Photo 113995223 © Visivasnc |
Dreamstime M 113995223 647f7d4b648c9

4 Critical Considerations When Scaling a Plumbing Business

June 6, 2023
There will always be a demand for skilled local plumbing professionals, which means almost any plumbing business has the potential to grow.

Growing a business in today’s economic climate is challenging, but plumbing companies and other organizations in the skilled trades have an advantage. There will always be a demand for skilled local plumbing professionals, which means almost any plumbing business has the potential to grow.

Scaling a business involves a handful of essential tasks—building the workforce, investing in new equipment, growing business relationships and developing new marketing strategies. Company officials should remember these four critical considerations to grow a successful plumbing business.

1. Investing in Tools and Equipment

Traditional services such as toilet and pipe repairs will always be key to any plumbing operation, but businesses must invest in new technology as they grow. There is an increasingly high demand for innovative plumbing services and equipment such as tankless water heaters, Wi-Fi-enabled filters and leak detection systems.

Managers must also provide reliable tools to their employees and make necessary upgrades. Advanced items like self-tightening cutters, electromagnetic pipe locators and cordless pressing tools are three recent innovations that will improve employee productivity. The upfront costs might be expensive, but the long-term value is worth the investment.

Sustainability is another important factor to prioritize, especially when servicing commercial buildings. A recent property manager survey shows that 88% of commercial properties will invest in energy incentives in the next five years. That means plumbing businesses should offer sustainable services such as smart toilets, touchless faucets and greywater systems.

More tools and equipment also call for additional storage space and transportation methods. Companies must find a secure location, ideally with 24/7 surveillance, to protect their assets. They also need bigger vehicles to transport their heavy equipment. Gooseneck trailers typically have payload capacities up to 25,000 pounds and come in different designs.

Growing businesses should also consider investing in electric company vehicles. EVs require considerably less maintenance than gas cars and give the company a reputation for sustainability. Plus, some EVs come with generous tax credits.

2. Staffing and Training

Plumbing businesses must hire and train more employees as they offer additional services. Unfortunately, the skilled trades haven’t attracted Gen Z workers with much effectiveness. The plumbing workforce is getting older, and some companies might have difficulty finding young, qualified employees.

Today’s limited hiring pool requires some fundamental recruitment and training strategies to accelerate growth:

●     Well-written and defined job descriptions

●      A multistep interviewing process

●      Flexible training programs

●      Room for advancement within the company

●      Apprenticeships, performance-related pay and other incentives for new hires

It’s also important to establish a distinctive company culture. Professionalism is the top priority. Growing companies must set high performance standards so clients, customers and potential hires take them seriously. However, officials should also create a supportive environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas and voicing their complaints.

Some great ways to show off company culture to potential hires include social media content, current employee testimonials and team success stories. All businesses must provide social proof that they’re a great place to work.

3. Connecting with Suppliers and Contractors

Social proof is also essential for connecting with new suppliers and contractors. They need concrete evidence that the company is trustworthy and reliable. This task calls for some old-fashioned networking. Get out there and initiate discussions with other business owners. Be visible, be available and keep all lines of communication open.

Research is the second key to building strong relationships with new suppliers and contractors. Keep these items in mind while researching other businesses:

●      Assess the convenience of the business’s location

●      Check for industry certifications

●      Gauge the business’s financial stability

●      Look for statistics on lead times, delivery rates and other relevant metrics

●      Determine the company’s flexibility when it comes to big and small orders

●      Reach out to former clients to evaluate their customer service

●      Observe the work culture and identify the business’s core values

Gathering this knowledge before negotiations will improve the odds of getting a favorable deal. Make firm but reasonable demands. When it comes time to sign the contract, read the fine print and get a full understanding of the payment terms.

Supplier diversity is also extremely important, given the volatile state of global supply chains. It’s never a good idea to rely on a single supplier. Small-business owners always want maximum flexibility in their buying decisions. Geography and product variety are the two key factors here. Officials should branch out to nonlocal suppliers and use different ones across various product categories to ensure continuous operations in case there’s a glitch in the system.

4. Strategic Marketing

Marketing used to be a straightforward task, but the wide range of online platforms has made it more complicated. Traditional sales pitches are no longer effective. Maintaining a constant online presence and frequently interacting with the target audience is crucial. These tactics should serve as the foundation of the marketing strategy:

●      Stay active on social media

●      Start an email newsletter

●      Participate in community events

●      Register for different online review platforms

●      Build up the company website with informative content

●      Keep the Google My Business profile up to date

Don’t neglect more old-school marketing techniques. Place stickers on your water heater installs saying to call YOU for emergency service. Leave behind business cards or refrigerator magnets with company information. Be sure to wrap your truck with bright colors and a distinctive company logo.  

Interacting with customers isn’t the only way to get relevant feedback. Listen to what your employees are telling you customers want and need, then try to deliver in your product and services offering. When you expand that service offering—say, adding drain cleaning or duct cleaning services—use that as an occasion to reach out to your customer base. Every point of contact will make it more likely they call your business the next time they need to call a plumber.  

Ensure Constant Company Growth

Investing in new technology, building a tight-knit skilled workforce, fostering strong business relationships and enacting effective marketing strategies are the four critical components of growing a company.

Keep these foundational factors in mind every day to ensure constant growth. Long-term profitability won’t happen overnight—it requires weeks and months of efficient action.

Oscar Collins is the Editor-in-Chief at Modded. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates on his work.

About the Author

Oscar Collins

Oscar Collins is the Editor-in-Chief at Modded. Follow him on Twitter @TModded for frequent updates on his work.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Contractor, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations