Don’t Copy Your Plumbing Company Competitors!

One of the biggest mistakes that businesses often make is worrying too much about what their competitors are doing and trying to copy their tactics. They get a glimpse of what their competition is offering or how they are marketing their company and immediately want to do the same thing. However, if you really think about it- what is that doing for your business? There is no way to gain a competitive advantage if what you offer and how you market your plumbing company is exactly the same as the competition (or even very similar). Instead of copying your competition, you should innovate and blow them away!

 

Here are a few suggestions for ways that you can separate yourself from the competition:

 

Services and products offered

Of course there are the basics that every plumbing company is going to offer, but are there any areas that you notice are lacking in your market? Maybe it also makes sense to offer additional services like heating and cooling in addition to your core plumbing services. This makes it easier for customers that would prefer to work with one contractor as opposed to multiple contractors during a home project.

 

Price

Spend some time researching what your competitors charge for specific services and find out what each service includes. You don’t necessarily want to beat them on price. Sometimes consumers think that a cheaper price means low quality work. Charging more than the competition is OK, as long as you are able to provide additional services as a part of the package, a better warranty, or some other benefit.

 

Promotions

It’s often beneficial to run limited time offer promotions. This invokes a sense of urgency among your target audience. If there is work that they’ve been meaning to have done but have been putting it off, now is the time for them to pull the trigger. It might mean doing the work at a cheaper rate, but there could be an influx of work that will keep your staff busy and keep revenue coming in. Once you land that first job and the customer is happy with the work it could lead to gaining a loyal customer and someone that will recommend your work to others.

 

Other marketing efforts

It’s OK to run ads in the same spots as your competitors, but you shouldn’t be doing “strictly what they’re doing”. Look for places that your competitors haven’t found yet and invest a portion of your marketing budget on those initiatives. For example, many plumbing companies aren’t doing all that they can be doing online. Some don’t even have a website! A great way to separate your business is to frequently update your website with useful information (blog posts) and be active in social media. Social media gives your company a voice and a personality and customers like to work with companies that they are familiar with.

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Branding is an Important Element of Plumber Marketing

If you own a plumbing business or are thinking of starting one, an important element to consider is your brand.

 

According to entrepreneur.com:

 

Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors’. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.

 

Are you the innovative maverick in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can’t be both, and you can’t be all things to all people. Who you are should be based to some extent on who your target customers want and need you to be.

 

When people think about the word “branding” they often think about the company’s logo, which serves as a reminder of the brand. The logo and its colors need to be integrated across all marketing channels including advertisements, promotional materials, and the company website. It needs to be consistent. If the primary colors of the logo are yellow and green but the primary color scheme of the website is based on purple, it doesn’t make much sense would it? This will cause brand confusion. It’s not just printed or online materials that should convey the brand. Think about what your plumbers wear to each job and what their equipment trucks or vans look like. It should be immediately recognizable which plumbing company is doing the work.

 

The logo itself is an important component of branding, but you need to determine what seeing that logo and color scheme will mean to your target audience. What qualities do you want them to associate with your company? You’ll need to develop a brand strategy. Essentially you need to decide what you want your plumbing company to be known for. It’s important to be realistic and understand what your company is capable of. This will require an analysis of your strengths and weaknesses. A company needs to deliver on the brand promises that it makes. A one or two person operation obviously can’t make the same promises that a larger company with more resources might be able to make.

 

It takes time to build a strong brand within a community and requires an investment in marketing. When determining a brand strategy, you will need to decide where to market and who to market to. Investing in promoting your brand is worthwhile because a strong brand equals increased sales. When people know your brand and understand what you have to offer they will be more comfortable hiring you as opposed to the company that they know nothing about. Branding is a way to get your target audience to remember you and think of you first when they need to hire a plumber!

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Benefits of Using a Solar Hot Water System

As your plumbing customers continue to look towards eco-friendly alternatives for their home, it’s worth recommending that they make the switch to a solar hot water system. There are many environmental and financial benefits to using a solar hot water system that your customers might not be aware of.

 

Here are 6 benefits of using a solar hot water system:

 

Reduce carbon dioxide emissions

More and more consumers are going “green” today. A renewable heating system can prevent significant greenhouse gas emissions compared to a conventional electric water heater.

 

Lower monthly energy bills

Yes, installing a solar hot water system comes with an upfront cost, but once the initial installation has been paid for, monthly bills will be reduced which means that a homeowner will recoup their costs over the lifetime of the system. Costs will be recovered more quickly in larger homes and in homes that are in warmer climates. Energy costs continue to increase, which means that the savings will also increase over time since sunlight is free!

