“Invest in your dreams, grind now, shine later.”
Whether you’ve just started a plumbing business or have been in the industry for a long time, you recognize the importance of setting yourself apart from competitors and seeking out customers in your area. You also realize that doing the same things year after year will only get you so far. If you’re ready to try some new plumbing service ideas, read on!
1. Make Sure You Price Your Jobs Correctly
Some service professionals forget to do their research to see if they are pricing their plumbing services relative to other plumbers in their area. HomeAdvisor makes it easy for you to do your homework with their “True Cost Guide”, which shows the average costs for typical plumbing projects — including both the national average and local average, which you can find by searching your specific area code.
2. Design Your Website to Fulfill One Goal: Generate a Lead
The call-to-action for your website visitors is to contact you for service, so your contact information and lead capture form should be front and center on your homepage and preferably on all pages of your site. If you’re able to utilize a sidebar on your site, this could be a good place to put your lead capture form and any other call-to-actions. Showcasing good customer testimonials on your homepage can also compel a prospect to get in touch with you.
3. Add Trust Elements to Your Website and Documents
Adding badges from review sites (i.e. HomeAdvisor, Better Business Bureau), trade associations you’re a part of or awards you’ve received, to your website gives you great credibility as a service provider. We recommend adding these trust elements to estimates, invoices and any other documents you send to your customers — even your email signature.
4. Become an Email Marketer
There are numerous statistics that show the effectiveness and power of email marketing. It’s also the “preferred source of business communication for 72% of consumers” (MarketingSherpa). If you’re not already engaging in email marketing, don’t fret! Email marketing is something that’s never too late to start. There are also many things to email about — discounts, company updates, tips, photos of your work — all will keep you top of mind with the customer.
5. Network With Local Homeowners’ Associations
Homeowners associations (HOAs) maintain referral lists of local service providers they can recommend to homeowners, so start by contacting your local HOAs and see if you can get added to their lists. Make sure to note that special services you provide such as emergency services or same-day services. You can also find out if they promote home service providers in their newsletters and consider offering a discount.
6. Hire Extra Help When You Need It
You don’t want to turn down work because you’re overbooked. Although there are cases where new hires don’t work out, it may be worth the risk if you’re getting a lot of requests for work. Here’s a good article on what to consider when hiring candidates.
7. Keep Tabs on What Customers Are Saying
What your customers say on online review sites can play a big factor in whether a prospect will choose you for the job. It’s vital to ask your happy customers to share their positive experience on review sites like Google and Yelp, but it’s also key for you to regularly monitor these sites so you can respond to reviews, especially any negative ones.
8. Provide DIY Help for Small Plumbing Problems
Stand out from other plumbers in your area by becoming a resource for your customers. For plumbing problems customers may want to tackle on their own, you could write up some quick tips and share it in your e-newsletter, blog or on social media. You’ll come across as thoughtful, generous and trustworthy.
9. Don’t Drown Yourself in Busy Work
Do you have to double or maybe even triple enter data? Are you losing hours every week trying to keep your field and office staff organized? Many of our customers realize that if they want to succeed, they can’t go at it alone. They see the benefits of a field service software that syncs with their Google Calendar and Quickbooks account, gives them the ability to manage their team’s schedules on a web and mobile app (vs a whiteboard or sticky notes, which is inefficient and error-prone) and ultimately saves them time.
10. Don’t Forget About Millennials
Millennials already represent 35 percent of recent home buyers (Realtor.org) and will make up the majority of homeowners in the U.S. in just a few more years. How can you make sure to reach millennials in your area? For starters, revamp your marketing strategy and go mobile.
11. Deliver Your Estimates Fast
70% of homeowners will hire the first person that contacts them, so don’t delay in sending out your estimates. A recent HomeAdvisor survey also revealed that homeowners prefer to receive estimates via email (vs. hand-delivery or mail). A mobile software solution will make it easy for you to quickly create and email estimates.
12. Develop Your Brand
Looking at your competitors is a great place to start thinking about what you want your brand to be. What are they doing well? What’s missing? We bet you’ll find many businesses who lack brand appeal and awareness. As you work on your brand strategy, ask yourself questions like these. Part of your branding should also be making sure you have a strong logo and a compelling, well-designed website.
13. Secure Your Spot in Google’s Local Directory
With people searching for any and all information online, you can’t afford to not show up in local search. In fact, 46% of all searches on Google are local. How can you increase your visibility on Google’s Local Directory? We’ve outlined a 5-part checklist here.
14. Tout Your Emergency Services
Of all the home service industries, emergency work is most important for plumbers. Consumers will expect to get service fast and will usually choose the plumber who can get to them the fastest. If you provide emergency jobs including 24-hour services, it’s essential to promote this in all your marketing, including your website.
15. Take Steps to Get Paid Faster
For some plumbers, completing the job is easy; it’s getting paid that’s tough. By having a system that connects to your accounting software, you can quickly know what’s been paid for what and what hasn’t and follow-up with delinquent customers. Being able to take payments right after a job is completed will also make a big difference in getting paid faster.
Do you have a topic you want us to cover? Send us topics suggestions in the comments section below or leave us a message on our social channels!
Last modified: November 16, 2017