“I want to start my own plumbing business but I don’t have any money.’’ This is a phrase that I’ve heard over and over again…
I’m here to tell you that having no money isn’t an excuse. Whilst starting your own plumbing business is not easy, it can be done with little to no money and there are ways to separate yourself from the competition.
There is the potential to earn a lot of money as a plumber. In many countries around the world, they earn more than many workers from other professions. And the demand for plumbers never slows down because it is an essential service.
Here are some key tips to consider when thinking about starting a plumbing business with no money.
Know Your Plumbing!
The first thing to consider is how you are going to separate yourself in an already crowded market. You want to specialise in an aspect of plumbing that is not already capitalised on. Analyse your potential competitors and identify something different to focus on. It might be leak detection, concealed cistern installation or solar hot water systems.
Do some research and find out what the companies in your area offer. Find out where the niche lies! In the beginning, if you limit your business to a particular area, you can operate efficiently. As you will be working on a tight budget, you don’t want to be taking on every job that comes your way. This will put your business under more pressure and expose your limited resources.
If you are going to start a plumbing company, you don’t want to be exactly the same as your competitors. Set yourself apart and know your plumbing!
Have a Plan
Before you do anything, you need to have a plan. It is important that you understand and follow this plan. You need to have a clear direction about where you are going. What are your goals? How will you achieve them? These are all questions you need to ask yourself.
You need to know what kind of work you are going to do, what tools you will have in your van and how you will market your company. Have a plan and stick to it!
Don’t try to do everything. Identify a market and a base of potential customers to focus your attention on. You want to understand what you are good at and then focus on that. Don’t just take a job because it’s offered. That could be detrimental to your business if you don’t actually know how to do it.
It is also important to make sure you have the training and experience to back up your company. How can you start a business in an industry that you have no idea about? You should complete the relevant training and work as a plumber before you think about becoming your own boss.
Also, you will need to take care of the legal aspects. There is a requirement for most businesses to submit important documents when starting. Make sure you research this thoroughly so you are not liable for anything.
Ask Yourself What You Can Do and Get for Free
It’s easy to think about the obstacles that will stop you from starting your own plumbing company and money is obviously one. However, there are ways to get around having no money. Think about what’s essential for your company. What things do you need to operate? Is it essential to have an expensive van and a flashy website? These are questions you need to ask.
Maybe you could barter and trade your skills/ products with someone else instead of payment? You really need to think outside of the box and come up with a way to operate for little or no cost. Of course, as time goes on and money comes in, you can expand your operation.
Marketing Your Company
An absolute must is to create a free Google My Business Listing (GMB). A GMB account allows you to create a business profile and easily connect with customers across Google Search and Maps. If you properly optimise your GMB listing by adding images and great content, you will have a very high chance of your business showing at the very top of a google search results page for local search queries.
It doesn’t matter if you are local, national or global, GMB can aid your company. Local search is an integral part of any marketing campaign. You can use it to promote anything that happens within your business. From events to offers and new products, and it’s all free! And don’t forget to ask your happy customers to leave a review.
Having a great website can make or break your image. You can be the smallest plumbing company in your area and make yourself look like you are the largest and most professional.
If you create a website that makes you look larger than you are. It will help you generate leads and look more professional than your average plumber.
You can purchase your chosen domain for a small amount and then create a website using an easy to navigate theme. If you don’t know how to create a website or you don’t have the funds, there are platforms to teach you.
Once you have created your website, it is important to understand the analytics. Yes, you can learn from your website! You can find out why people are visiting your website, what pages they are checking out and how to grow your business with this information.
If you don’t have any money, this is the perfect place to start. You want to get out and talk to people! Tell them about your company, tell them what you want to do and what you will offer. You can generate customers by doing this and also establish yourself within your local area.
In the 25 years that I’ve been in the plumbing industry, I’ve found that whenever I tell someone that I’m a plumber, they want to talk. And if you tell them about what you can do, they will listen and remember your name next time they have a problem.
Just be a nice person and you will go far.
Following on from marketing and networking, social media is also another free way to generate business for your company.
You want to think about how you can reach your audience and provide them with content that they will be interested in. It is also important to consider that each platform is different.
You don’t want to be advertising your company 24/7 on social media. You want to provide them with something that they can share and that they will be interested in. This will help to grow your brand and make your recognisable on social media.
Build a presence on social media that has value. Engagement is how you build relationships and having a great social media will aid this.
Video content is a way to talk to your customers and your potential customers. This is one of the biggest things that will separate you from your competition.
Search Engine Optimisation
When I first started my plumbing company, search engine optimisation (SEO) wasn’t a thing. But now, it’s one of the most important aspects of a plumbing business. It’s how people find you and how you appear within search results, so you want to make sure that your site and content is optimised to show up when people search for it.
You can manage this yourself or you can choose a company to do it for you. SEO in the plumbing industry is highly competitive, so finding the right people to manage yours is so important! Nailing your SEO will generate your business more leads and more phone calls.
This Is All Well and Good, but I’ve Got No Money!
The truth of the matter is if you have no money, it’s going to be extremely difficult to start a plumbing business. You need plumber’s tools and a van just for starters.
It is far more advisable to keep your day job and have some saving before you try to start your plumbing business. Build up six months’ worth of savings for all the expenses that you will encounter. Don’t stress about it because if you do things correctly, you will see a return on your investment.
You can also find investors to help you along in your journey or you can go to the bank and get a loan. It really doesn’t matter where the money comes from, it’s not easy to just start a business!
Maybe you could ask your friends and family for some extra funds? It’s not charity, it’s just a way that they can support your new business idea. If you have a solid business plan with a target market that you can tap into, they will be willing to listen.
You can also look for small business grants and local funding opportunities within your area. Start by searching what your local government has to offer and reach out to them if you need any help.
In the beginning, you want invest any money that you make back into your business. This will help you grow and facilitate the evolution of your new company.