A small plumbing business in the local area is an excellent livelihood. Not only is it a lucrative business – people always require plumbing services – but you can take on apprentices and grow your brand into an established player. Use the tips in this article to start out in the right direction. Understand the Read more
A small plumbing business in the local area is an excellent livelihood. Not only is it a lucrative business – people always require plumbing services – but you can take on apprentices and grow your brand into an established player. Use the tips in this article to start out in the right direction.
Understand the Niche
Plumbing services are wide-ranging, but the majority of plumbing companies offer uniform services, things such as pipe repair and drain cleaning. If you want to operate a successful plumbing business, you need to offer these basic services, but you also need more diversity.
Understanding your niche means knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the competition and taking advantage of gaps in their services. Look for ways you can offer customized services to set you apart from the competition, but don’t forget about your bread and butter services, either.
Training and Experience
If you are thinking of starting a plumbing business, chances are you have some training and experience already, perhaps you have a four-year apprenticeship under your belt, and it’s time to start your own brand. If you don’t have this, you need to start your training and experience.
Plumbing is a complex profession that requires industry knowledge and years of experience to offer high-quality services. For this reason, plumbers enjoy a lucrative livelihood, but it’s built on years of training. Even after you start a business, it’s still sensible to learn and develop skills.
Make it Legal
It’s not possible to start a plumbing business without the correct documents for your state. Most states require you to have a plumbing license, a contractor’s license, and a plumbing permit, but it’s worth checking the legal requirements for particular regions. Make it legal and avoid issues.
Once your plumbing business has the correct documents, you can start trading, but without them, you will be operating illegally and might incur fines or run into other legal issues. Plumbing is a professional service, not a freelance one, so ensure you have the papers to practice legally.
A business plan is a document that contains the current finances of your business and future projections if you need a butler building. Many newer plumbing businesses mistake the business plan for a rough document, but it’s much more and needed for loans and investments.
If you are unsure about where to start with a business plan, don’t worry. Although it is a key feature of a new business, there are services available to help you create one that works. No matter what direction you want for your business, a tailored business plan can be created.
Don’t forget about a business website. A business website for a plumbing business is paramount because it gives you an online presence and hub for customers to find you and book your services. Not only that, a business website gives you the opportunity for digital marketing.
Digital marketing helps prospects and customers to find your business on search engines. Around 46% of all search queries are for local services, so make sure you have the right keywords for your business and high-quality on-site articles to turn prospects to conversions.
Now that you have your business logo and website and you have the skills and experience to deliver a high-quality service to customers in the local area, it’s time to get your name out there. Business promotion is important, and it can be done using business cards and merchandise.
Business cards are a little outdated nowadays, but they are still useful for plumbing services. Whether you hand them to clients or put them in the local stores, a plumbing business card is a convenient resource. Also, consider building your brand in the local area with merchandise.
Some small businesses think that digital marketing is not for them, but the opposite is the case. In fact, the major search engines have created the perfect ecosystems for small businesses to connect with target customers and thrive. Make sure you are making the most of the services.
Effective marketing starts with your website and your keyword research. Since plumbing is a saturated industry, keywords might be hard to use for free, but if you tailor the keyword to your business or area, it makes them free and more targeted. Research content marketing for more information.
If you have the skills and experience in the plumbing business and you are ready to strike out on your own, there are plenty of resources available. If you want to be successful, you need a website with effective marketing, but you also need to make sure you have the legal document for your state in place. After that, it’s time to grow your name as a reliable service in the area.
The premier training provider for the service industry equips HVACR instructors and apprentices across the U.S. with the top tech-enablement platform XOi Technologies, a leading provider of technician-focused technology solutions, and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States, Canada (UA) announce a partnership that delivers XOi’s Read more
The premier training provider for the service industry equips HVACR instructors and apprentices across the U.S. with the top tech-enablement platform
XOi Technologies, a leading provider of technician-focused technology solutions, and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States, Canada (UA) announce a partnership that delivers XOi’s innovative AI-based tech-enablement solution to HVACR instructors and registered service apprentices across the United States.
