Typically small company owners who recently started business are not aware of ways to grow and expand. These are hardworking men who spent years in the field learning the trade and now risk investing into new plumbing company.
Our idea is to help understand the process of expansion and show how to grow plumbing company without spending too much money. Some of our points are obvious and some need to be shown example of with clarifications.
Here are the first steps on growing plumbing company:
- New Areas of service
- Higher Budget for marketing
- Understand what works and make it better
- Social Media (get involved, not paid service)
- Get subcontracts
- Hire professionals (don’t do everything by yourself, sales, website, work)
The company of our interest is Aqua Rescue Inc, located in Canada (Toronto). Our team decided to base our entire post on experience of specific business and expose everything they have been through since starting plumbing business.
Grow and Expand Steps Explained
Let’s start with assumption that you already have established plumbing company for a year or so. The business has to be profitable for owner to have interest in it. Facts show that most small business owners get stuck trying to take on most important roles and responsibilities but forget about expansion aspect.
Now it’s time to think about the future of the company and make it as big as possible.
- New Areas of Service – It is always better starting with one area and one specific service when plumbing company is fresh. But as you fill up the schedule and workload increases its now time to move on and cover other areas.
Let people know you are working in other areas. Put this information on your website, tell clients and builders that you encounter. Creating another google map for the business in different region can help attract potential clients as well.
- Higher Budget for Marketing – Spending money is scary, but otherwise companies cannot get more leads or calls for services. It gets more complicated when new business owners lack proper information about technical details of marketing.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the most underestimated long term investment in marketing that plumbing business lack to understand. It feels like money are spent fast but results are yet to come.
Remodel On Point suggests investing into local advertising, online platforms like angie’s list, google ads and search engine optimization.
- Understand What Works and Make it Better – first rule of making things better is to measure the success level. Instead of blindly spending money track how much goes into each stream of advertising and where you get most of the return.
Also prioritize services that are most profitable and take less effort. Another strategy is to expend into services that can be subcontracted or grown without much of supervision. These would be labor intense services like excavating drains or waterproofing.
- Get Involved in Social Media – today we can easily say that social media is far more popular than yellow pages or newspaper advertising. We understand that older generation does not spend time on their phones, but getting upper hand is now easier than ever with simple several clicks per day.
Snap images of your work and share it on isntagram and facebook pages. It literally takes few minutes per day and its absolutely free. This will create an effect of awareness that your plumbing company exists and get needed connection in construction industry.
- Get Subcontracts and Professional Trades – One team cannot handle entire workload and expand at the same time. Understand how to grow plumbing company means delegating workload and spending personal time on growth rather than upkeep.
Hiring more people is dangerous because business owner has to make sure there is enough money for payroll. Subcontracting work is the easiest way to make extra money without much of risk. As long as plumbing business covers expenses, marketing and makes a little profit on subcontracts it is worth it.
- Hire Professionals and Fill the Roles – Its very likely that plumbing directors want to spend less money in the beginning and try to experiment with work they have no idea how to do. No doubt they need to learn and understand the process but hiring professionals for specific roles is more important than saving money.
Hire marking company to take care of website, advertising, social media and creative work. Train most responsible workers into supervisor to make projects. Hire salespeople and pay them percentage of what they can sell.
Going back to our study example we can easily relate all of necessary steps on how to grow plumbing company. AquaRescue was consulted by our team and started expanding area of service right away. They covered Toronto, Etobicoke and Mississauga cities.
Remodel On Point calculated average growing plumbing company spends roughly $4000 – $6000 per month on marketing and suggested that number for growing possibilities. It sounds high, but remember average drain replacement service is sold for $3000 and completed in just 2 days.
Igor hired overseas social media manager and local professionals to help them with work. It was incredible watching AquaRescue grow within a year of time. Now they have 6 crews and are looking to expand even more.
Remodel On Point made specific recommendations and cost effective services that produced results for this plumbing company’s reputation and increased amount of leads they were getting. Find out more about our company consolations.
Budget Suggested for Growing Plumbing Company
Ideally company just takes off and keeps growing until you don’t even have room. This may only happen if entire profit with additional money are thrown at the company for necessary expansion.
Imagine that your newly started company has finally bringing enough money to cover costs, your salary and profit on top of everything. Instead of blowing that cash we strongly suggest reinvesting everything into marketing, building teams and company related equipment.
This is exactly what Igor did with Aqua Rescue. Every month the profit grew by a thousand or two and by 6th moth he was investing $10,000 per month into firm. This didn’t happen in first year. Aqua Rescue was 2 man show for first three and a half years, but after 12 month of expansion strategy and implementations things really changed.
It all depends how fast and large the growth we are talking about, but on average $130,000 – $160,000 are necessary to make a statement. Aqua Rescue purchased 3 company trucks, tons of plumbing equipment and spent over $50,000 on marketing in one year.
Time for Growth and Realistic Expectations
There is no limit or suggested time on how to grow a plumbing company. Some business owners want to expand and become the largest firm in just a year and some take their entire life to get 3 crews on the road.
Remodel On Point suggests creating a budget and trying to stick with timelines set for growth. For ambitious owners its better to have a target of 12-24 month for growth with serious investments in mind.
The biggest mistake is to get more people than work. It should work the other way around. Don’t hire additional staff unless your guys absolutely cannot keep up even if they work evenings and weekends.
Branding and Building Name
Establish a brand and stick to it. Make it a life journey with a potential to exit and sell in few decades. The company name, logo, phone number and overall theme has to be literally everywhere.
Put it on company trucks, clothing, estimates, website, online features, business cards, yard signs and anything else we might have missed.
Our team can suggest brand names and give ideas for brainstorming. We have worked with hundreds of companies and understand how their marketing works.
The hardest part is keeping a good name. Once company member screws up big its hard to reverse time and go back to being the top plumbing company. Watch out for online reviews, keep up with best possible service and stay away from illegal or shady activities.
Marketing – How to Grown a Plumbing Company
It is literally impossible to grow without promotions and advertising. B2b is great but going that route is not the best any plumbing company can do.
We know how hard it is to spend money with hope to get more clients and how discouraging it gets when things don’t work as planned.
Hiring professionals in their field is the best option but don’t aim for marketing giants. Instead hire local marketers that have experience and success with construction companies and trade firms.
Team of Experts and Trusted People
Having workers that just care about pay check and cannot wait until the day is over is not going to help grow the plumbing company. Its hard to find those people that will stand for the company during hard times and work extra time simply because client’s job has to be finished asap.
This is probably the most important factor in building any company and expanding in time. You can get new equipment or rebuild marketing strategy but trusted workers and team members are extremely hard to find.
Within time best helpers become professionals and even supervisors. Everyone goes to top of the chain and labor is hired. Be careful with who gets the power and monitor everyone’s move until they prove to be trustworthy.
Office Space Necessary of Expanding Plumbing Firm
Hard and smart work will definitely lead to growth of clientele and operating teams. Next level jump is getting an office. For plumbing company it usually means a commercial space warehouse for storage of equipment and vehicles with small office that manages calls or schedules.
In our case, Aqua Rescue Plumbing and Drain company rented $3000 per month space and made the life of workers much easier. At the end of first year growth plan a person was hired to manage sale calls, schedules and some social media.