Finding a steady stream of clients is one part of running a successful plumbing business. However, there might be little time left to think up new ways to spread the word about your company.
Between doing jobs, ordering materials, sending invoices and everything else needed to run your business, you probably feel busy enough. However, without new customers, your career as a plumber could be circling the drain.
Plumbers typically use several methods to find new clients. If one isn’t panning out, you’ll ideally have a few others to fall back on. Different methods may also help you reach different types of customers looking for a licensed plumber.
To help get your ideas flowing, here are six ideas for finding more clients for your plumbing business.
Create an online presence
The internet is the first place that many people go when they want to hire a tradie. If your plumbing business isn’t online, you may be missing out on heaps of new clients!
A professional website is one way to sell your plumbing services online. This is your main space to create a brand that people will remember and give them important information about your business. Listing your services and how to contact you are two basic pieces of info that should be on your site.
Getting listed in search engines is also a good way to help customers find your plumbing business. Claiming your Google Business Profile is one example of this. Your profile is what appears on Google Maps, where many people go when looking for a local plumber. Google profiles also display customer reviews which is another way to attract customers (more on that in a bit).
Consider social media
Many people use social media to find and compare local tradie services. One or two key profiles could help your business stand out from the crowd.
Social media profiles, like your website, are a space where you can share important info with potential clients. But unlike a website, social media is an easy way to share short-term promotions and quick updates. It’s also another way for customers to contact you to book jobs or ask questions about the plumbing services you provide.
If you’re going to use social media, make sure you have time or staff to maintain your profiles. Frequent posts and timely responses to messages are crucial for getting and keeping clients. It may help to focus your efforts on just one platform, such as Facebook, that your ideal customers regularly use.
Pick up gig work
Another way that clients look for local tradies is through gig apps and websites. Accepting jobs through these services could be an excellent way to get in the door with new clients.
Instead of waiting for customers to contact you, gig apps let you more actively contact potential customers. Sites like Airtasker, Oneflare and ServiceSeeking, help connect you with people looking for a plumber’s services. They tell you the work they need done, and you bid on the job.
Gig apps could be a viable way to create loyal customers when other methods of finding clients are slow. Responding to task requests can be time-consuming but could help you fill gaps in your schedule where you otherwise wouldn’t be working. This might be a smart “side hustle” for a plumber specialising in emergency repairs or in construction off-seasons if you primarily do commercial work.
Ask for referrals and online reviews
Already have happy clients? Use that to your advantage! Customer referrals and online reviews could help create a steady pipeline of new clients.
People tend to trust recommendations from people they know, such as their friends and family. Asking satisfied customers to refer you to their network could be a simple way to get more plumbing jobs. Some plumbers even set up referral programs where customers earn a small reward (such as a gift card) if they refer a friend who takes up your plumbing services.
Online reviews often act similarly to word-of-mouth referrals. A high rating can help create trust with new customers based on the opinion of someone who has used your services. Reviews can be collected on many different sites, though Google and Trustpilot are two popular options.
Partner with other businesses & organisations
Joining forces with other small businesses and local organisations could also help you find new customers. It can also help new plumbers build trust by ‘borrowing’ goodwill from more established companies.
There are many partnership options for quality plumbers. Partnering with a strata manager or builder are popular options, as homeowners often ask them for recommendations before hiring a tradie. You could become the go-to plumber for a block of units or an entire neighbourhood if you make the right connections.
Partnering with other tradies is another option. Think of complementary services, such as a cabinet maker specialising in kitchen storage or a tiler who does bathrooms. They may be keen to bring on a plumbing subcontractor they work well with to help them complete remodelling projects.
Get business insurance
Business insurance may not seem like something clients care about, but you might be wrong. Having certain policies could help you grow your customer base.
Many companies only hire contractors and subcontractors who have plumbing insurance. This is to protect their business from risk and avoid increases to their own insurance premiums. If you don’t have policies in place, you may be limiting who will work with you.
Residential customers may also care about your plumbing insurance policies. Having insurance signals to many people that you are a professional and that you care about your customers and their property. If something goes wrong, you are prepared to fix the situation. This can go a long way toward building trust and getting hired by new clients.
These six ways of getting more clients might be an excellent way to start growing your business. Trying a few—or all of them—may help you reach new customers and spread the word about your plumbing services!
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This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
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