How to Grow A Plumbing Business: Strategies for Success

Written by Matthew Ludden / January 12, 2024 / 12 Minute Read
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Ever wondered how some other plumbing companies and businesses just seem to flourish, attracting a steady stream of clients, while others struggle to keep the taps of opportunity flowing? The secret lies in a well-crafted strategy for growth. It’s not just about being a master plumber; it’s about mastering the art of business growth.

Plumbing

The Blueprint for Plumbing Business Growth

To grow your plumbing business, you need more than exceptional plumbing services, a great plumbing marketing agency, and even capital. At Valve+Meter Performance Marketing, our team collaborates with plumbers and other businesses across the home services industries to turn goals into realities.

In the case of plumbing businesses, growth starts by understanding the data hidden in your business.

The nature of the plumbing industry is consistent innovation. Plumbing businesses across the United States aren’t just dealing with pipes and fixtures; you’re part of a dynamic field that requires staying up-to-date with the latest trends, technologies, and customer needs.

While many plumbing business owners strive for excellence in operations, they often need to pay more attention to the disconnect between revenue drivers.

Infographic of flywheel marketing method

The Flywheel Method

Imagine your business as a flywheel. At each cardinal point, you have primary departments: sales, operations, finance, and marketing.

Traditionally, marketing efforts occur outside of the business. These include phone directories, print ads, radio spots, your website, social media platforms, and more. Most plumbing businesses take a percentage of revenue, hire an agency for some marketing efforts, and hope to boost sales.

There is a disconnect in this structure.

Sales carries the burden of turning the flywheel. Your sales team can be good, even exceptional, but knowledge alone won’t create growth.

Operations must have excellent customer service, skills, and high-quality materials, but when the job is done and the financial department collects revenue, the flywheel locks.

As long as marketing functions outside of your internal operations, your flywheel cannot gain sustainable momentum.

To grow your plumbing business you don’t need more marketing. Instead, you need to harness the data that unifies marketing, sales, operations, and financial decisions into one fluid machine.

Data-Driven Growth

In this article, we will examine the key elements to audit every department within plumbing businesses and the pathway to reaching your full potential using data.

At Valve+Meter we call this philosophy Math Before Marketing. In essence, we integrate your customer relationship management (CRM) with marketing activities. When you know the source of every new customer, you can build smarter strategies. More importantly, math helps identify the marketing, sales, operations, and financial decisions that should be eliminated or refined.

Key takeaways:

To grow your plumbing business, you must analyze the customer journey from marketing to sales and operations. Ultimately, your financial decisions can lead to growth by considering 4 key priorities throughout the business:

  1. Only repeat strategies that earn new customers.
  2. Eliminate programs and behaviors that are not profitable.
  3. Refine programs to increase cash flow.
  4. Scale marketing tactics that drive growth.

How Can Data-Driven Strategies Revolutionize Your Sales Approach?

1: Enhancing Plumbing Businesses Sales through Data Insights

With over 560,000 plumbers in the U.S., plumbing is a competitive industry in nearly every market. Staying ahead isn’t just about the quality of your services; you need smarter approaches to sales.

As a plumbing business owner, have you ever considered the immense power hidden within your existing customer data?

This information is more than numbers and names – it’s the key to unlocking your business’s full sales potential.

The Role of Customer Data in Identifying Sales Opportunities

Imagine being able to predict exactly what your customers need before even they realize it. That’s the magic of data-driven sales strategies.

By analyzing patterns in your customer data, you can identify trends, preferences, and potential areas for expanding your services.

This could mean noticing a rise in demand for eco-friendly plumbing solutions or recognizing the need for more advanced repair services in your area.

If you want new customers, then study your satisfied customers.

Adjusting your product offerings and sales materials to align with what your loyal customers purchase, ultimately improves your conversion rates.

Aligning Sales Strategies with Market and Consumer Trends

But it’s not just about what you sell; it’s also about how and to whom.

Data-driven strategies allow you to tailor your sales approach to meet the specific needs and preferences of your target audience.

Are homeowners in your area showing interest in smart plumbing technologies?

Or are local businesses looking for cost-effective maintenance contracts?