 

Tax incentives

The Federal Government issues incentives for homeowners that utilize alternative energies with Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Some states offer further rebates.

 

Low maintenance costs

Once the solar water system is installed, it requires very little maintenance and maintenance costs are generally very low. Most systems come with a warranty.

 

Lifetime of the system

A certified solar water heating system should last an average of 20 years. This is much longer than standard gas or electric storage water heaters.

 

Increased home value

A solar hot water system is an attractive feature to prospective home buyers. Since they didn’t pay the initial purchase price, they will benefit from lower energy bills each month.

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Elements of a Good Plumbing Company Website

One of the best ways to market your plumbing company today is to have a good website. After all, people are less likely to go looking for the Yellow Pages today when they are in need of a plumber. Instead, they hop on their computer or start searching on their smartphone. If your plumbing company doesn’t have a website or the website isn’t very good or can’t be found in an online search, it means that you are missing out on business opportunities. If you haven’t invested in a good website yet, there’s no better time than now to start. A plumbing company website doesn’t need to be too complex, but there are certain elements that it should have in order to stand above the competition.

 

Here are 9 elements of a good plumbing company website:

 

Modern design

People that are looking for a plumber aren’t expecting an “out of this world” design, but you have to keep in mind that people are browsing the web all day. They have come to expect a certain level of professionalism when it comes to the sites that they visit and the companies that they are thinking of hiring. If your website has an outdated look and feel, they might think that your approach to your work is outdated as well. It’s worth investing in a new design every 5 years or so, just to stay current.

 

Responsive design

More and more people are searching using a mobile device today. A responsive web design means that your website can be viewed clearly on both desktop and mobile devices. If someone is searching on a mobile device and the site isn’t responsive, it can be frustrating to try and find the necessary information.

 

SEO

SEO, or search engine optimization, is a tactic used in order to generate more traffic from the search engines. Plumbing companies should implement basic SEO best practices and include location and keywords in titles and headlines.

 

Clear navigation

A visitor should be able to quickly and easily find what they are looking for on the site. If it takes more than a few seconds to find that information, they might give up and click over to your competitor’s site instead.

 

Contact information

A “contact us” page is essential, but it’s also important to include contact information on every page of the site. Company address and phone number information should be listed in the footer and the phone number should be listed prominently on every page along with a call to action like “call us for help today!”

 

Services page

Plumbers can offer a wide variety of services. A potential customer wants to know if you offer what they need.

 

Company history/background

This is a place to show off your expertise. If you’ve been in the business for many years, it means that you can be trusted. You can also include profiles of all employees along with photos. It’s nice for customers to be able to put a face with a name.

 

Links to social media profiles

If you are active on social media, be sure to include links to these profile pages on your website.

 

Blog

Implementing a blog on your website is a great way to showcase your expertise and provide customers with useful tips and information. Blog post content can be shared in social media and email newsletters, which helps to keep your company top of mind when it comes time for customers to hire a plumber or recommend a plumber to someone.

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A VoIP System Is a Great Phone Solution for Plumbers

Plumbing companies are often small operations, which means that they are trying to cut costs in any way possible. One way to reduce costs today is to ditch a conventional landline and instead utilize VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) technology.

 

VoIP delivers voice and multimedia over an Internet Protocol (IP) network (Internet). Companies that use VoIP technology can eliminate their phone bill. All that is needed is a high speed broadband Internet connection. Today, it’s likely that every business already has one. The monthly cost is a fixed amount as opposed to the traditional phone bill that can vary based on minutes used, destination of calls, etc. VoIP services also tend to be contract-free unlike traditional phone services. The only hardware that’s needed is a sound card, speakers, and microphone.

 

In addition to reducing costs, a VoIP system can increase your productivity. Plumbers are always on the go. What’s great about VoIP is that it provides service connectivity from anywhere. All that’s needed to access it is an Internet connection and a smartphone app. The same phone number can be used anywhere. When the phone rings in the office, it’s also ringing on your mobile device. This saves a lot of “phone tag” time and you don’t need to use your personal cell phone number and minutes to conduct business.

 

In addition to lowering costs, VoIP can integrate programs such as email, fax, and remote conferencing. Many enhanced features are available from VoIP service providers including caller ID, voicemail, 3 way calling, call blocking, call waiting, call forwarding, last number re-dial, 411 directory, local number portability, 911 service, and more.

 

VoIP provides more than just voice services. Other media types can be transferred as well including images, video, and text.

 

The world (and the business world) has gone mobile. VoIP technology is portable in nature which makes it an excellent fit for any business that wants to continue to be competitive today.

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