Tips for Managing a Plumbing Business

Locate and develop your niche

As a plumber, the field is open as to what area of plumbing to concentrate on. For various plumbing firms, their markets might be domestic care, commercial plumbing services such as maintenance, new houses, bathroom or kitchen renovations, nursing homes, hospitals, townhouses or perhaps large scale construction projects like new buildings and warehouses. Once you find out what market you are going to target, you need to locate builders, architects and hydraulic consultants/engineers that manage and design these kinds of projects so that you may be on their tender listing.

Don’t put all your eggs all in 1 basket

This means don’t just work for a single builder and hope to get all their jobs. This rarely happens. Sadly there’s very little dedication in the building industry at the moment because everything is based on cost and the plumber who wins the job is usually the cheapest one despite if they have a history of bad workmanship. This will change when the market picks up.

Price everything

Strategies are now emailed to you or they are electronically lodged into a site where all plans are offered for pricing. This is why it is very important to call all of the customers in your market so that you understand when projects are open for tender. Ensure your tenders are lodged in time. Late quotations are disregarded.

Visit a site prior to the tender closing to determine if the job can be installed a cheaper way than how it has been drawn by the engineer. Some sites may not be accessible, but it is worth trying. You always have the option to organise a site visit with the builder and frequently site visits are organized prior to the tender closing. When onsite, check that the nearest waste or water pipe is in the place the engineer had drawn on the plan. If you discover a closer one to what is drawn, base your quote on your own findings. Your price will be cheaper than other plumbers quoting because they’d have priced to what was on the plan. Just make certain that the waste pipe you’re pricing on is actually sewer and not storm water.

Qualify EVERYTHING in your letter when performing quotes.

This includesnot allowing security fees or alarms if work needs to be done out of hours, not to being held responsible to damaging other services if you cut into walls or floors without having been told about their place.

When you win a tender, ring the site manager or builder for your job and inquire when you’re required onsite. In addition, it is worth it to go to the site to determine what the improvement is. The project supervisor may say that you could start next week, but if you visit the site and the onsite building supervisor is happy for you to start, then do this.

Be current with all paperwork such as council inspection fees and forms lodged and paid in total and security paperwork (that is now compulsory on all business jobs) to be given to the project site manager prior to any work started.

Follow up on plumbing clearance certifications when a plumbing job has been cleared then emailing the certificate to the contractor once you receive it needs to be done. Builders hate paperwork and even worse, they despise nagging you to give it to them. If you publish the required forms, plumbing certificates, as built plans and guides to the builder on time or before they nag they will prefer you for your services than a potential cheaper plumber. Builders will call you and negotiate your cost should they prefer to use you compared to the price they obtained from a more affordable plumber.

Have a Website.

A number of plumbing companies still don’t have a website but plumbers will need to get with the times and have a site. Prospective clients want to find out what jobs have been done by your company and the type of clients you have. Sending a pamphlet or profile about your company when you begin tendering a new client is also beneficial. If developing a website is a price that you cannot manage, set up a Facebook or Twitter account. Both of them are free. A site isn’t hard to set up too since you can easily upgrade it as new work comes through. You can get clients to trace your webpage and it may be regularly updated with images of projects that you’ve completed and testimonials on how you helped with a plumbing emergency.