Having your own plumbing business is a dream of many plumbers. But, besides having the right skills, there are things you need to know about running a business and these are different than what you know about plumbing. There are tried and true ways to develop a successful plumbing business. Here are a few suggestions.
Being able to run a plumbing business that makes money and does not exhaust you with all of the business details is possible. But, you need to have or develop a combination of skills for both your industry and for running a small business. (Fewer than 100 employees). This applies to an experienced plumber who is now setting up shop on their own and for true beginners. The key is to know how to approach challenges in your business. While you have lots of expertise in plumbing, you do not have the same skill level in business and need help. At Exigo Business Solutions in the Kansas City area, we offer both standard bookkeeping and accounting help and assistance with growing your business, planning, budgets, cash flow management, and making your business as efficient and profitable as it can be. That having been said, here are a few tips for a successful plumbing business.
Your first step when going into business is to create a complete business plan. At Exigo Business Solutions we suggest using Live Plan. The point of a business plan is to set down the details of how you intend to run your business including your products and services, marketing plan, financing, and financial projections. With a solid business plan you can eliminate surprises along the way. And, when you do not have a lot of experience building a business plan, a tool like Live Plan is your guide to putting the right information into your plan. A good business plan does not have to be long but it needs to be complete in regard to your business. It needs to include a business model that will guide your steps along the way.
One of the keys to a profitable plumbing business is keeping costs low. This includes working with vendors who charge fair prices and can supply you with inventory as needed. When you have this set up correctly, your costs will be lower and your profits higher. Working with us at Exigo Business Solutions, we will help you track your inventory and choose vendors who work the best for you.
Much of your plumbing work will need permits and current licenses. Keeping track of this is easy if you have a good reminder system. But, when you are busy, such things can fall through the cracks. One of our tasks when you outsource your bookkeeping to us is to help you keep track of the necessary details.
While many do well in a general plumbing business, there are sub-specialties that pay better, require less work, and have less competition. There may be work in laying waterlines, installing natural gas lines, or fitting hospital radiology unit lead shielding that pays better and has fewer folks competing for the work. By adding certifications to your resume or those of the plumbers working in your shop, you can bid on specialty jobs and up your revenue. Anything from mechanical services to roofing, drainage, sanitary plumbing, gas fitting, or water supply may become your very-profitable niche. Get your certification and then make certain to market accordingly.
Too many businesses in the trades tend to skimp on equipment. There certainly is a cost of updating your tools and gear. But, the reward comes back in higher efficiency and more-profitable jobs. It also is clear to your clients that you are up to date and efficient. That leads to word of mouth referrals as well. This goes hand in hand with specializing in plumbing sub-specialties.
Too many successful plumbing businesses keep up on their training and certification as well as equipment but skimp on office tools. For example, when you keep paper records of your receipts, you are continually taking up more storage space and taking time to track down old records. An excellent cure for this problem is to use Receipt Bank. You will digitalize all of your paper receipts, put the info into your bookkeeping system, free up storage space, and have immediate access to old records whenever you need them.
You may find yourself in the “survival trap” of constantly fixing small business issues that come back again and gain. When this is the case, your best answer is to work with us at Exigo Business Solutions setting up a business management method called Fix This Next. This system helps you find problems at the core of your business. It addresses the business hierarchy of needs staring with sales, profit, and business efficiency. With a Fix This Next coach at your side, you will be able to track down nagging business issues, fix them, and set up ways to track them so that troubles do not return to rob you of time and money.
We go into business to do the thing that we love for a profit. Unfortunately, too many plumbing businesses run from month to month wondering if there will be a profit or not. A good way to address and fix this issue is to use the Profit First system in your business. Profit First sets up your bookkeeping so that you take a profit every two weeks and then manage your budgeting and cash flow to adjust your expenses. When you work with Profit First you make profit a habit and take full control of your business.
For help making your plumbing business a success, contact us at Exigo Business Solutions in the Kansas City area.