How to start a plumbing business in South Africa

Find out everything you need to know to start a plumbing business.

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How could you start a plumbing business?

You might think about how you can start a plumbing business in these difficult economic times. But you know what? The sky's the limit if that is the way you think.

It's always been your passion to become a plumber. Your dreams came true the other day when you got your plumbing certificate, and now you have registered with the Plumbing Industry Registration Board (PIRB)

So, you may be a great plumber, but how will you begin? Don't stress – you'll feel more encouraged soon. We had a chat with Riaan from M & R Plumbing about his small plumbing business.

Riaan answered popular questions about starting a plumbing business

Why do you start your own small business?

“I got retrenched in 2016. I went back to my roots and knew that being a plumber was what I would do.”

What personal qualities do you need to start your own small business?

“I would say the most important is people skills. You need to be able to take risks, be a problem solver, have patience, and most importantly, perseverance.”

What was your informal start with your small business? 

“I started with our schools and small plumbing jobs like leaky toilets or changing seals on bathroom tubs.”

What challenges have you experienced regarding starting your own business 

“I would say not to undertake work myself or over getting customers.”

What challenges do you currently experience running your plumbing business?

“A permanent job as a shelter worker forced me to work two jobs outside of work. Of course, the marketing of the business and getting your clients are challenges as well.”

Why do you choose to have a plumbing business?

“I have a plumbing business because I have 15 years of experience in that field, and of course, I love it.”

What are the benefits of having your own small business?

“I would say, short and sweet, to be my own boss.”

Are there disadvantages of being self-employed compared to full-time employment? 

“Yes, there are. I would say cash flow, of course, making mistakes and reporting.”

What advice do you have for those wanting to start a plumbing business?

“I would say do market research and build relationships. Also, always try to be available. Availability is a big problem in South Africa as a plumber.”

How did you fund your small business? 

“I didn't have anything. I just started with the tools and my car. I just went with it, and I prayed to the Lord.”

What makes South Africa great for starting a small business? 

“I would say there's always the opportunity. You just need to find what people need.”

Is it worth having your own small business in South Africa?

“Yes, you need to have the right idea at the right time to make it work.”

Do you still have questions? Please read on to know more about getting started.

Learn more about starting your own plumbing business

These tips will point you in the right direction. And the good news is that it's not going to cost much.

What type of plumbing company do you want?

For starters, are you enjoy working on plumbing or do you like fixing things? Do you fancy your business involved in residential areas or in commercial plumbing? Follow your passion, and you'll succeed. Remember, you only like doing something because you have a talent for it.

What will your business's core values be?

What are core values? Core values are the standards you want to apply to your business. For example, will you strive for excellence, always be on time, and be a person of your word? Do you show respect to your customers?

Think about these values and write them down. Then, make up your mind you're going to stick to them, no matter what. These are values customers greatly admire. That's why they won't hesitate to refer you.

Be teachable

Hey, it's easy to think you are the best plumber on the block, but you may come short thinking this way.

So, always be teachable and willing to learn from even the humblest customer. You can pick up tips from them on how to develop your business.

Continue to improve your knowledge and skills

You never stop learning, so set yourself professional goals, such as going on extra courses to improve your knowledge and experience.

Even an hour a day reading about some plumbing techniques will add to your profile.

The more you know, the higher you rise above the other competitors. It's up to you!

You need customers

Start to advertise by telling friends, family and anybody else you may know that could need a plumber. Also, promote yourself on the internet, like through community Facebook groups and by using ads.

How else will people find out? Why not get someone to create you a website or a Facebook page. Then, find some customers to give you a review of your work. 

Put some cash aside for some small marketing company that can promote your business. But don't worry if you can't because social media such as Facebook and Youtube are powerful tools to use to your advantage.

Get connected with other plumbers and businesses

In this way, you begin to build a name for yourself as a well-respected plumber. You can rely on other plumbers referring customers to you and vice versa. Stay connected not only with reputable plumbers who will help you raise the bar but also with mechanics, estate agents and builders.

Next, read more tips about starting a business in South Africa for more info.

Join Yoco

Join 230 000 underdogs who make it happen every day. Get paid onsite with a Yoco credit card machine with no monthly fees and many other benefits to enjoy.

Also, Yoco gives customers free use of the  Yoco Portal, a business management software. The free and convenient Yoco app will help you manage your business. Ts and Cs apply.

Are you a Yoco merchant? Qualifying Yoco merchants can get a cash advance with Yoco Capital.  

You have the great ingredients to make your small plumbing business a great success. So, make t happen if it is the right move for you.

Source: How To Start A Plumbing Business in South Africa (On A Tight Budget)

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