Here’s some real-world data: Valve+Meter conducted a study of 466 home services companies.

No Response 40%
40% of companies tested never responded to service request.
Fastest Response 2 mins
The fast response time was just 2 minutes.
Slowest Response 8,349 mins
The slowest response time was more than 5 days or 8,349 minutes.

The results showed a dramatic variety in the sales procedures. 2 out of every 5 companies simply ignored our service request.

While the fastest response time was 2 minutes, many home service businesses leave customers waiting. The longest response time was 5 days, 19 hours, 9 minutes.

Imagine the difference from the perspective of a customer choosing between plumbing businesses. One plumbing company responded within 2 minutes to schedule a service call. Your leaking pipe or broken fixture is quickly remedied. Then nearly one week later, a second plumber returns your call while 2 out of 5 never called you back.

Which plumbing company would you call for future plumbing issues?

When friends, coworkers, and neighbors ask, who do you recommend in the local community?

Which plumbing company is most likely to generate positive reviews?

By aligning your sales strategies with real-time market trends and direct customer feedback, you can ensure that your plumbing business doesn’t just meet the current demand – it anticipates future needs, setting you apart as a forward-thinking leader in the plumbing industry.

In essence, embracing data-driven sales strategies transforms your approach from a traditional, one-size-fits-all mindset to a dynamic, customer-centric model.

This shift not only drives sales but also builds stronger relationships with your customers, fostering loyalty and repeat business – key ingredients in how your plumbing business grows.

Assessing sales excellence:

  • Measure close rates
  • Regularly test response times
  • Review online customer reviews on Google Business Profile and other platforms
  • Social listening on your social media platforms
  • Conduct an email survey of your existing clients

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How Can Operational Data Lead to More Efficient Service Delivery?

2: Streamlining Operations with Data Analytics

Efficient operations are the heartbeat that keeps your business alive and pumping. But how do you ensure a strong and steady pulse?

The answer lies in harnessing the power of operational data.

Picture this: every service call, every installation, and every routine check-up generates valuable data that, when analyzed, can significantly streamline your service delivery.

This data gives you insights into the most efficient routes for service calls, the best times for appointments, and even the most frequently requested services, allowing you to optimize your operations like never before.

The Impact of Data on Resource Allocation and Job Scheduling

Incorporating tools such as Service Titan can transform customer satisfaction and help to allocate your resources and schedule jobs with the precision of a finely-tuned machine. Real-time data provides you with a bird’s-eye view of your operations, enabling you to make informed decisions on the fly.

Need to reroute a technician to an emergency call? Data analytics can show you the nearest available technician and the quickest route.

Trying to figure out the best schedule for routine maintenance checks? Your operational data can help identify the optimal times and intervals, ensuring that your team is always at the right place at the right time.

Exploring the Benefits of Technology in Operations

In today’s digital age, integrating technology into your operations is not just a luxury; it’s a necessity.

Other field service software includes FieldEdge and GetJobber. From tracking service calls and managing customer data to inventory management and invoicing, this technology streamlines every aspect of your operations, enhancing overall efficiency.

But perhaps the most significant impact of this technology is on customer satisfaction. With 86% of local customers reading online reviews before contacting a company, a successful plumbing business must prioritize customer satisfaction.

With faster response times, more accurate service scheduling, and improved job tracking, you’re not just streamlining your operations; you’re providing a service experience that leaves your customers thoroughly satisfied.

By leveraging data analytics and embracing technological advancements in your operations, you’re not just fine-tuning your business processes to increase cash flow; you’re elevating your plumbing service to a level of excellence that sets you apart in the industry.

This commitment to operational efficiency is what transforms a good plumbing business into a great one.

Assessing operational excellence:

  • Align company focus by creating a workflow chart
  • Empower sales, support, and service technicians to note abnormalities in service requests
  • Collaborate with the team to reduce abnormalities
  • Measure performance regularly to increase quality of service

How Does a Data-Centric Approach Affect Financial Health and Cash Flow?

3: Financial Management – Beyond the Numbers

Financial health helps your plumbing business grow sustainably.

