Are you a plumbing professional? An “LMP” designation can reflect a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and may indicate technical skill. It doesn’t mean that you run your business in a professional manner. Here are 14 characteristics of a professionally run plumbing business.
N ° 1: Price of the pros accordingly. If you don’t set a price for profit, you are doing plumbing as a hobby. Poor pricing is the biggest problem in the service trades and also the easiest to solve. It takes as much time and effort to become a master plumber as it takes a lawyer to complete your education and pass the bar exam. Your overhead per hour is higher than that of a lawyer. Unless you charge prices online with lawyers, you’re probably charging too little.
# 2: Pros Receive Timely Financial Statements. Before you can truly set a profitable price, you need to understand your business’s financial situation. This involves regular financial statements and the ability to interpret them. Operating without financial statements is like playing basketball without counting the points. You may be early. You might be late. You really don’t know.
# 3: The pros drive attractive trucks. You provide home and business services. That means your trucks are your retail showcases. They can draw people to you as a retail plumber or make it look like a second-hand clothing store. If you don’t do any other marketing, package your trucks with a professional design in a color other than white. Trucks are your biggest advertising vehicle (pun intended).
N ° 4: The pros seem to be part of the game. Walk into a retail store or business office building and you won’t see people wearing dirty t-shirts, caps, and jeans. You can’t wear a suit, but you can look professional. You can issue uniforms. You can limit headwear to caps with the company logo on it. You may need a daily shower and shave. Poor grooming is the most common complaint about plumbers and air conditioning technicians.
N ° 5: The pros get involved in the community. Are you giving back to your communities? Is your business a visible participant in civic events? Are you a member of a local civic organization, such as Rotary, Lion’s, Optimists, Kiwanis or Civitan? These organizations offer a path to community engagement and are filled with professionals, who are centers of influence within your local community. These are the people others turn to for plumbing recommendations and referrals.
# 6: Sharing the pros: You also have another community. It’s the plumbing community. Are you involved in an alliance of entrepreneurs or a professional association? This is where you will meet the professionals of the trade. And professionals love to give back and help others, as they were helped in their time. They will help you if you ask.
# 7: The pros avoid big boxes. While everyone does their shopping at DIY superstores every now and then, professionals are avoiding them. They support the trade and the channel. They don’t want consumers to see their trucks outside of a big box store and conclude that the cheap plumbing products sold there are just as good as those from the distribution.
# 8: Pros Respect Customer Time: Pros show up when the promise and if circumstances beyond their control prevent it, they are in the know with the customer, keeping the customer informed every step of the way, everything as they would if they met a friend on the weekend. He demonstrates courtesy and respect.
# 9: Professionals take care of the client’s home: Respect extends to how the professional treats the client’s home. Even if a customer says not to worry, the plumbing professional wears shoe covers, places the tools on a tool mat (i.e. logo mat), and cleans the area. work after the job is finished.
# 10: Pros Give Prices Before Work Begins: Nothing gives people more anxiety than an open-ended repair bill. Consumers want to know how much a repair will cost before they accept it, and professionals bend to their desires to make them as comfortable as possible in a stressful situation. The pros charge an initial price, which is a fixed price. Research has shown that consumers not only prefer this, but also consider the package cheaper and believe that plumbers who give a fixed price before work begins are more honest and trustworthy.
# 11: Pros Offer Options, Not Pressure: A pro never presses a client to make a decision. The situation is sufficiently under pressure. The pro just gives people their options, all of their options. Sometimes consumers want to fix what’s broken. Other times when they have options, they prefer to replace or upgrade. The pros don’t decide for people, they give people the information they need to decide for themselves.
# 12: The pros pay well: The pros charge more, so they can pay more. Better compensation translates to better, more professional people who are more likely to stay with the company over time. In the long run, lower revenue that comes with better pay and better benefits means companies end up saving money by paying more. It is paradoxical, but true. And more advanced companies use some form of incentive pay, so that people’s interest is aligned with the business and they can give themselves a raise at any time.
# 13: Profit pros: It is the professional’s responsibility to generate a profit. Only by generating profits can a business take care of its employees, customers and owners, now and in the future.
N ° 14: The pros last: Finally, the pros are not here today and left tomorrow. They create businesses that last. Not only can their customers count them, but their customers’ children can count on them.
There are a lot of plumbing business owners in the industry, but not a lot of professionals. In fact, there is not so much a labor shortage affecting the plumbing industry, but a surplus of lay business owners.
Matt Michel is CEO of the Services Roundtable. To help make your plumbing business more professional, visit www.ServiceRoundtable.com.