How to Start a Plumbing Business in 7 Steps?

The plumbing industry is becoming a golden goose. Its market size was valued at $75,042 million in 2016 and will reach $1,12,427 million by 2023. The industry is growing at a CAGR of 6.0% from 2016 to 2023. If you dream of starting a plumbing business, then what are you waiting for? Now is the time to make this dream a realization.

But, how to start a plumbing business? That’s where many aspiring entrepreneurs hit a roadblock. Don’t worry, as this blog will provide you with the answer to that question. By the end, you will be armed with the necessary knowledge to start your own plumbing business. So, let’s get started.

What is a Plumbing Business?

Plumbing is a type of business that does not require multiple employees, supplies, or equipment. Just by having some essential tools and a truck to transfer the equipment, you are good to go with your plumbing business.

Plumbers are the heart of the plumbing company. Plumbing businesses need to make sure that potable and water pipes in the construction and plumbing companies are well-maintained and working correctly.

Now, let us move ahead with the steps which will help you to know how to start a plumbing business.

Steps on How to Start a Plumbing Business

Here are the steps on how to create and run a successful plumbing business with the following 7 steps:

steps on how to start a plumbing business

Step 1: Get Certification & Plumbing License

No matter what business you start, this step is compulsory and almost impossible to skip. You cannot start your plumbing business without being licensed. 

Before customers choose you over several other plumbing businesses, you need to be prepared and qualified enough to be chosen. It is a pre-process that needs to be done to gain customer trust and become a successful plumbing business. 

To make it simpler for you to understand, we have created a sub-list of certifications and licenses which will help you to make a way for your business in the plumbing market. 

Be Apprentice

Before starting a plumbing business, you should have insightful knowledge about it. You need to have an idea about your work because if you do not know about the industry and work, how customers will be able to understand your service. 

An apprentice is someone who gets training from a supervisor or from experienced professionals about the work. And apprentice program provides you with education as well as on-job training. 

Thus, by doing a plumbing apprenticeship program you get closure of both theoretical and practical knowledge. If you already own a plumbing business, the apprentice program will help you to enhance your skill with on-join training such as water repairing.

Get Certified

People called plumbers to fix and repair their pipe problems. Do you think they will choose someone who has no certification for this work? No, they will not hire plumbers who are unqualified. To become qualified and to enroll in the certification program,  plumbers need minimum qualifications like a high school diploma with math, tech, and a science subject. 

Business owners or plumbers can also opt for general education development. Usually, a maximum of two years is involved in the course. It includes studying math, cleaning toilets, understanding water and waste systems, building codes, piping methods, trade documentation, welding skills, and safety techniques in the job sites.

License Exam

Different regions have different methods of taking an exam trial based on requirements and length. Even some regions require you to renew your license at some time interval. You can now work as a journeyman plumber once you receive your licensing requirements.

To get a license, you need to pass an exam, submit the necessary documents, and pay fees. You are eligible to get your own plumber license and for plumbing services after completing the apprenticeship program.

Step 2: Create a Business Plan 

For starting a plumbing business, you must be ready with the blueprint. The blueprint typically helps you to map out the essential requirements of your new plumbing.

Know Your Niche

One of the essential steps for your plumbing services is to know your niche. You should know what services you want to provide to your customers and what type of service you are comfortable with otherwise you would not be able to perform your job. 

There are multiple types of plumbing systems such as stormwater drainage, sanitary drainage, and potable water. Each system has its own procedures and purposes. 

Moreover, ask yourself does the following points count in your list:

  • What does my business serve?
  • Why is it better than others?
  • What is my unique selling point? 
  • Do I have any or enough resources to start a business? 
  • Have I researched about competitors and their work? 
  • Do I know the price of competitors and market price?

After you have answers to such questions, you will be clear about what is your niche and what kind of service and job you want to provide. For example, commercial, hospital, large scale building, offices, could be your niche.

Choose a Relevant Business Name

You cannot start a business without naming it. While starting a plumbing business, choose a relevant business name. Also, make sure no one has taken it before, or else you will end up in legal issues.

The business name should be named and justify your work and services. For example, you can select a name like Premium Plumbers and Josh’s Flush Master. 

The business name should not be long and tough to remember. After choosing the name, start making a logo. A logo will represent your plumbing company and its services. The plumbing industry is booming with growth and to stand out among others, you need to represent your business as unique

Showcase your Speciality

There are more than  100+ plumbing businesses in your locality, then why should customers choose your plumbing business? It is okay even though you are new to the plumbing business. You can still catch customers’ attention with your service.