“XOi combines many critical functions for UA instructors and apprentices and other field professionals in a single platform,” said UA training specialist Robert Vilches. “In addition to its streamlined workflows and best-in-class data indexing and analytics, XOi keeps UA apprentices and instructors connected in the field and provides instructors with unrivaled insight into how students perform on the job. And XOi’s first-to-market virtual mentor support extends training from the classroom to the jobsite, so apprentices can continue to learn while they’re in the field.”
XOi’s deep data cataloging capabilities, advanced AI-driven analytics, and intuitive remote support options enhance the value of UA’s training programs, giving the organization resources to help contractors close the skilled labor gap.
“This partnership is an opportunity to maximize the UA’s proven training programs and to strategically extend XOi’s position as a top innovator in the industry,” said Aaron Salow, founder and CEO of XOi. “By equipping their apprentices and instructors with our powerful solutions, the UA is empowering the next generation of skilled labor talent with in-depth, hands-on education that will help contractors face the continuing labor shortage in the service industry.”
XOi’s advanced cloud-based solution allows field service technicians to utilize, aggregate and analyze critical job data and maximize customer value through industry-leading efficiency, accuracy and accountability. With a full suite of standardized workflows, job documentation capabilities, and technician training and enablement solutions, teams can build deep and easily accessible institutional knowledge bases that support real-time decision-making and data-based continuity. Service teams can apply these extensive data-science capabilities to analyze those foundational elements and strategically respond to evolving data trends and forecasts.
The UA represents 355,000 plumbers, pipefitters, sprinkler fitters, service technicians and welders across North America. The UA offers the premier training programs available in the industry today, including five-year apprenticeship programs, extensive journeyman training, a comprehensive five-year instructor training program, and numerous certification programs. The UA helps signatory contractors grow their market share by identifying new opportunities, providing support, and connecting them to the safest, skilled, and most highly trained workforce in the industry.
For more information about XOi, visit https://xoi.io.
For more information about UA, visit https://ua.org.
Originally instated in 2018, the Try Rinnai Tour is back to visit PROs across the U.S. with educational and training opportunities on new Rinnai products Rinnai America Corporation, a manufacturer of the number-one selling brand of tankless gas water heaters in North America, has revived its Try Rinnai Tour, a US and Canada road show that Read more
Originally instated in 2018, the Try Rinnai Tour is back to visit PROs across the U.S. with educational and training opportunities on new Rinnai products
Rinnai America Corporation, a manufacturer of the number-one selling brand of tankless gas water heaters in North America, has revived its Try Rinnai Tour, a US and Canada road show that connects Rinnai team members with PROs for training and education opportunities. From May through October, Rinnai’s sales team will share the latest technologies with trade professionals, educating them on the benefits of working with and installing Rinnai products to increase profit and grow their business.
“We understand the labor shortage in our country and the difficulty that many PROs have in leaving their market for training and learning about new technologies,” said David Federico, Senior Marketing Director, North America. “With the Try Rinnai Tour, we want to make their jobs easy, so we are taking our products and trainings straight to them.”
The tour was created to help alleviate a PROs’ busy schedule, by bringing training events via van straight to their neighborhoods. Throughout the tour’s duration, it’s estimated 500 local events could take place, allowing Rinnai to potentially interact with up to 20,000 installers. The seven branded vans will be found at distribution locations across the U.S. and Canada, where many PROs already pick up products and supplies. Additionally, the vans are leveraged at contractor locations and other local venues.
The sales team will focus their education and training opportunities on two new product launches for 2022: The RSC Condensing Tankless Water Heater and the RE Series, the first non-condensing water heater to include a built-in recirculation pump. The tour will also detail the new Smart-Circ™ Intelligent Recirculation™ technology, available in both products, which offers many consumer benefits and even an easier installation experience for the PRO.
Rinnai’s brand promise of Creating a healthier way of living is at the forefront of all the company’s efforts. By continuing to educate and train PROs on the latest tankless technologies, Rinnai is aiding in providing homes and commercial buildings with energy-efficient hot water options for cleaner and healthier living.
