3 Easy Ways to Transform Your Plumbing Business

Has your plumbing business plateaued? Perhaps it's time to consider diversifying.
3 Easy Ways to Transform Your Plumbing Business
As your business grows, adding products and services or reaching out to different customers in new markets can build success for years to come.

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If your plumbing business has become stagnant, consider diversifying. Additional services can be the key to your company’s growth. 

Consider septic tank pumping or CCTV inspections to keep cash flow more consistent year-round. If plumbing work slows down in summer months, septic pumping could add revenue in spring and fall. And CCTV inspections could boost your bottom line in summer. 

Offering multiple services can also give you more control over time spent on jobs, which lets you provide better customer service by offering more options. Diversification can also promote repeat business — you’ll be a one-stop shop — and word-of-mouth referrals. The less work a potential client has to do to find a company that offers all the services he needs, the better. 

“We can give every customer multiple options,” says Jeff Goldade, owner of Sewer Duck in Aberdeen, S.D. The business is split almost evenly between portable restroom rentals, drain cleaning and septic pumping. “I didn’t want to be that guy who only pumps out septic tanks, then has to call someone else in and wait whenever a drainfield line plugs up.” 

According to Entrepreneur.com, diversifying can provide alternate sources of revenue if new competition enters your current market. “Most companies that survive for long periods of time find that they have to develop new sources of revenue as tastes change and opportunities evolve,” states the website. “Growth through diversification can help your company have options in place when they are needed.” 

Remember, a narrow focus, while beneficial in a startup business, can hamper future business growth if you’re not willing to see — and embrace — the bigger picture. 

1. What is everyone else doing?

Check out what other contractors in your area are doing. Is there a market for septic pumping? Or have customers inquired about renting portable restrooms? If so, then there’s your opportunity to provide something your competitors don’t. 

If you’re not sure where to begin, consult an expert for advice on expansion. And make sure to ask the right questions: 

  • What will this cost?
  • How long will diversification take?
  • Do I need additional insurance?
  • Can I finance new equipment? 

If you’re considering adding septic pumping services to your drain cleaning business, check out some trusted classified ads for used vacuum trucks and other essential equipment. 

Perhaps you want to leave the legwork to someone else. Business listings in classifieds give you the option to buy out a company with an established customer base, necessary equipment — you’ll need an array of equipment to provide multiple services — and a good foundation.  

2. Do your research

Don’t jump into anything blindly. Identifying your core focus and establishing a customer base will ensure successful diversification. Ask yourself these questions: Why am I adding septic pumping services? Who needs these additional services? If the market is already saturated, you won’t make a profit. 

Spend some time and money to investigate whether your new venture will be successful. This might involve hiring a local consultant to crunch some numbers, or simply asking existing drain cleaning customers if they need the additional services. 

3. Patience is a virtue

We’ve all heard the saying, but it rings especially true when expanding business services — slow and steady wins the race. Service expansion can help you reach your business goals, but make sure to keep it manageable. Diversifying too quickly or into too many areas can be overwhelming. Additional services create more liability and greater responsibility. 

If you think your current drain cleaning business has become stagnant, but you’re unsure what to do next, perhaps it’s time to develop a different approach. Adding services requires a new outlook — and possible tweaking — of your long-term goals. 

“But we’ve always done it this way,” you say. Times have changed since you opened your doors, and so, too, have the needs of homeowners. You must adapt your marketing methods and outreach efforts to these changes. 

And remember, nothing happens overnight. Diversifying will take time so don’t get discouraged. Considering the options and potential consequences will limit the chance of failure. 

As your business grows, adding products and services or reaching out to different customers in new markets can build success for years to come. Be diligent and stay positive when the road gets bumpy.


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