The Challenges of Running a Plumbing BusinessThe best business tips for plumbers

Like many industries, plumbing has been through a turbulent few years.

The restrictions brought in during the coronavirus pandemic and various lockdowns made work intermittent.

While plumbing made a strong recovery, inflation and rising consumer costs are now putting it under pressure again.

But these factors are beyond the control of plumbers and their business, so what are the challenges they’re facing that they can do something about?

That’s what we’re covering in this blog: common challenges plumbers face and how to address them.

Attracting talent

We’ll start with some good news: plumbing is part of an industry experiencing year-on-year growth in the UK.

There’s work out there to be done if you can identify it, position yourself well, and deliver great results to your customers.

All this means you might be thinking about bringing in some new hires. While many plumbers value the independence of working for themselves, there are still ways you can attract talented people to your organisation.

Giving them a certain level of freedom will make it feel less like they’ve traded freedom for stability, so avoid micromanaging and let them get on with the task at hand.

Ensure your employees feel listened to and that their ideas are implemented. Communicating with employees is essential for keeping them engaged.

Customer retention

The service industry is one of the most ruthless in terms of repeat business. With so many options out there, ensuring your customers have an excellent experience is the only way you can count on their custom again.

Make sure every aspect of your offering is geared towards retaining customers and turning them into repeat clients. Hidden charges and substandard service won’t get you anywhere in a world where people can find a dozen different local plumbers on Google in seconds.

Marketing to new clients

Many plumbing businesses don’t position themselves well to capture a range of customers. They focus solely on domestic customers, neglecting the fact that new construction accounts for up to a fifth of demand in the plumbing market.

This may prove an untapped source of work for many plumbers. Consider a marketing strategy to target these opportunities separately.

You likely can’t use the same offers as you would with domestic customers. Instead, focus on a professional appearance and regulatory compliance.

While these may not matter too much to many of your regular clients, construction firms, by nature of their size, often need to do things to higher standards.

By positioning yourself to show these firms that you can deliver on their needs, you stand a much better chance of winning larger and more stable contracts.

Chasing invoices

Ensuring a regular inflow of cash into your business is important to pay bills, salaries, rent, insurance, and much more.

Making your income more predictable by staying on top of outstanding invoices is a great way to keep things regular and avoid any stressful situations.

Unfortunately, following up on invoices that are yet to be paid takes time and effort, but it comes with significant advantages as well. Scheduling time for yourself or someone else to make follow-up calls will be time well spent when your finances are in order.

Keep your income flowing in steadily and you have one less thing to worry about come the end of the month.

Time management

With so many different areas where plumbers can face challenges and make improvements to their ways of working, one of the biggest difficulties can turn up to be managing your time effectively.

The balancing act of managing field workers, marketing your business, chasing invoices, attracting clients and carrying out many other tasks means that it can be easy to lose track of what needs doing when.

Scheduling your employees and your own time can be a game changer. A smart scheduling tool like Findmyshift means staff always have access to an up-to-date rota, so you don’t have to worry about whether people have seen the latest changes.

Setting yourself different shifts for marketing, admin, and team management time is an easy way to divide up your day and ensure you spend enough time on each area of your business.

With your own time planned out and under control, you’re far more likely to lead an organised and productive plumbing team.

Start scheduling your staff online.

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