The 2022 AHR Expo traveled to Vegas with a strong return to in-person events, a critical need in the industry as HVACR continues to be on the front lines of many major world challenges. Discussions across the industry include energy efficiency, environmental changes, air quality, and a sense that the world has undoubtedly changed in Read more
The 2022 AHR Expo traveled to Vegas with a strong return to in-person events, a critical need in the industry as HVACR continues to be on the front lines of many major world challenges. Discussions across the industry include energy efficiency, environmental changes, air quality, and a sense that the world has undoubtedly changed in recent years with HVACR being no exception.
“One of the immediate challenges in our industry is gaps in the workforce across all roles. This is a potential roadblock to the work we have in front of us. The good news is we are aware of it and the industry is in agreement that we need to work together and build career-driven experiences for all those coming into the industry,” said Mark Stevens, manager of AHR Expo.
The show is uniquely positioned to offer an introduction to HVACR that highlights how one can aspire to build a lifelong career in HVACR. Each year, professionals gather to discuss issues and create solutions, and to showcase the very best of what’s to come. It is in this spirit the AHR Expo recognized an opportunity to widen the reach and purpose of some of the show’s key elements – access to professionals, new markets, products and technology as well as the cutting-edge development via the Innovation Awards.
“We’ve felt a shift for many years as innovation in our industry grows and the world wakes up to what HVACR currently offers and what it must succeed in for the future,” continued Stevens. “Inside the industry, we understand the immense responsibility to grow our workforce to maintain the demands of the future. We have a deep understanding of the way HVACR is a part of nearly every human experience in our built environment. The show is a unique opportunity to see everything all at once and connect with a broad audience within our community. With workforce growth being a focus in every corner, we sought to add value with our unique offering.”
The Need for a Growing Workforce
One thing of rising concern among all stakeholders is the need to strengthen the future workforce across all channels to support a growing industry.
The HVACR industry, like many, was already heading into a workforce deficit, as noted in prior years’ trend reports. With the onset of the pandemic, the industry took an even bigger hit with employee burnout, early retirement decisions and those drawn to the Great Resignation.
“The changes that this industry is going to be seeing over the next several years is immense – something that we’ve never seen,” said Stephen Yurek, president and CEO of AHRI while participating in a state of the industry panel at AHR Expo 2022. “Number one is just getting people into the industry. We’re going to be seeing a huge amount of retirements like we have already. Just getting people into the workforce and trained and ready to go.”
What’s more, HVACR became a vital effort in the return to normal after COVID19. Today, indoor air quality is discussed mainstream as an important mitigation factor for health and safety inside our built environment – something the industry has been raising awareness of for years. With this new spotlight, demand for HVACR solutions has increased tremendously. Likewise, the need for a motivated workforce to sustain and continue to grow the industry to meet demands.
Innovating the Innovation Awards
The AHR Expo introduced a workforce development initiative to expose potential industry professionals to HVACR in a moment when the industry shines brightest – all together under one roof with miles and miles of products and tech on display. The program is a means to honor the innovation that our professionals are bringing to market through the Innovation Awards while simultaneously supporting future innovators through mentorship and leadership.
In its inaugural year, AHR Expo invited Western High School, a local area high school with a dual academic program that graduates students certified and ready for hire as technicians in HVAC. The soon to graduate class was invited for a special field trip at the 2022 AHR Expo.
“We are humbled by the warm welcome from the surrounding communities that host our industry for the AHR Expo, and it is always our goal to give back in as many positive ways as we can during our visit,” stated Stevens. “Coming into Vegas, we married the initiatives of strengthening our industry as well as the hosting city community by supporting the growth of the local Las Vegas workforce.”
The AHR Expo set the goals of showcasing what the industry has to offer and how an individual can build a strong lifelong career in HVACR. The manufacturing community, industry associations, and training-focused professionals were eager to share in this experience. Manufacturers curated experiences in their booths for the students to ask questions, interact with experts and demo products; associations offered mentorship; and individuals offered personal experience and insight into the possibilities offered in the industry.