The key is a data-centric approach. By diving deep into your financial data, you can uncover patterns and insights that directly impact your cash flow. This approach transforms financial management from a reactive task to a proactive strategy.

It’s not just about tracking what comes in and goes out; it’s about understanding the ‘why’ and ‘how’ behind every dollar. This understanding enables you to make smarter decisions about pricing, expenses, and investments, ensuring your cash flow is always healthy and your business is financially sound.

Strategies for Budget Optimization

Imagine being able to optimize your budget in a way that maximizes profit while minimizing unnecessary expenses.

Data-driven budget optimization ensures that every dollar spent contributes directly to your business growth. In essence, adopting a data-centric approach in financial management empowers you to make informed decisions that safeguard your business’s financial health.

This starts with transforming your perception of marketing.

What if you knew the value of every marketing dollar you spent?

When you can make data-driven forecasts, you can make financial decisions that support growth.

This approach is about more than just surviving in the competitive plumbing industry; it’s about thriving, growing, and achieving long-term success.

flywheel method with corrected data-driven marketing

How To Craft A Better Plumbing Marketing Plan

4: Integrating Marketing with Core Business Functions

A well-crafted marketing plan is essential for any plumbing business looking to make waves in a competitive market.

Performance marketing uses data to identify your target audience, increase brand awareness, capture more traffic to your website, and convert visitors into qualified leads for your sales team. Most importantly, performance marketing designs the perfect growth strategy by measuring the return on marketing spend (ROMS) of every marketing activity.

This activates the flywheel within your business, steadily building momentum and sustainable growth. With a steady stream of leads, your efficient sales team closes and wins more deals. Streamlined operations not only fulfill work but deliver higher quality services. Finally, financial decisions are simplified because ROMS indicates the marketing activities most likely to win, scale, and grow your plumbing business.

Identifying Your Target Audience: Who Needs Your Services?

Knowing your audience is like finding the right wrench for the job – essential for a perfect fit. As a plumbing business owner, your potential customers can be as varied as the issues you fix. They range from homeowners dealing with a leaky faucet to large commercial enterprises needing complex plumbing solutions. But, how do you pinpoint who needs your services the most?

Instead of casting a wide net, performance marketing uses market research and existing data to focus on specific groups. Building marketing campaigns that focus on your local audience, your specific service area, and the plumbing services your target audience searches eliminates the guesswork and yields measurable results.

Plumber Near Me 135.0K
Consumers search "plumber near me" more than 135,000 times every month.
Online Reviews 98%
A staggering 98% of people read online reviews for local businesses (BrightLocal)

What Are The Tools For Plumbing Marketing?

Just like using the right plumbing tools for the job, performance marketing has specialized elements. 

Let’s examine how your business grows using each:

Website

While other plumbing businesses view a website as a digital brochure, Valve+Meter positions our partners with a lead-generation website.

Your plumbing website is key to your plumbing marketing strategy and includes the following elements:

  • Modern design that is mobile responsive
  • Web development focused on speed
  • User-friendly navigation, clear calls-to-action, and simple forms
  • Dynamic content for each plumbing service you offer

PPC Advertising

How do you help your small business website gain visibility? Great design, site speed, and content are not enough to launch your website successfully.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising is a powerful and affordable method of reaching your target audience on search engines including Google Ads and Bing Ads.

Additionally, Google Local Services Ads offer a unique opportunity for plumbing businesses to appear at the top of search results, providing increased visibility for local services.

Key features of PPC include:

  • Keyword research
  • Bid management
  • Geotargeting to your service area
  • Dynamic ad copy
  • Exceptional landing page design to convert potential customers
Google Ads 220%
According to Google, businesses that use Google Ads see an average of 220% more traffic than those that don’t.

SEO

While PPC focuses on fast results, each click of a PPC ad comes with a real-dollar cost. In many cases, users skim past sponsored ads and choose organic results.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results, making it easier for potential customers to find you. This long-term strategy can yield significant benefits in terms of organic traffic.

Local SEO is particularly important for plumbing businesses, focusing on optimizing for local searches and improving visibility in your specific service area. Additionally, maintaining an up-to-date Google Business Profile is crucial for enhancing local search presence.

