Plumbing can be a dirty job and one that not many people respect. But when something goes wrong with a toilet or the pipes that supply water, the first person they’ll call will likely be a plumber. Although the plumbing trade isn’t the most glamorous, it’s one of the most needed simply because people couldn’t go about their everyday lives without adequate plumbing.
So if you’ve decided to go into the plumbing business you’re an essential worker. Still, there are certain pitfalls that you’ll want to avoid if you want your business to thrive.
1. Being Unprofessional
Unprofessionalism is sometimes hard to define, but people tend to know it when they see it or experience it. Things such as arriving at a customer’s home late, failing to be respectful to customers, and showing up in dirty clothes or failing to clean up after a job might fall under the category of unprofessionalism. And once a customer sees a business as unprofessional, it may be difficult to retain that customer.
Actually, unprofessionalism is one of the things that has contributed to plumbers having such a bad reputation. Most people understand that plumbing is a demanding profession that might not leave the workers in the best mood, but as a plumber, it’s important to keep in mind that the customer is your bread and butter, so making a good impression on them is vitally important.
2. Getting In Over Your Head
If you’re a plumber you should know what you’re doing. In most states, it’s required that a plumber be licensed. However, there are a few states that allow people to operate as plumbers without licenses. Whether licensed or unlicensed, it’s important not to attempt to do work beyond the scope of what you’re qualified to do.
Just as the medical profession has specialists, so does plumbing. And just as not every doctor is qualified to do every job, the same holds true for plumbers. If a customer’s home has a hydronics issue that’s beyond your expertise, you will need to recommend someone with the necessary education and training to fix the problem.
3. Overcharging for Work
Another thing that gives plumbers a bad rap is their reputation for overcharging customers. It’s no secret that plumbers make a pretty good living. They’re skilled workers and deserve to be paid well for their service, but plumbers have also become notorious for charging more than what seems reasonable for their services.
And they’re perfectly in the right to do so. It’s not against the law for plumbers to charge customers different prices for the same service if they feel one customer is able to pay more money. Still, while there’s nothing illegal about overcharging, it may not serve you as a plumber if your goal is to obtain customers, receive good reviews, and get good word-of-mouth promotion.
4. Failing to Advertise
Advertising can be the life or death of any business, and the same holds true for the plumbing profession. You might not immediately connect social media and plumbing ads, but it’s important to go where the people are. Nearly everyone is on social media, and certainly everyone relies on the plumbing in one form or another.
As a plumber, you’ll also want to rely on more traditional marketing, such as local television and radio ads. These ads are often less expensive than what people might imagine. Your ad might also be seen by more older people since they tend to watch TV and listen to the radio more than younger people. Older people are also more likely to be homeowners.
The plumbing profession can be a dirty business, but it doesn’t have to be a dishonorable one if done the right way. If you want your plumbing business to thrive, be careful not to cultivate an unprofessional image, attempt to fix problems outside your area of expertise, overcharge customers, and fail to advertise. A plumber’s reputation can be as good or as bad as his business practices.