“While all the booths and presentations were amazing, I was most taken by how personally invested each of the presenters was in our students as the future of the HVAC industry. They genuinely wanted to support our students and direct them to a sustainable career,” Michelle Dillmann, Counselor, Western High School.
Welcoming the next generation
During their visit, students were welcomed by ambassadors eager to guide them on a planned tour through the show floor. Colleen Keyworth and Angie Snow from Women in HVACR, and Bob Rohr and Mary Olsen from Caleffi North America guided 23 students – 6 women and 17 men– for in-booth visits, Q&A sessions and a scavenger hunt/trivia of HVACR knowledge.
The students had time to meet with members of the Podcast Pavilion, including a group discussion led by Rich and Kevin of The HVAC Jerks where they answered questions about career development, how to be more involved in the industry and general advice to begin their career.
“The AHR Expo was definitely inspirational and gave me more courage to continue in this field,” Geraldine Avila, an 11th-grade student.
After spending a few hours on the floor, the students were hosted by Mike Mayberry (hvac_refer_guy) for a special presentation on resume building and expectations for joining the workforce. Mike covered topics such as skills and qualities employers look for in their team and how to market yourself as an attractive employee candidate. Mike also shared practical tips and advice to sustain a successful career, and the many ways one can grow a career through experiential gain and networking. Mike, a well-known industry champion of HVAC and the trades, extended his mentorship to each student in attendance, and in doing so demonstrated the strong community that HVACR offers to its professionals.
The students were engaged in his presentation, eagerly participating in the conversation, and enthralled with the practicality of information being presented. Lunch service chatter revealed excitement in having met so many professionals dedicated to introducing them to the real HVACR experience and the warm welcome that was not expected but enthusiastically welcomed.
“The AHR Expo was a tremendous experience for the HVAC students of Western High School. Not only was the red carpet rolled out for our students, but they made great connections and now have a deeper understanding of industry opportunities. To be sure, this experience has greatly enhanced their career trajectory,” said Antonio Rael, Principal of Western High.
Looking to the future
At the close of their visit, students were surprised by a wealth of generosity from industry manufacturers and exhibitors of the AHR Expo.
- Veto Pro Pac gifted the students with their MB3 meter bag.
- Ridgid gifted each student with a custom hat and a heavy-duty pipe wrench, as well as many items collected in the booth demonstration.
- Klein Tools prepared a package with a full brim hardhat, their Pro Pack 6-piece apprentice toolset and an HVAC clamp meter.
- Fluke, a 2022 Innovation Award Winner, gifted each student a VoltAlert 1ACII non-contact voltage tester.
- DiversiTech equipped each student with a hilmor tool package consisting of a tool bag, a quick-engage flare & swage kit, a tube bender, a 2-valve aluminum manifold, a dual readout thermometer, and various items to complete an apprentice toolset.
The well-rounded experience was a highlight of the AHR Expo’s return. It served as an empowering addition to all the show aims to offer.
“The AHR Expo was a great place to see what HVAC students will do and achieve in the future,” Jose Cortez, an 11th-grade student.
AHR Expo offers a unique opportunity for the full industry to come together and experience HVACR by seeing what’s new, what’s to come and what is needed. Inviting career candidates at the student level sets the stage for a true understanding of their potential and to see themselves as a part of the industry with realistic expectations and experiences, rather than a cold introduction. What’s more, it gifts awareness to the size of the community available to them, as opposed to only networking with a small set of members on their team.
“We are continuously looking to evolve the best experience for the industry and the professionals that work within it,” continued Stevens. “We observe the trends and needs of the industry and build strong partnerships to strengthen the foundation not only of the AHR Expo experience but also for a thriving industry for years to come. We are privileged to have made the connection with the Western High School community and we look forward to supporting HVACR in more exciting ways such as this experience in the future.”
The industry is poised to thrive but will require dedication to building and maintaining a strong workforce. Curating experiences that showcase career opportunities, the inspiring and dedicated community and the ability to fulfill purpose can support this. The AHR Expo is honored to play its part.
