Looking for ways to build your plumbing business? Before you read another marketing article or hit the streets looking for new customers, take a look at your business’s foundation: its people. Investing in yourself and the right people to represent your business will earn you loyal repeat customers and pave the way for future growth.
Find A Mentor
Look at successful local trade businesses to find a plumbing mentor. Find a business, and its owner, that you respect and aspire to be like. You can join local groups on Facebook or LinkedIn to make professional connections, or maybe the plumber you apprenticed under years ago would be a good mentor.
Tradespeople are aging out of the workforce, so many master plumbers are eager to pass the torch to younger generations. Improving your professional and business skills with help from a plumber that has successfully built their business over the years is more valuable than any book you read or course you take.
Know Your Strengths & Weaknesses
Maybe you’re a master plumber and love doing installs, but you know nothing about accounting and marketing. Running and growing a successful trade business requires both, but it’s ok if you can’t do it all. Instead of ‘just getting by’ or capping your business where you’re comfortable managing the books, hire someone part-time to handle the administrative side so you can focus on what you do best.
Focus On Hiring The Right Employees
Hiring, training, and retaining employees should be priority one – even above marketing your plumbing services to new customers. There will come a point when you can no longer do it all yourself. Relinquishing some control and depending on employees is one of the growing pains you’ll face as a business owner. But if you successfully come out on the other side, the improved work-life balance and growth potential is worth it.
Invest in your employees. Train them, incentivize them, and value them. It also helps to have an organization chart, detailed job descriptions and expectations, and a clear path for growth. To keep your employees from looking for greener pastures, make it clear that each employee has an important role in the company, give them the opportunity for growth, and reward them with compensation for excellent performance. It’s a fact that employees who feel valued and see a future with your company will work harder and remain loyal to you.
Establish A Company Culture
Everyday doesn’t have to be Chuck E Cheese at work, but employees who enjoy working for you will perform better and stick around longer. Make your core values a part of your company culture and instill them early and often to get employees on board.
What kind of values do successful trade professionals display? Hard work, determination, honesty, integrity, respect, teamwork, timeliness and a general customer-centric mindset. But just saying these values are important to you isn’t enough. You have to walk the walk and get your employees to as well.
Share your team’s success stories, engage employees in discussions about ways to improve, and motivate everyone by fostering a company culture that’s positive, encouraging, and rewarding.
Find Your Niche And Master It
When businesses have a plumbing emergency, or even regular maintenance calls, they want a plumber with the experience and expertise to solve their problem, fast. If you have employees, this expectation extends to them as well. They represent your business, and their level of experience, knowledge, and professionalism determines your reputation. If they show up and botch the job, that lands on you.
One mistake a lot of new plumbing business owners make is trying to be a jack-of-all-trades. It’s OK if you can’t – or don’t want to – do it all. Find your niche and master it, and train your employees to master it as well.
Investing in employee training, benefits, and a rewarding environment will net you employees for life. Employees who are great at their job and who build relationships with loyal repeat customers will become the foundation of your plumbing business and ultimately propel your growth.
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