Does your Plumbing Business have a leaky sales pipeline? Are you looking to plug a gap in profits? How do you increase your plumbing business profitability?
Right now your focus should be on how to make your Plumbing business more profitable. Rising fuel and energy prices mean the cost of doing business is rising, so you need to be lean, mean and ready to clean (… away inefficient processes).
Why you need to shift your focus from revenue generation to plumbing business profitability
It’s great to have a steady flow of customers. It will give you confidence you’re providing a good service and it’s a good indicator of the health of your business. Let’s not ignore that, but if you want to thrive long-term you need to shift your focus to profitability.
When you focus on completing as many jobs as you can, all you’re doing is working harder. When you understand that not all jobs are equal and you have visibility over what each job is worth, then you can start to direct your energy into what will add value to your business.
When your business focuses on profit it affords you the ability to invest in it with:
- Increasing your team size
- Expanding to new regions and locations
- Purchase new vans, equipment and parts
- Add to the overall value of the business (you may want to sell up one day)
14 ways to improve Plumbing Business Profitability
Here’s 14 pieces of advice we’ve gathered, practical tips and some trade secrets on how to run a more profitable plumbing business.
1. Understand the value of each job
There’s more to a job than the quote you’ve offered. Before the work has even begun it’s starting to cost you money, time and effort.
To maximise your plumbing business profitability you need visibility of the profit you achieve on each job. To do that you need to have a clear picture of:
- How much time was spent on the job
- What parts were used and what price did we pay for them?
- Did that job take place over another job?
- How much admin will this job create?
Once you start to look at each job through this lens you’ll be a little more selective of the jobs you decide to take.
2. Improve your cash flow
Cash flow allows you to invest. It means you can put fuel in vans, parts on shelves and even hire new team members.
The time it takes you to gather paperwork, completed job notes and client signatures in the field is holding back the speed at which you can raise your invoice. This has a negative affect on your cash flow.
The trick to better cash flow is reducing the reasons for bottlenecks and delays. Many plumbing businesses are adopting mobile apps to capture job details in the field and customer signature sign off. That means as soon as the work is complete they can sync this information back to the team in the office so they can raise the invoice.
3. Remove debt
Debt is a real burden. It’s stressful and pins down growth. If this is relatable then you’ll be pleased to know you’re not alone in fact one third of all small businesses are in debt.
Covid-19 pushed a lot of businesses to their limits. While the furlough scheme was widely praised and gave employers are life-line, the slow recovery out of the pandemic meant more businesses were relying on borrowed money.
It’s not all gloom. As the world reopens for business and workers return to offices many businesses have re-invented themselves and trimmed away costs and inefficiencies.
Reducing debt will allow you to reinvest more of your earnings back into your business. Some common methods of reducing debt include:
- Refinancing Loans
- Address late paying customers
- Improve cash flow
- Reduce unnecessary spending
The most important step is to get a true picture of the financial health of your business and start from there. Tackle the highest interest rates or biggest burden you have and work backwards.
You can get favorable repayment terms when you have a clear understanding of your cash flow and outgoings – create a plan and stick to it!
4. Master your Marketing
One of the key ways to earn more profit is to attract the right kind of customer. Once you’ve established the type of jobs in your business that are the most profitable, it’s time to put a plan in place and win more of that work.
Referral business and repeat business are great but what you need is ‘New’ and to achieve that you’ve got to get your marketing on point:
- Get your message right – “Here’s what we do”
- Shout that message where your customers will hear it
- Respond to response your get back – “Come and try us out”
- Make sure they are happy – “Leave us a review”
Set aside a small amount of time each month to get your marketing in the right place and promote your business across the right channels such as:
- Email Marketing
- Social Media
- Direct Mail
- Corporate Partnerships
Read more: 5 minute marketing guide for businesses like yours
5. Partnerships make you stronger
Although you should have a marketing strategy in place to find your own customers, there will be businesses operating in your location who have access to new audiences and they could really benefit by partnering with your plumbing business.
These include, Facilities Management, Building Services and even other plumbing outfits. However, these don’t come without their challenges as you could be putting the reputation of your business in the hands of another. Be mindful of who you choose to partner with and make sure you speak to some of their customers prior to agreeing.
If it all checks out you could find a steady stream of work from a mutually beneficial relationship.
6. Squeeze more out of what you already have
Are you maximising the potential revenue and profit out of the customers you already have?
Your reluctance to reach out to your already happy customers with email marketing could be holding back your business. A key to increased Plumbing business profitability is a simple ‘keep in touch’ email, often it’s all that’s required to remind them you’re still here and who knows maybe you catch them right when they are thinking about their boiler service?
Here’s some ideas for email content:
- Tips on reducing leaks
- Advantages of boiler inspections
- Cost saving ideas
- DIY tips
- Risks of doing their own DIY!
7. Stop running out of parts you need
The availability of parts is a challenge at the moment and running out of what you need can delay a job or even mean you have to turn down work.