“To recruit people, we need them to see not only a career but also an impact. Because that’s what most humans are looking for. They want to make a difference. They want to make things better. They want to be good stewards, whatever it happens to be. Most people come wanting to make things better. Let’s share what we do to make things better.” Mick Schwedler, 2021-2022 ASHRAE president.
The AHR Expo plans to continue the expansion of this initiative in the years to come, working to develop similar experiences for engineering students, sales and marketing within the supply chain and anyone looking to build a lifelong career in HVACR.
“We are so inspired by the nurturing support of our industry’s community,” concluded Stevens. “The number of people who have reached out looking to help us grow and connect our next generation audiences with established professionals is inspiring. This industry is like none other and we look forward to assisting where we can to close the workforce gap by working together with our strong partnerships.”
You can view a full video recap of the 2022 AHR Expo student visit here.
The 2023 AHR Expo will be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. Registration will open in the summer of 2022.
ABOUT THE AHR EXPO
The AHR Expo is the world’s essential HVACR event, attracting the most comprehensive gathering of industry professionals from around the globe each year. The show provides a unique forum where manufacturers of all sizes and specialties, whether a major industry brand or innovative start-up, can come together to share ideas and showcase the future of HVACR technology under one roof. Since 1930, the AHR Expo has remained the industry’s best place for OEMs, engineers, contractors, facility operators, architects, educators and other industry professionals to explore the latest trends and applications and cultivate mutually beneficial business relationships. The next show, co-sponsored by ASHRAE and AHRI, will be held Feb.6 – Feb. 8, 2023, in Atlanta, GA, and is held concurrently with ASHRAE’s Winter Conference.
Xylem Bell & Gossett recently reopened the Little Red Schoolhouse, the company’s suburban Chicago training center for professionals dedicated to the plumbing and hydronic HVAC industries. Xylem Bell & Gossett’s Little Red Schoolhouse in Morton Grove, Illinois, has been an industry icon in education for over 60 years, having trained more than 62,000 engineers, contractors Read more
Xylem Bell & Gossett recently reopened the Little Red Schoolhouse, the company’s suburban Chicago training center for professionals dedicated to the plumbing and hydronic HVAC industries.
Xylem Bell & Gossett’s Little Red Schoolhouse in Morton Grove, Illinois, has been an industry icon in education for over 60 years, having trained more than 62,000 engineers, contractors and other hydronic HVAC and plumbing professionals have been educated in the proper design, installation and maintenance of hydronic and steam systems.
The Little Red Schoolhouse offers training covering a wide range of seminars tailored to different occupations within the industry, and is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
“Industry professionals recognize the value of in-person training, and we are happy to welcome them back to the Little Red Schoolhouse,” said Mike Licastro, director of training. “Whether it’s manufacturers’ representatives, engineers or contractors, our goal is for training to provide a knowledge base that makes them better equipped to perform their daily job duties related to hydronic and steam product application and system design.”
Instruction at the facility is well known for taking a systems-based approach that teaches students not only about individual components, but also how those components work together once installed in a complete plumbing and HVAC system.
Xylem Bell & Gossett, through the Little Red Schoolhouse, has a long history of providing industry professionals with the in-depth hydronic system design knowledge they need to confidently and expertly help their customers. The learning center was updated in 2019 to ensure Bell & Gossett’s mission of education continues to add value to and advance the industry.
Along with cutting-edge technology, Bell & Gossett has reinforced its emphasis on hands-on training with dedicated space for three new demonstration areas that feature functional displays of equipment for a variety of commercial and industrial applications, including variable speed controller technology, plumbing products and service and maintenance.
Little Red Schoolhouse second quarter schedule
- Design and Application* (April 26-29)
- Modern Hydronic Heating Systems – Basic Seminar* (May 10-12)
- Large Chilled Water System Design* (May 24-26)
- Plumbing System Design (June 7-9)
* Seminar approved by GBCI to provide credit toward the credential maintenance requirements of the LEED Associate and LEED AP certifications
To learn more about the Little Red Schoolhouse, enrollment, course descriptions and online courses, please visit www.bellgossett.com.