Are you offering a plumbing expert? Are you offering services with a certain discount? Showcase it to the customers. As a plumbing business owner, you should know where you are good at.

You have created a successful and efficient plumbing business plan if you complete and cover all points. Now, let’s move to legal documentation.

Step 3: Form a Legal Business Entity 

Your business would not be considered legal till you registered the plumbing business formally and legally. So, how to register, and what factors should be considered while applying for registering? Keep reading the following points… 

Registration of Business

It is one step toward being official in the market. If you are already part of this industry, you would be aware of the process but if you are new to it, do not worry we will provide information about every required detail.

You require certain documents and specializations to show. Similar to a license, you need to give documents and pay for the registration fee. Every registration fee is different in each state because of the local authority.

Register for Taxes and Legal Formality 

To open and start a business, you need to register for state and federal taxes. In several states of the USA, taxes are registered and applied through employer identification numbers (EIN).   

You can acquire EIN free and it is easy to use. The EIN is a nine-digit unique number allocated by the IRS to organization entities. The number is your permanent identification and can be used anytime for business requirements.

After EIN, your plumbing business will be taxed on the basis of the cost of your business. Your legal entity depends on factors such as what type of bank loan you have applied, forming corporations, limited liability company taxes, tax return filing, and developing business credit.

You cannot change EIN once it is issued by IRS until the business structure change, someone else takes up ownership, or any other expectational occasions

Service Agreement 

You must be wondering why a service agreement is part of it? Does not it will make customers uncomfortable about it? Well, every customer has a different perspective but if you feel the work is a little risky, create a service agreement. 

The agreement will show what services you will provide and how you are responsible and not responsible for that job.

Plumbing companies should require clients to sign a service agreement before starting a new project. This agreement should clarify client expectations and minimize the risk of legal disputes by setting out payment terms and conditions and service level expectations.

Open Bank Account

Another important aspect of a legal entity that requires to be done before starting a plumbing business is opening a bank account. Having a business bank and credit account is important for personal asset protection. 

A bank account also enables you to keep track of business expenses, payments, and make tax reporting easy under your business name. As plumbing business owners, you require to have a bank account even though your business is a partnership, corporation, sole proprietorship, or LLC.

The primary aim of having a business bank account is that you can protect, professionalism, purchasing power, and preparedness.

To open a business bank account, you must have the following documents along with you:

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Your business’s formation documents
  • Ownership agreements
  • Business license or personal identification
  • Copy of small business administration ( for small business owners)

Step 4: Choose the Right Equipment 

Once you have decided what plumbing business you want to start, it is time to choose the plumbing tools and equipment right for your business. A plumbing business is nothing without equipment as you need equipment to do your plumbing jobs. 

List of Equipment 

You must-have equipment in your business like:

  • Assorted pipes and fittings
  • A large bucket to store fittings
  • Pipe wrenches
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Circular saw
  • Whole hog right angle drill
  • Cordless screw gun
  • Propane torch
  • Cast iron pipe cutter
  • Extension cords
  • Teflon tape
  • A laptop computer
  • Office equipment
  • Mobile phone

Whether you own a plumbing business or a plumber who wants to start his own business, you need to decide certain cash flow, and financial planning for an expense like equipment. Being a business owner, you should invest in tools and equipment that allow you to grow and run your business efficiently

Necessary Expense

When it comes to business expenses, you do not have to worry much as the plumbing business is not heavy on the pocket.

The highest expense you need to spend is on the van which will help you to take one job to another. Having business transport will be helpful for you, it will help you to reach the job place on time and it will look professional as well.  

For instance, there are two people who came to fix water leakage, one (let’s call A) came with only tape to stop water leakage and another one (let’s call B) came with a proper tool kit and arrive at the company’s van, what do you think which one customer will choose?

Yes, the second one as it sounds more professional and someone who will do his or her job properly.

Pro TipHaving a company’s van with a name on it will also help you to promote your company, as the vehicle passes people will notice your company name.

Step 5: Secure Business with Insurance

Insurance is a boon for many service businesses as it gives protection to you and customers without paying for additional damages. Insurance covers when something breaks in a customer’s home/office.

Moreover, you can also opt for plumber insurance policies covering essential medical costs, equipment damages, and other repairs. For example, if any material is broken, insurance helps you make the failed material/part payment.

