Plumbers need to buy their tools and materials from somewhere. This is where a plumbing supplies business can come in handy. Such companies specialize in serving plumbers by selling everything from copper piping to pipe cutters. Just how should you get involved in this trade? This post explains…
Decide whether to manufacture or solely supply
You could choose to manufacture supplies like piping, radiators or even boilers yourself. These could then be directly sold to plumbers. Alternatively, you could simply act as a wholesaler. Manufacturing your own supplies is likely to be a lot more expensive to set up, however there could be a potential for bigger profits. Becoming a wholesaler may be better suited for those that want to spend less upfront and don’t want to learn about manufacturing. You could even set up a physical shop that plumbers can walk into.
Work out how to fund your business
You can fund your business either with savings, a loan or by seeking help from investors. If you plan to manufacture supplies, you’ll likely need more than savings to get started and will need to consider one of the latter two options. There are lenders that specialise in large business loans – having a business plan and good credit score will help you get approved. There are also venture capital firms out there willing to invest in your project – a good business plan and proof of industry knowledge could help you secure investment in these cases.
Check out the competition
It’s important to study your competition. This will likely include large national suppliers and small local suppliers. Such companies can provide inspiration on how to run your business. At the same time, studying your competitors can help you to work out a way of standing out. You could focus on a supply niche such as heating pumps or radiators. Alternatively, you could plan to offer the best pricing or a bespoke service.
Set up suitable space for your business
You will need to set up space for a warehouse or factory. Commercial space can be a big investment and it’s worth exploring ways to reduce costs such as using pallet racking to maximize a smaller space or buying space that already has features like ventilation and adequate flooring. There are real estate companies that may be able to help you find commercial space in your area to rent. Make sure that any modifications you plan to make to the space are allowed.
Create a marketing plan
Marketing your business is essential for attracting customers. Start by creating a website and social media pages. Then consider various marketing strategies to get your name out there such as paid online advertising, SEO, email marketing, flyers and reaching out to plumbers via sites like LinkedIn. Consider offering initial discounts or advertising loyalty schemes to help reel customers in. Make sure to also network with anyone in the plumbing industry that you may already know as it may be possible to turn them into customers or set up cross-promotion opportunities.