Plumbing is one of the most critical industries in the world. Everyone needs the services of a plumber from time to time, and without these professionals, our country’s sanitation and health would be at risk.
Many people think that essential plumbing companies are consistently profitable. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Overhead costs like equipment, rent, insurance, machinery, and employee paychecks can easily get in the way of a business’s profits.
If you’re a plumbing business owner struggling with profits, you aren’t alone. The Weave team has put together this guide to help you understand the essential factors that contribute to your business’s profits and the steps you can take to increase them.
Whether you’re looking to start a plumbing business or make your existing business more profitable, you can follow these tips to improve your plumbing business profitability.
1. Figure Out Your Rates Based on the Market
The rates you charge for your services play an essential role in your profit margins. If you’re struggling with profits, raising your rates to reflect the current plumbing market can give you more room to afford your overhead costs while still making a sizable profit.
You can figure out the rates you should charge customers by considering the following:
● Weekly goals: How much do you want to earn each week, and how many hours do you want to work each week to earn that amount? Divide your weekly target by the number of hours you plan to work to determine your base hourly rate.
● Weekly expenses: How much do you spend on equipment, vehicles, insurance, employee paychecks, and other overhead expenses each week? Divide this number by the number of hours you want to work each week. Then add this figure to your base hourly rate to determine your billable hourly rate.
To determine how much to charge each customer, multiply your billable hourly rate by the number of hours you spent on their job. Then add the customer’s additional expenses, like materials, to this figure.
2. How Much Profit Margin Can You Make With Employees?
If you are a one-person plumbing contractor, you are losing out on the potential to expand your customer base and improve your availability. Instead, hiring employees is an effective way to improve your profitability.
Here’s an example scenario to help you understand how you can increase profits by hiring employees.
Let’s say the hourly rate you bill customers is $50 (plus material costs), yet the rate you pay your employees is $35 per hour. Let’s say you also have ten employees who each work 35 billable hours per week. You can follow this calculation to determine your profit margins:
Number of employees (10) x number of hours each employee works (35) = 350 billable hours
Number of billable hours (350) x billable hourly rate ($50) = $17,500 earned each week
Number of billable hours (350) x employee hourly rate ($35) = $12,250 weekly employee costs
Amount earned each week ($17,500) – weekly employee costs ($12,250) = $5,250 left over
This scenario would leave you with $5,250 each week to put toward your salary and any overhead costs. Meanwhile, if you only contracted yourself out for $50 an hour and worked 35 billable hours a week, you would only earn $1,750 per week.
As you can see, hiring employees increases your potential earnings, thus increasing your profit margins. While it may take a while to grow your business to perform 350 service hours a week, you can slowly work toward this goal and increase your profits in the meantime.
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3. Work on the Business, Not in the Business
If you’re looking to continuously increase your business’s profitability, you need to dedicate much of your time each week to growing the business. You can’t work full-time in the field and expect to have energy left over to devote to expanding your profit margins.
Instead, as a plumbing business owner, you should work on the business—not in it. This means that your employees should be fulfilling operations, such as plumbing house calls and services, while you spend time focusing on your business’s growth.
The tasks you should be completing as a business owner are ones that you would not feel comfortable delegating to your employees. These may include:
● Managing employees
● Looking for areas of improvement
● Reducing overhead costs and expenses
● Marketing your business
● Creating retention and promotion strategies
All of the time you spend on tasks that you could delegate to other employees is time you take away from increasing your profit potential. Consider how you can begin stepping away from operational work, entrusting your employees with more responsibilities, and focusing your efforts on growth rather than sustainability.
4. What Is Your Business Worth?
Your business’s net worth is the amount of money you have left over after paying for any liabilities, such as debts. This figure can represent your business’s financial health and success, and being aware of it is essential to continue growing your profits.
Here’s a simple formula to calculate your business’s net worth:
Total assets – total liabilities = net worth
In this case, your total assets are the sum of everything your business owns that has monetary value. These can consist of both tangible and intangible assets.
Your tangible assets could include:
Meanwhile, your intangible assets could include:
● Your brand
● Customer information
● Service contracts
Your business’s total liabilities include any debts that you currently have, such as:
● Credit card debt
● Unearned revenue
Understanding these variables within your business can help you calculate your company’s net worth, giving you an excellent starting point to determine how much you want to improve. If you’re not sure how much your tangible and intangible assets are worth, you can hire an appraiser to help.
5. Systems That You Need to Create
Running a profitable plumbing business includes more than just managing your employees and delivering high-quality plumbing services. You also need to focus on the extraneous processes and systems that contribute to your business’s long-term success.
If you’re looking to improve your plumbing business profitability, consider how you can create or enhance the following systems in relation to your business.
Marketing is the process of promoting your business to increase brand awareness and bring in new customers. Today, most successful plumbing businesses use a combination of digital marketing and traditional marketing tactics.
A few popular plumbing marketing strategies include:
● Creating an informative, high-quality website
● Creating social media accounts for your business
● Using search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your website’s ranking
● Sending out an email newsletter to customers
● Creating video advertisements
Marketing is essential to retain existing customers and bring in new customers at a steady rate. In the plumbing industry, some customers may need your services once a year, others may require you once a month, and some may only need to hire you once throughout your company’s lifespan. As a result, you must continue bringing in new customers to stay profitable.
Hiring and Managing Employees
Managing your employees is essential to maintaining healthy business profits. Employee turnover can cause your business to lose money as you search for and train a new employee to take the old one’s place.
One way to reduce employee turnover is to prioritize consistent communications with your team. Weave Teams makes it easy to communicate with your entire team in one unified, central location.
Through the Weave app, you can send out team-wide announcements, message employees directly, and create group chats from any mobile device. This platform can give your employees an easy method to communicate with you and help them feel heard and understood.
You never know when your business may face a liability claim or lawsuit. Even if you take the necessary steps to conduct safe business practices and avoid accidents, legal claims do happen occasionally. Having a legal team on-call can ensure that you have access to fast assistance and expertise when you do face a legal crisis.
Finally, your business should have several systems in place to manage expenses, profits, employee paychecks, and customer payments. Unfortunately, too many plumbing businesses lose money each month to unreceived or underpaid customer payments.
One way to simplify the customer payment process is through the intelligent Weave Payments platform. This platform can give your customers several contactless payment options, allowing them to pay your contractors securely from anywhere.
Find Out More About Weave
Improving your plumbing business profitability is an ongoing, multi-faceted process. However, once you begin delegating more tasks to employees, you will have additional time to dedicate to your profits. Using an automation platform like Weave can also reduce your workload for routine tasks, giving you the extra time you need to work on your business.
Request a Weave demo today to see how Weave can benefit your plumbing business profitability.