with all specialty.
Choose them wisely based on your budget, expertise, team size and equipment you have. You can also choose between commercial plumbing and house plumbing as they both differ fundamentally. Commercial plumbing requires huge resources, expertise, and magnitude of service, number of plumbers and special tools and machines. Make a choice after your analysis.
Investment and Managing Finance:
Investment is the core of your business. You have to have the required investment based on your business plan to start your business properly. Though tedious use of your money isn’t wrong yet you should be liberal while maintaining your bank balance for investment since there cannot be a specific amount required for investment. It always gets more than you have estimated.
For managing your finance you can take loan from banks, enter into partnership with your partners or can invite investment from interested parties. In case you are securing loan then be cautious while spending every single pie. Being a loan defaulter is worse than being a murderer.
Formal Registration, Legal Entity, Investment, Documentation, etc.
There’s no point of getting into such details which are obviously known. You have to register your business following the local laws of the place you are residing in USA. You have to choose a business name for your business, a legal entity like LLP, proprietorship, joint venture, partnership, etc. Some initial investments required, details of your bank account, your personal details and all other details as and when sought by the authorities. Get help from your advisor as he will help you in dealing with all such technical legal details.
License, Permissions and Expertise in the Field:
Plumbing services requires a standard of expertise for all those who are into this service. This expertise is approved in the form of licenses that is issued by the appropriate authority. Only after you have the required certification you can move ahead with your business. These licenses and permissions not only are necessary to start your business but they also help you in building your own business brand, putting up a standard fees, etc.
Setting up your Office and a Warehouse:
It is obvious that you will need an office to operate your business. Setup your office at a place that suits your business and a place which can be easily accessed by people. Maintain your office well with all the required office equipment and accessories.
You will also need a warehouse to keep all the plumbing instruments, equipment, tools and machines that plumbers will need in their services. You can have your warehouse beside your office or at a place you deem fit but it should be at a place from where other parts of the city especially your target locations can be reached easily.
Plumbing Instruments, Equipment, Tools and Machines:
For an effective plumbing services it is important for you to invest in plumbing tools and machines. Some of them might be costly and some may be cheap but it is important that you have all the necessary tools and machines for your work.
Based on your area of specialization and magnitude of work you can have all those machines and tools. You can either lease few of the expensive machines or own them in a go or on EMI depends on your budget. Some of tools should be in even numbers as you may requires them at the same time at different locations. So get all those tools as prescribed in your business plan.
Hiring Plumbers and Technicians:
Hire people who are expert in plumbing and also in specialized plumbing based on your plumbing services. Hire those who can do multiple plumbing services as it will reduce the employee size but will increase the productivity.
Your service is your brand of business and therefore it should be perfect and efficient. Do take great care in hiring those employees, training them and employing them. You will also need an able customer care employee who will deal with your customers. That person should be fluent in his speaking skills, gentle and diplomatic.
Creating your Brand and Market:
Your market and brand will be built on the service you provide and the review you get for your work. Make your presence on social media and online platforms along with an able and prompt telephone customer service. Word of mouth matters a lot in this field and therefore a satisfied customer will give you many more customers and a dissatisfied customer can hamper your business.
Therefore make your brand while keeping in mind that the reviews of your customers will define your brand. Advertisement is obviously necessary in this field and you should advertise targeting your potential customers. There are both traditional and modern methods of advertisement which you should invest in.
Service Rate, Profit and Investment:
While pricing your services keep in mind the per capita income of your potential customers, the market rate for those services, the competition in the market, the quality of service others are offering at the same price, the desired profit you aim to make, etc. Fix the rate for the services in a reasonable manner keeping in mind about the desired profit you aim at along with investment you have made in your business.
There should be at least 15-30% profit ratio between your investment and profit. You have to not only earn money for your personal need but you have to also overcome the investment cost along with investing for expanding your future business. So go accordingly.
Always Learn and Improve:
Always learn from your mistakes, experience and try to make changes and improve. The same business model which you are pursuing no matter how much successful it is will not survive for long therefore try to improvise every time and advance your services. This will not only maintain your dominance but will also raise your service charge and increase your overall profit.
To start a plumbing business, you need to obtain the proper licensing, purchase adequate insurance, obtain the appropriate tools and equipment, invest in advertising and marketing, and develop relationships with suppliers and subcontractors.
The amount of capital needed to start a plumbing business will vary depending on factors like the size of the business, the type of services offered, and the business location. Generally speaking, you will need a minimum of several thousand dollars to cover expenses such as licensing, insurance, marketing, and equipment.
It is essential to be properly insured when starting a plumbing business. You will need both general liability insurance and professional liability insurance. Professional liability insurance can cover legal cost in the event of negligence or wrongful acts.
To start a plumbing business, you should have a high school diploma or equivalent and a legitimate plumbing license. Depending on the services you offer, you may also need to have additional certifications, such as a plumbing contractor’s license or certification from a trade association.
Essential tools for starting a plumbing business include wrenches, pipe cutters, threaders, plungers, and augers. To start a business, you will also need specialty tools such as cameras for video pipe inspections and specialized diagnostic equipment.
There are many strategies you can use to market your plumbing business. These include creating a website, establishing relationships with local subcontractors and suppliers, and using various paid, print, and digital marketing methods.
When setting competitive rates for a plumbing business, you should consider factors such as market prices, overhead costs, and the level of quality you provide. This will help you to price your services in a way that makes them attractive to potential customers.
The services you offer as a plumbing business will depend on the type of business you plan to run. Typical services may include installation, maintenance, and repair of water, gas, and drainage systems, as well as emergency services, sump pump installation, and backflow protection.
Common challenges of starting a plumbing business include finding customers, competing with established businesses, setting competitive rates, and dealing with the rigors of the job. It is important to be prepared for these challenges before embarking on your business journey.
Tips for writing a profitable plumbing business plan include understanding the market, researching competitors, setting realistic goals and objectives, conducting in-depth financial analyses, and accurately projecting expenses. The business plan should be well-organized and should reflect the goals and mission of the business.