Successful plumbing SEO focuses on:

  • Long-tail keywords for each business page
  • Auditing terms new clients are using to discover your website
  • On-page content focusing on the cities in your service area
  • Technical strategies to improve your search visibility online
Top 4 95%
An estimated 95% of all clicks are for top 4 search results.

Other Digital Marketing Tools

Additional tools can encourage satisfied customers to stay connected with your brand.

Email Marketing

Email marketing campaigns allow you to keep your audiences informed about your services, special offers, referral programs, and plumbing tips. Regular newsletters can help build long-term relationships and encourage repeat business and referrals.

Social Media Marketing

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are excellent for building your brand, showcasing your positive company culture, and engaging with your community.

Paid social media can increase online visibility affordably. Americans do not just use search engines to discover new businesses.

Content Marketing

Create valuable content that addresses customer needs and questions, positioning your business as a helpful resource. Blogs boost SEO performance, and overall online visibility, and stay connected with existing customers.

Video Marketing

Using video on your website, social media, and platforms like YouTube can reach contemporary audiences. Video including how-to guides, project showcases, and behind-the-scenes glimpses into your business resonate with audiences who prefer video to written content.

Summary

By integrating these digital marketing tools into your strategy, you can significantly enhance your online presence, attract more customers, and ultimately achieve sustainable growth.

How Can Embracing a Data-Driven Culture Lead to Sustained Growth and Market Leadership?

5: Embracing a Data-Driven Culture

Adopting a data-driven culture is more than a strategic choice; it’s a pathway to sustained growth and becoming a market leader.

But what does this mean for you, as a plumbing business owner?

Instead of using intuition-based decisions, data paves the way for transformative changes in how you approach every aspect of your business.

Whether it’s identifying emerging market trends, optimizing resource allocation, or making sound financial decisions, a data-driven culture empowers you to navigate the complexities of the plumbing industry with confidence and precision.

Conclusion

Summarizing the Impact of Data-Driven Decisions

We’ve explored how data can optimize your marketing activities to measurable and repeatable strategies.

These are not isolated improvements; they represent a holistic transformation of your plumbing business, driven by the power of data. Research and analysis help to streamline the products you offer and how your sales and operations interact with consumers. When all of these elements work seamlessly, plumbing businesses can forecast future growth with confidence.

Continuous Assessment and Refinement Based on Data Insights

The journey to becoming a data-driven plumbing business is ongoing. It requires continuous assessment, learning, and refinement. As you implement these strategies, keep a close eye on the data.

This constant cycle of analysis and adjustment is what keeps your business agile, responsive, and ahead of the competition.

Ready To Learn More?

Valve+Meter Performance Marketing helps integrate data-driven strategies into your plumbing business. Start small with a free assessment of your current situation.

The world of plumbing is evolving rapidly, and those who leverage data will not only keep up but lead the way. Embrace this transformational journey and unlock the potential for growth and competitive advantage that lies within your data.

Your path to market leadership starts here, with data as your guide.

Connect with Valve+Meter

FAQ Section

Expanding your customer base starts with a mix of effective marketing campaigns and excellent service centered around your website. Utilize digital marketing strategies like PPC, local SEO, and email campaigns to reach your target audience. Don’t forget the power of word-of-mouth; providing top-notch services encourages your existing customers to recommend you to others.

Growing and scaling your plumbing business involves several key strategies. First, ensure you provide exceptional sales and service experiences. Invest in marketing to increase your visibility. Marketing should be measurable. Integrate marketing data with your sales and finances. Leverage the most effective marketing and sales programs that will support sustainable growth. Finally, scaling up to grow your plumbing business should be a gradual and well-planned process with data guiding your forecasts.

For a small plumbing company or an individual plumber, these strategies can be scaled down. Define your unique value proposition – what sets you apart from competitors? Claim a Google Business Profile and social media platforms. If you cannot afford a custom website, consider centralizing your marketing efforts around your Google Business Profile. Offline, consider offering a referral program to all your customers, participating in community events, and building relationships with local suppliers and general contractors.

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