Plumbing business is a profitable business and the demand for plumbers will continue to be on the rise as long as people continue to build and maintain their buildings.
It is an important aspect of every building and involves installing and repairing pipes and fittings in a way that water is easily used and waste drained.
The nature of plumbing business makes it mandatory that people and businesses always employ professional plumbers to fix and maintain their own plumbing jobs. This demonstrates why plumbing business in Nigeria will continue to be a necessity now and times to come.
Plumbers are experts at plumbing services. They ensure that water pipes, sewer etc. are well kept and up to the standard of building codes.
Plumbing is the installation of systems to convey fluid for a wide range of applications.
It uses pipes, valves, plumbing fixtures, tanks, and other kinds of apparatus for the distribution and use of potable water and the removal of waterborne waste within a building.
Plumbing business involves rendering a wide range of services such as potable cold and hot tap water supply, fuel gas piping, building sewage systems, plumbing drainage venting, rainwater, surface, and subsurface water drainage.
Basically, it is a business that requires expertise. So, you have to be trained or work with someone who has the expertise to run a plumbing business.
Are you thinking of starting a plumbing business? Let’s take a dive into everything you need to know about the business.
Types of Plumbers
Before I tell you how to start a plumbing business, there’s a need to expatiate on the three different kinds of plumbers we have.
Commercial plumbers render services to schools, hospitals, hotels, churches, industries, shopping centers, factories and other forms of commercial organizations.
They install, repair and maintain pipes of large public plumbing systems.
Commercial plumbers are highly skilled and qualified professionals. They have much expertise and deal with more pipes and fittings.
Residential plumbers render services to residential homes.
They install, repair, and maintain pipes of residential homes. They serve both new sites and old buildings by installing pipes and fittings making water usage and waste removal easy.
Residential plumbers mostly gain expertise by learning under a master with the required skillset and through hands-on experience as they practice.
Service and Repair Plumbers
Service and repair plumbers mostly repair and maintain plumbing systems in commercial and residential settings.
They do more of plumbing system servicing, reducing pipe pressure, blocking leakages, and clogging issues.
They mostly work directly with clients and are responsible for the daily function of pipes and fittings.
Now, that we have established the types of plumbers and the different kinds of plumbing services they offer, it’s time to get down to business.
How To Start A Plumbing Business
To start, you need to niche down; you can’t be all things to all men. Conduct research and see the types of plumbing companies that exist in your locality and what they do.
Find out the type of plumbing service that’s lucrative in your area and the resources you need to start.
After conducting this research, you should be able to decide if you want to operate as a commercial plumber, residential plumber, or be a service and repair plumber.
This decision is very important because it will determine the type of training you need to get and the resources you need to start.
Get Training and Experience
To operate a plumbing business, prior knowledge of plumbing services is needed. You can acquire knowledge by undergoing a training and through experience. It’s the only way to acquire the skill you need.
Prior knowledge will expose you to how things are technically done, pricing models to use, and other important aspects of the business.
To get started, become an apprentice with a plumbing company.
It can be for a period of six months to years depending on how fast you can learn. Alternatively, you can take courses online or enroll in community colleges or vocational schools.
Plumbing service can only be carried out by professionals and the way to become a professional is to get trained.
Plan Your Business
Once the training phase is completed, you need to sit and plan how to operate the business.
Everything about the business, what you hope to achieve, and how to achieve them should be documented in a business plan.
A business plan is a roadmap for your business. It involves documenting goals, vision, target audience, market plans, and the best model for the business.
A viable plumbing business plan should have the following outline;
Vision and Mission
Market Research and Strategies
Pricing and product
Financial Plan and Projections
The startup cost for running a plumbing business varies based on location, experience, and type of plumbing service.
For instance, in a case where you do not have background knowledge of the business, you might have to employ an experienced expert who will do the job while you take care of the administrative work.
This will be expensive and impart your startup cost because of the labor cost you will incur.
Your start-up capital should cover office set up, cost of labor, registration, license, equipment, marketing and other logistics.
Register Your Business
As an entrepreneur, the first step to structuring your business is registering it with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). CAC is the authorized agency in charge of business registration.
The name you choose for your business should be unique and should depict your service offering. You can either register a business name or limited liability company depending on the ownership structure.
Set up An Office
Securing an office is the next step once the registration process has been completed. It is the best way to become an authority in the business and become accessible to clients.
If you are dealing with sales of plumbing equipment, you must ensure that your shop is located in a strategic place where your products and services can be easily seen by passersby.
In addition, if you offer plumbing services, your location should be accessible to clients and should also be easy for you to access sites and homes where you work.
Depending on the kind of plumbing service you are offering, there is a need to recruit other plumbing experts who can do certain jobs with you. They can be on a part-time basis (when there is a big task) or on full-time.
Also, depending on the scale, you may need to hire administrators, who will handle bookkeeping and day-to-day activities. Sales personnel will also be needed as the business grows to attract more paying customers.
Another area you can venture into in the plumbing business is to start a training institute where you train other prospective plumbers. However, you need to be a certified agency to do that.
There are several equipments needed to operate a plumbing business. Depending on the niche you want to cover, these are the basic materials that are needed;
Pipes and fittings
Buckets to store fittings
Whole hog right angle drill
Cordless screw gun
Cast iron pipe cutter
Pipe dope/Teflon tape
Owing to the competitiveness of the plumbing business, there is a need to aggressively invest in marketing in order to become visible.
Effective marketing involves identifying your target audience and where they can be found. Once you know where to find your target audience, you can run targeted-online and offline advertising that will generate leads.
Referral marketing also works like magic in the plumbing business. You can create a referral package where clients get a discount on their next job for any successful referral.
Customers will gladly refer you if you do a good job.
Also, you need to have branded and marketing materials like business cards, flyers, and brochures that you can distribute to people.
Advertise and promote your business at every opportunity you get.
Besides, you can partner with other artisans like electricians, engineers or contractors with construction companies. They can reach out to you when your service is needed on any job they are doing.
More importantly, you need a website that is optimized for search engines. And, you need to be very visible on social media platforms as well.
If you have the funds, you can also invest in traditional advertising like billboards, radio, and TV.
These are some important things to know when starting a plumbing business in Nigeria.
They do not guarantee success, but will place you on the right track. Wish you all the best in your business, feel free to leave a comment.