Plumbing is an in-demand and surprisingly rewarding career. According to industry statistics, there are at least 600,000 projected plumbing jobs in the US, with the median annual salary being $55,050 and top plumbers making $100,000 or more. And with trade school graduates enjoying high degrees of employability, the job outlook is set to grow even further.
Like many plumbers, you may launch your career by working for someone else; however, starting a plumbing business is the only way you will get a bigger slice of the profit pie, not to mention more freedom. But launching and running a successful business is always easier said than done. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you start your plumbing company.
1. Earn The Requisite State Certifications And Plumbing Licenses
You cannot operate a plumbing business (at least not legally) without proper licensing. Depending on your state, expect to take two-six years before becoming a licensed plumber. Remember, licensing requirements vary by state, so you might have to check a plumbing licensing guide for additional information.
Nevertheless, here is a breakdown of the steps you may have to take before becoming a licensed plumber:
- Get a certificate from a local college or trade school
- Become an apprentice
- Pass a licensing exam
- Earn a Master Plumber License (optional)
2. Create A Business Plan
A business plan is a document that details your company’s objectives and the proposed strategies for achieving them. This simple document shapes your business vision, holds you and other business partners accountable, and can be used to secure funding. To create a business plan, answer the following questions:
- What is your company’s name?
- What locations will you serve?
- Who are your target customers?
- What are your company’s goals?
- What pricing formula will you use?
- What is your USP (unique selling point)?
It’s important to figure out where you’ll be getting your plumbing supplies from as well and baking that into your pricing. If you have the supplies and prices to make a profit, it allows you to then go market your services and be successful.
3. Finance Your Venture And Invest In Equipment
Unless you are fortunate enough to have sufficient cash on hand, you may have to approach investors, banks or other lending institutions. Thankfully, there are plenty of funding options to choose from so long as you present a well-drafted business plan.
Assuming you have the necessary funding, your biggest business expense will most likely be the upfront investment in tools. Typically, the administrative costs involved are negligible compared to the cost of purchasing a van, tools and plumbing stock, e.g. fittings, elements and tap wear.
4. Register And Insure Your Company
Like other enterprises, a plumbing business must abide by state and local laws. To avoid financial and legal issues, register your business as an LLC (to keep your personal assets safe), purchase the right insurance and file your business taxes on time.
5. Build A Customer Base
With everything set and ready, it is now time to attract your first customers. Getting the first clients is always the tricky part, but at least you will not spend much on advertising initially. Besides distributing business cards and establishing an online presence, connect with previous clients within your professional network.
In the world of plumbing, positive reviews mean everything since most prospective customers come through referrals. The more business contacts you have, the more likely your company never runs out of clients.
Starting a business takes you one step closer to a fulfilling plumbing career. The growth opportunities at your disposal are nearly limitless. From partnering with other trades businesses to specializing in additional processes, hiring a team of technicians, expanding to new locations and more, your enterprise’s success is in your hands.