How to Build a Marketing Plan for Your Plumbing Business
- Hopefully not you
But if you could see yourself saying something similar to the quote above, our hope is that this article convinces you otherwise. Marketing plans are essential for a number of reasons.
1. They force you to better understand how your company will succeed in a crowded and competitive market.
2. They help you create goals and think through both how you will achieve them and how you will track them.
3. They keep you accountable to a process.
Just because you can fix a toilet in your sleep or change out a water heater with one hand tied behind your back doesn’t guarantee you success. In fact…and read these words slowly…you’ve got about a coin flip’s chance of going out of business within 5 years.
Passion and skill are essential for any business, but absent a plan, they won’t magically equate to success. And a huge part of your plumbing company’s plan should revolve around how you intend on growing the business by getting customers.
So let’s dive into what makes a great marketing plan for plumbers!
Critical Components of a Marketing Plan
Search the internet and you’ll find thousands of examples of marketing plans. Many of them are incredibly exhaustive, spanning 30-50 pages with SWOT Analysis, Buyer Personas, etc. While there is certainly value in these aspects of your marketing plan, they aren’t crucial. Below are the items that you must think about in order to have a fully flushed out marketing strategy to grow your plumbing company.
The start of any great plumber marketing plan should be a summary of your business. Why does it exist and why will people choose you and not any one of the hundreds of plumbers they can choose from?
Put simply, a Mission Statement is a short, clear statement that explains why your business exists.
– Simon Sinek, Author of Start With Why
Why are you starting this business? It’s an important question that you must answer, because it will serve as the backbone of your company’s branding as well as a guiding beacon for your employees. In other words, it explains to both customers and employees why your company exists.
The process of trying to answer this question can be very informative for you as an entrepreneur. Why? Because if your Mission Statement sounds something like this ‘Our mission is to start a plumbing business to make money’ then it’s not likely to succeed. Sure, everyone wants to make a comfortable living, but it shouldn’t be the driving force behind your business. That doesn’t build trust with potential customers and doesn’t inspire employees to get out of bed everyday to do their job.
Market Positioning & Strategy
The next part of your business plan should be a deep-dive into how you will position your company within the market. There are tons of plumbing companies in your market. What’s your marketing strategy to convince people to use your business as opposed to your competitors?
The answers to the questions below can help serve as your value add statements. In other words, they clearly explain to the right customers why you are the right choice for their plumbing service needs.
Having a clearly defined Mission Statement as well as laying out clearly how you will position your company within the market are crucial building blocks to any great marketing strategy.
Hopefully your goal in starting a plumbing business is to be successful, whatever that means for you. Perhaps you only want to be a sole owner/operator and provide for your family. Or perhaps your goal is to run 10+ trucks so you can stop doing service work and manage a growing business from your office. Whatever your goals, you need to clearly define them, then lay out how your plumber marketing initiatives will help you achieve those goals.
We are huge fans of the Objective and Key Result (OKR) process for setting goals and tracking your progress towards them. OKRs are a really powerful way to help you understand where you want to go and how you can get there.
Here’s a helpful guide in establishing marketing goals as a plumber:
Where do you want the business to be after Year 1?
Eg: Sustained growth to allow for the addition of 1 plumber to the team by end of Year 1
How do you know if you're on track to reach your Objective?
Eg: By month 9, have a sufficiently full call board that averages 4 booked appointments per work day.
What actions do you need to take to hit your Key Results?
Eg: Launch website in 30 days, Launch Drain Cleaning Promotion to gain 50 new customers, etc.
Sometimes it's hard making sense of a big goal. OKRs can be a really simple way to break things down into manageable things you can do to hit your goals! And remember, absent a clear understanding of where you want to go and how you plan on getting there, you're chances of success are frighteningly low!
At this point you understand how you will position your company in your market, have clear value add statements to customers, and you have an objective in mind and concrete steps on how to get there.
What marketing channels will you focus on in order to execute your initiatives and achieve your goals?
There is no shortage of avenues available to plumbing businesses these days in order to attract and retain customers. You need to clearly lay out which of those you will utilize and how.
Some common channels are:
- Word-of-mouth marketing
- Offline (coupon mailers, door hangers, radio, billboards, etc.)
- Website & Search Engine Marketing (SEO, PPC, Google My Business, etc.)
- Social Media Advertising (Facebook, Nextdoor, Youtube, etc.)
- Lead Generation Services
- Directory Websites
- Email Marketing
Want to better understand how to market your business across every effective marketing channel out there?
With a clear understanding of the various marketing channels you want to utilize in order to start generating companies, it’s now time to determine how much you can invest in those efforts. It’s incredibly important that you set these budgets as it helps you understand how much money you’ll need to grow as well as hold you accountable to achieving the desired results with a finite budget.
According to Preferred CFO, 82% of small businesses fail due to poor management of cash flow. While there are many factors that impact your cash flow, your marketing expenses are a major contributor.
Alright, you’ve got a plan! You’re going to offer the best services, hire the best people, focus on making sure customers are happy and making your services simpler, faster and easier for them! You’re also going to implement multiple marketing initiatives across various channels to get new customers.
There’s only one problem: how the heck are you going to do all of that and track everything?
If you’re planning on doing all these awesome things to get your plumbing business in front of new customers and then make sure you’re taking care of those customers, the reality is that you probably need to invest in tools to help you.
There’s hundreds of marketing, scheduling, customer management, etc solutions in the market today specifically designed for home improvement companies. And yet despite that, according to a recent survey we conducted, 82% of small businesses use no software of any kind to track any of these vital efforts.
If you’re planning on gaining a foothold in a competitive market and growing a nice business, investing in the tools that can help power your business can be a huge competitive advantage that sets you apart from your competitors, many of whom are still stuck in the stone ages!
Download our Plumber Marketing plan template
Now you’re ready to sit down and spend some serious time putting together an actual plan. We’ve helped thousands of businesses in the US and Canada grow by generating high quality plumbing leads, and in those efforts have had a chance to learn about those clients. And one trend we see constantly is this: the ones who perform best with our service are the ones that have a plan in place to execute on our marketing efforts.
Download our FREE Plumber Marketing Plan Template and turbo charge your growth. We lay out a simple marketing plan so that you can ask yourself the right questions and hold yourself and your team accountable to executing on a plan for growth.
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