In 2022, the plumbing industry sales reached $134 billion. According to plumbing industry trends, the market is expected to continue to grow in the years to come. There are many ways you can grow your plumbing business and capture some of this market. Some have to do with how you manage the business and yourself, and others are more about your marketing activities.
From setting goals to improving your website’s SEO, here are some great tips to get you poised for growth.
Business Management Strategies
1. Set Goals for Your Business
Knowing where you want to go is the first step to growing your plumbing business. Just like you need a map (or app) to guide you when you’re traveling, goals help you know where you are and how far you need to go to reach your destination.
Set both short and long-term goals, as both will help you grow. Look at 30-day goals, 90-day goals, six-month goals, and yearly goals, and have a five-year plan. Break the long-term goals into the steps required to meet them and make those steps your short-term deadlines.
It’s well-known in business, but SMART goals are the best and most productive way to get things done. These goals are:
Periodically check your progress on each goal and reevaluate your next steps. It’s okay to change goals if you need to.
2. Outsource or Delegate Tasks
If you’re running your business by yourself, there’s no room to expand if you can’t take on any more work. Outsourcing or delegating tasks can give you free time to market your business or serve your customers if that’s what you want to do.
Take some of the tasks you either hate doing or don’t do very well and find someone else to do them. Freelancers are an economical way to get things done without all the paperwork involved with hiring an employee. Services freelancers provide include administrative tasks, bookkeeping/accounting, and marketing.
3. Continue to Learn
It’s important to remain up to date on all the latest means and methods in the plumbing industry. In addition, you’ll want to invest in education that helps you run your business better. Conferences, webinars, and trade shows can be a great way to keep your skills and knowledge up to date. You can also look for plumbing-related podcasts and general business books to help you improve your business know-how.
4. Invest in Technology
You can save time by automating as many tasks as possible, and technology is the best way to do that. The best software for plumbing businesses can help you schedule your team, track time and materials used on each job, and quickly turn that data into customer invoices. Seamless integration with your accounting program allows you to send over data immediately, so you have real-time information at your fingertips. The more information you have about your business, the more accurate your estimates are, and the better decisions you can make.
5. Offer Multiple Payment Options
Offering your customers multiple ways to pay will improve your cash flow and cut down on administrative activities like customer billing and collections. Although there is some cost to offering credit card payment processing, the convenience to your customers is more than worth it. You may also want to look at partnering with consumer loan providers to offer your customers flexible financing options when unexpected expenses come up. These providers pay you upfront for the work, meaning you get your cash sooner and don’t have to worry about tracking payments.
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6. Update Your Online Presence
You’ll want to update your online presence for two reasons: search engines look for fresh content and you want to make sure your contact information is listed correctly. You should refresh your website regularly with new projects, photos, or customer reviews, and check your contact info on your Google My Business listing.
Consistent social media posting is more important than the frequency of your posts, so find a schedule that works for you and stick to it.
7. Know Your Customers and Where They Find You
As calls come in from prospective customers, ask them how they found you. Just asking this simple question can help you know which of your marketing strategies are working. With this information, you can focus your energies on where your customers are looking. Targeted marketing is more successful than general advertising.
Know what social media platforms customers are on and run ad campaigns to attract more attention. There’s no sense in having a listing in the phone book if no one ever looks there.
8. Use a CRM
CRM (customer relationship management) tools can help you reach out to past and prospective clients, so you stay on their minds when they need a plumber again. These tools store customer and prospect contact information and can help remind you when to reach out and follow up with contacts. These tools also integrate with other marketing/communication tools like MailChimp and Constant Contact to help you send regular updates and valuable content to prospects.
9. Network With Professionals
Networking opportunities are valuable, particularly when you meet professionals who can connect you with multiple prospects. Real estate agents, property managers, and contractors are great sources of referrals. Get to know the local players in your community and establish good business relationships so you can help each other. Joining local organizations, attending community events, and volunteering are great ways to connect with fellow professionals.
10. Maximize your SEO
SEO (search engine optimization) is what helps your customers find you online. With the continuing evolution of search engine algorithms, good SEO practices involve more than just keywords. You should perform a site audit to determine how your site ranks in terms of the keywords you’re targeting. You’ll also need to research longer keywords that customers may be using to search for plumbers in your area. An SEO consultant can help you with this research. Having a professional develop and write your website is usually best, as they will be up to date on all the latest best practices.
The key to expanding your business is not to take on too much yourself, or you will quickly burn out. Adopting technology to assist you can increase your productivity and increase profits as you and your team work more efficiently. ClockShark offers real-time time tracking, scheduling, and labor costing that integrates with your accounting software so you always know what your profits are on each project. With our tools, you’ll quickly reap the benefits and have more time to devote to sales and service.