Types of Insurance 

Now, let’s talk about various insurance which will help you to protect your plumbing company. Here are some of the liability insurance that could be used in your business:

  1. General Liability Insurance: It helps you to cover damage such as property and injuries that occurred on the site. 
  1. Property Insurance: It covers both business and personal property damage.
  1. Business Owner’s policy: It includes all, company property, general liability, and business tools and equipment. 

Business Loans 

When you plan to start a new business, one of the best options is to spend a couple of years saving your money and plumbing equipment.

What happens if you are not able to save? First, you need to opt for business financing options. Initially, new businesses typically don’t qualify for regular commercial loans because of minimal revenue.

There are other common alternatives to commercial lending like

  • Startup loans
  • Microloans
  • Friends and family loans
  • Small Business Administration loans
  • Home equity loans
  • Business credit cards

An alternate option is that you can benefit from assistance from external plumbing companies and even the government. You can also look for legal aid from state and local municipalities.

Step 6: Market Your Business 

Well done, you are done with the establishment process, now it is time to market your business. It is essential to promote your plumbing business whether you are a new plumbing company in the industry or part of it for several years because you need to attract new customers for plumbing jobs

You need to market your plumbing business in the most efficient and different ways with the help of social media accounts, have an official business website, and offline methods. Let’s understand that in more detail-

Online Presence

Today if you want to contact a plumber, what’s the first thing you will do? You will search online for it because it has become the quickest and easiest method to contact and connect. Therefore, to make a space for your plumbing business you need an online presence.

A business website, being ranked on search engines, paid advertising, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube are part of an online presence. A strong online presence will not only help you to get new customers but also allow you to expand your business by spreading your skills and services.  

Referral Program

Another method to promote your plumbing business is a referral program. Providing referral programs like offers or any reward for your potential customers. Word of mouth is also a great option to create your business name in local service businesses. 

The referral program could be both online and offline. For instance, if you are introducing new services online, you could provide certain discounts if customers booked online. It is one of the effective marketing strategies to gain customers. 

Flyers and pamphlets can be considered in offline referral programs. 

Review and Feedback 

Starting a business is not enough, you have to provide plumbing services that are appreciated by the customers? How you will know that? You can ask your customers to give reviews and feedback.

It is beneficial for both customers and business owners- as the customers can tell what they want and how they feel. With the review and feedback, a business owner can make changes and that will help you to grow in the business. If you are starting a new business in plumbing work, then you should ask for review and feedback. 

Email Marketing

Some of you might be thinking that why email marketing in the list? And does not it count in online presence? Well, it does count in the online aspect but we have differentiated it because of its effective result.

Email marketing gives a personal approach to the customers. You can also create personalized and customized emails about your company and its services. 

Step 7: Stay Up To Date To Manage Your Business

Just by establishing and starting a plumbing business your work is not over yet. You need to stay updated about trends and keep an eye on competitors. Why is it so? 

Because it will help you to stand out in the market and sustain the industry with demand. You have to stay up to date with price, marketing, and trends. For example, you got plenty of customers, but some new businesses arrive who offer the same services and at a lower price, do you think they will take away your customer base? Yes, they will as any customer want more at less price. 

No, you do not have to lower your price but you should know what market price is going on and how the customer choice and preferences are changing. 

So, you have certification, license, formed a business plan, select equipment, have insurance, started marketing your plumbing business, and manage your business using plumbing software.

Great, looks like the checklist of starting a plumbing business is completed. We hope following these steps made your work easier and more efficient. 

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Do you still have some questions? Let’s solve it with frequently asked questions.

FAQs

Yes, plumbers do make good money, but that depends on the state they are working in and their plumbing work experience. On average, however, the median income for plumbers, pipefitters is over $59,549 annually.
The plumbers can earn $25 per hour, but it ranges from $16 to $35 for a journeyman based on working area.
To open a plumbing business, you need to consider the following costs:
  • A used van or service truck
  • A certification cost
  • Business taxes
  • Plumbing equipment
It entirely depends upon the service requirements that customers need. If it’s simply a small installation, then it will be a fixed charge as decided by the company. But, if there is a major issue, then it depends on the parts or services.

Conclusion

Starting a new plumbing business from scratch is very easy, unless and until you take care of the steps mentioned in the article and you are good to go with your new business.

We have even seen the promoting activities that help you to get more customers in your business with ease and enhance your business strength. Moreover, you need to make your plumbers ready to deal with any situation that arises while providing the services to the customers.

To make it easy, automate your business operations with FieldCamp. It is a field service management software that helps you to easily manage the schedules and track your plumber’s activities while they are working on the job site.

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