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How To Start A Plumbing Business

By John O'Haver

Last modified: February 15, 2023

So, you’re looking to establish a local plumbing business and become an entrepreneur? That’s great! There’s always demand for good plumbers who know how to fix all types of plumbing issues. And if you do it correctly, you could go on to build a six to seven-figure-a-year business, but this takes time and some experience to achieve. 

Hopefully, you already have the experience of working as a plumber and are addressed as a master plumber. The good news is that it can be done. However, running a plumbing business is different from working for “the man”. You need an entirely different skill set.

And that’s what we want to show you in this post. The steps we’ll outline here will provide the essential information you’ll need to start and run a plumbing business. If you do this right, your business will grow and you’ll go on to have a thriving and successful plumbing business.

Determine Your Path

There are various pathways to owning a plumbing business. First is doing it by yourself, which means you’d have to set up the company, hire staff, and build the brand. The second option is to buy a franchise from already established plumbing franchisees like Rooter-man, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, Mr. Rooter, and a few others. 

The first option is tedious, stressful, and needs a lot of time for growth. But it can be very profitable in the long term if you’re willing to do the work. The second franchise option allows you the opportunity to piggyback on the success of already established plumbing brands. 

These franchising companies often have excellent marketing, branding, cleaning products, and business strategies in place. They allow you to just “plug and play,” so it’s possible to buy a franchise today and start making money tomorrow because of their marketing. However, buying a franchise is expensive as they cost anywhere from $45,000 to $420,000.

Also, the franchising company may have restrictive rules and you may have to get into profit-sharing or royalty fee agreements with them. They may also limit your reach or expansion capabilities in the sense that you may only cover one city or state. If you have the capital and don’t mind paying royalty fees on your profits or following their rules every year, buying a franchise would be a great option. 

But if you have limited capital and want the “freedom” of building your identity, the potential to expand, and keeping all your profits, you should just build from scratch. Ultimately, you’ll have to weigh your options and decide on what’s best for your business in the future. 

Structure Your Business Correctly

If you’re going with the franchise option, you don’t have to do this as there’s usually a structure in place. But if you’re going it alone and building from scratch, you’ll need to set up your business properly. Here’s how to do that:

  • Register the business with the city, state, and federal agencies
  • Get a tax ID or EIN (Employer Identification Number) if you don’t have one already
  • Set up a business account with your bank
  • Make sure to get licensed, insured, and bonded

Once you have these setup, it’s time to acquire the plumbing tools you’ll need to do the job.

Get the Right Plumbing Tools

Chances are you already have the tools you need. But on the off-chance that you don’t, here’s a list of must-have plumbing tools that every plumber needs to be in business. Having these tools is important if you want to be taken seriously. 

You should also get a uniform and a van or truck. You don’t have to buy a modern van or truck; something functional will do for now. Then, as your business grows and your revenues increase, you can upgrade to more modern vehicles.

The van or truck will make it easier to haul your tools and other necessary equipment around.

Invest in Tech Tools to Streamline Your Business Activities

One of the biggest mistakes that new plumbing business owners make is trying to do everything themselves. This not only translates to lost time but also missed revenue-generating opportunities and bad brand perception –if you have to do everything, chances are you’ll be late for your appointments. 

Instead, do the smart thing and get tools that will automate the bulk of your processes –which are usually not much at the beginning. Remember: the goal of a new plumbing business is cash flow and profits. So, make it easy to focus on doing the work and getting paid.

Invest in plumbing software that will help automate your client intake processes. Start with marketing. Promote your business as much as possible. Hire a plumber answering service and contact center like Go Answer. This will serve as your virtual receptionist and take all your calls, text messages, and email. 

We will book your appointments, take all messages 24/7, and ensure your leads are delivered directly to you. If you like the idea of waking up and having a list of prospects to call, already set appointments, and houses to show up to and fix their plumbing, then this will be your secret weapon for fast growth. 

Have a fully functional website or an online presence where people can find and reach you at all times. Make sure to have all your services listed there, as well as, your rates. If you have the budget, you can rent an office space, but if not, you can start with your home address and get an office space later –many small plumbing contractors do this.

Decide on Your Target Market and Plumbing Specialization

So, what kind of plumbing service do you want to offer? For instance, most plumbers work with construction companies, general contractors, and regular homeowners. 

But there are plumbers who specialize in luxury or high-end plumbing services and rental property management. Just make sure that you choose a market where there’s considerable demand and one where your skills match the demands. 

If you’re unsure, a good place to start would be t figure out if you’re interested in building things or fixing them. Once you decide, it’ll be easier to pick a market or niche afterward. 

Partner with Go Answer as Your New Plumbing Business Answering Service

If you need help with scaling and growing your plumbing business, we can help you by handling your incoming and outgoing communications. This will free up your time to just fulfill demand, make house calls, work on the business, instead of in it, and rake in the big bucks. 

You started this plumbing business so that you can be your own boss, make a good living, or even a ton of money, and have the freedom to spend time with your loved ones. We can help make that a reality. 

Contact Go Answer today.