23 Proverbs of plumbing

23 Proverbs of plumbing

Fundamentally, plumbing is a neighborhood and community business. Be visible in the neighborhoods and community you serve. A business that is built to sell is also built to run more easily and profitably. Are you building your business to sell? Your income is a reflection of how society values your contribution to the world. If you want more income, figure out how to contribute more of what society values.  

Photo: iStock/ThinkStock.

According to dictionary.com, the definition of the word “proverb” is: a short popular saying, usually of unknown and ancient origin, that expresses effectively some commonplace truth or useful thought.

Here are 23 proverbs for the plumbing business.

1. We generally get what we pay for. Pay your people for their time and you will get hours. Pay them for performance and you will get performance.

2. Fundamentally, plumbing is a neighborhood and community business. Be visible in the neighborhoods and community you serve.

3. A business that is built to sell is also built to run more easily and profitably. Are you building your business to sell?

4. Your income is a reflection of how society values your contribution to the world. If you want more income, figure out how to contribute more of what society values.

5. Price low and you subsidize your customers. Does your customer need your subsidy? If not, consider raising your prices.

6. Flat rate is modern pricing for a modern world. It takes the uncertainty out of open-ended service work for consumers, which is why consumers overwhelmingly prefer it. Are you flat rate? It’s what your customers want.

7. Customers are not always right, but are customers. Because they pay the bills, pretend that they are right.

8. Accounts receivable represents an interest free loan to your customers. Do they need you to be their bank? If not, collect on delivery. 

9. Hire slow. Bring your team in on your hiring decisions to ensure fit and identify problems you might miss. Who interviews your new hires?

10. Fire fast. As soon as you know someone will not work out, take action. Delays are not fair to the person who needs to move along or your team, who needs the person to move along. Does anyone on your team need to move along? If so, chances are good that you are the last person to realize it and everyone will be relieved when you finally act.

11. If someone does not perform, it is because the person lacks the requisite knowledge, ability, or attitude. Of these, the last is the most dangerous. It can become contagious and infect others. Does anyone in your company have an attitude problem?

12. More people see your trucks every day than see all of your advertising put together. What is the message you are sending?

13. Service is invisible, so appearance is everything. How is your appearance? Your trucks? Your plumbers? Your business cards? Your marketing? Your invoices? 

14. A closed business serves no one. A profit is your obligation to your customers, employees, and family. Are you profitable?

15. Hire up or confine your business growth to your own limitations. Are you hiring people more capable than you are?

16. Most plumbers do not own a business. They own a job. And it’s often a crappy job with terrible hours, poor compensation, and an idiot boss. Sound familiar? If so, change it. Grow your job into a real business.

17. Your business can be people centric or process centric. A people centric business goes through an upheaval whenever a key person leaves. A process centric business keeps right on going because the process stays consistent.

18. Most plumbers learn how to turn a wrench and are good at it. They are not taught how to turn a profit and consequentially, are terrible at it. Study the craft of business until you master it.

19. If your business fails to meet your expectations over time, the fault is not the government, competition, economy, cheap customers, or the lack of available help. The fault is yours. Until you admit the problem, you will never be able to work on a solution.

20. Without marketing, you are winking in the dark. You know what you are doing, but no one else does. Are you winking in the dark?

21. A single truck operator who wants to stay that way better have great insurance. What will happen to your family if you get hurt and are unable to work?

22. A company is either growing or dying. Even if you are coasting, you are still rolling downhill. What is your business doing?

23. For a business to be salable to an outsider, it must be able to be run without the owner. What are you doing to make yourself unnecessary?

Matt Michel is CEO of the Service Roundtable. Are you in a buying group? If not, you are paying too much. Learn about Roundtable Rewards by calling 877.262.3341 or visiting www.ServiceRoundtable.com.

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