Online platform Bark.com has compiled a list of important factors to consider when starting up your own business.
Deciding to start your own business is an exciting time. There’s a lot to think about, but the flexibility and control you have over your work can be liberating and extremely rewarding. And in the plumbing industry it’s considered the norm to be self-employed, so you’re not alone.
When starting a plumbing business, here are a few top tips for you’ll need to consider:
Write a business plan
The first step to setting up any business is to put together a clear business plan, so that you know what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do it. It doesn’t have to be a long, complicated report with lots of numbers and percentages, but it should capture the following:
- The main aims for your business (what services you’re going to offer, to whom and where)
- Your strategy for growing the business, including how you’ll find new customers
- Competition in the market (who you’re up against, what they offer and how you can improve on those services)
- An overview of the financials (your initial outlay to set up the business, ongoing costs, how much you’ll charge and how many jobs you’ll need per week/month to make profit to live on)
Understand the legalities
To get going, you’ll need to decide if you are going to register yourself as a sole trader (self-employed) or set up a limited company. If you’re unsure of which option is best for you, check out the HMRC website to understand the difference between the two before you make a final decision.
Set up a website
One of the first things customers look for when finding a professional is their website. This is the online face of your company and a great way to immediately give potential customers a good impression of you and your business.
You don’t need to have a huge website with lots of pages, but what you do have needs to be clear, easy to understand and provide enough information to help the customer make an informed decision (and hopefully choose you). A strong website for a plumbing business should have:
- A list of the services that you offer
- The locations you cover and are willing to travel to
- Contact information (mobile number and email address)
- Prices per service (this can be tricky for plumbing jobs as they can vary considerably, so it’s a good idea to at least give guide prices for basic services, such as emergency call outs, boiler repairs, etc)
There are lots of quick and cost-effective ways to create a website yourself online, or you can hire a web designer to produce one for you.
Start marketing your business online
There are a number of great online platforms that you can use to market your plumbing services online to new customers. Bark.com is one such platform that connects you with customers who are actively looking for your services in your local area. It’s free, quick and easy to register on Bark.com, and offers a cost-effective way to grow your business by exposing you to a large number of prospective customers.
And the great thing is that you only pay a small fee when you decide to contact a customer, so you’re always in control of how much you’re spending. Plus, customers can give leave a review of your work through the platform, which helps you build a solid online reputation and helps you attract more customers.
Get on social media
Social media is another effective way to boost your profile online. Platforms like Facebook let you advertise to a targeted audience, so you can focus on customers within particular demographics, such as gender, age and location. This means that for as little as £5, you can reach thousands of relevant potential customers in your area.
Starting your own business is a big decision and will require a lot of hard work and dedication on your part to make it a success but, with the right attitude and a carefully thought-through plan of action, it can really pay off and you can enjoy the benefits of being your own boss.