You can avoid this with better inventory management. If you don’t know what you have available, how much of it you have and the exact place it’s being held then you could come unstuck when your team needs the parts. Inventory Management software or Field Service Management Software with built in Inventory tools is helping businesses like yours keep on top of their part usage.
8. Go Solar?
Solar Thermal water systems have been around since the 80’s but there aren’t too many plumbing outfits that provide this service. Renewable Energy systems are on the verge of exploding in popularity. EV cars and Vans are booming more popular, Photovoltaic Solar power systems generating electricity are being installed in homes and businesses. What if your Plumbing business had the unique selling point of installing renewable technology?
Solar Thermal Water Systems could supply another revenue stream and as the units are becoming more affordable for trade its becoming a viable option.
9. Automate your Thank-you’s
Do you follow up a job with a thank you?
If not, you’re probably using lack of time as an excuse. That’s perfectly understandable, you’re trying to reduce admin not add more to your workload. However, by not following up with a ‘Thank you’, you’re missing a trick that your successful competitors certainly aren’t missing.
They are using Field Service Management software with Automated Customer Communications. These are set up to immediately follow a completed job with a short thank you message and an opportunity to ask for a review or offer a referral incentive.
By automating the task of sending the follow up, it doesn’t cost them any more time and it could win them further business. At the very least it’s creating a positive interaction with their satisfied customer.
10. Control your costs
You can’t control how much it costs to fill up your van. But you can control how often you have to do that.
Increased job routing efficiency will greatly improve your fuel usage and help your team reduce the number of times they have to visit the pumps. It will also mean that they can spend more time on the job and less time traveling to it.
The little costs all build up, so review what you are currently spending on phone bills, paper and materials and see what could be done to reduce them.
- Can your business go paperless with Field Service Management Software and Mobile Apps for your Field Team?
- Can you reduce the amount of calls you have to make to your team and customers with automated email messages and mobile app notifications?
11. Can customers Google your business?
Do you appear on Google?
This is a basic one but so many business owners underestimate the importance of spending a little time to make sure all of your details are updated on Google. This is where most of your new business will initially start their search so make sure you are visible. It’s also how a lot of customers like to leave reviews of your business.
If you’re not sure how to set up your ‘Google my business’ then check out our step by step guide: Click here for our guide to Google Business.
12. Learn from each job
You may have been in the game for a long time but we can always learn. School never stops and so should your need to learn from each job.
There’s always new trends in every industry and your customer never stops evolving. Their needs and wants change constantly so make sure you encourage a culture of sharing ideas and feedback from all across your business. Don’t live in an echo chamber, listen to voices and opinions outside of your own area of expertise and be curious. It could uncover a new profitable service you could offer or a cost saving idea.
13. Don’t be too proud to ask for help
Business owners are proud. You’re proud of your team, your vans, your reputation.
Don’t be too proud to ask for help when things are tough. Reach out over social media with your own accounts if you want to offer your services to others to win more work. Someone could share that post with a potential new customer.
14. Invest in your health
Above everything else the biggest investment you should be making is in yourself. Yes, that does sound a little bit like a Yoga Retreat slogan but another way to look at it is – how many jobs can you complete if you’re in poor health?
Give yourself the rest you need. Be honest with yourself when it’s all a little too much and you need a break. Eat well. Sleep well.
Find the time to do the things that put your mind at ease because when you’re healthy and happy you offer a lot more than you might realize. A motivated and healthy owner can reinvigorate a team, motivate your workforce and help everyone reach their goals.
How Klipboard can help your Plumbing Business be more profitable
All of the advice above can be accomplished with a plan in place, good communication and the drive to increase your plumbing business profitability.
Each tip or tactic will go towards earning your business more revenue and profit. What will truly add value to your business and empower your team is Klipboard.
Klipboard is Field Service Management Software for those who want to streamline their business, reduce cost and maximise efficiency. It’s a great way to reduce wasted time and improve your ability to turn a profit.
Improved Operational Visibility
Our Performance Dashboards give you the complete picture of your business. Gain a top down view of your business and makes decisions based on the data you have available.
Increasing your Plumbing Business Profitability is only achievable with this level of insight.
You can greatly improve your cash flow by seamlessly syncing your job details to your quoting and invoicing with Klipboard. That means turning a quote instantly into a job to assign to a team member. Then when the work is complete raising the invoice straight away using Klipboard’s Invoicing and Payments features – no delays, no paperwork, no mistakes.
Intelligent Route Planning
When you assign a job to a plumber they have everything they need sent to their smartphone app. Client details, Job Location, Asset Information, Floor plans and more. This also includes a map of the best route to their job, helping you reduce your fuel costs.
Automated Customer Communications
What better time saving tip can you follow then to automate your customer emails. The amount of time and effort you spend in sending job bookings, quotes, invoices and follow up messages is likely holding your team back from achieving more.
Our Automated Customer Communications help you concentrate on the jobs while Klipboard takes care of the emails.
Get a one to one demo
Klipboard is an easy to use, intuitive Job Management Software platform for those who want all the features but none of the fuss. Our pricing is transparent and our friendly team is keen to help. Why not speak to us today and book a one to one demo – click here.