How To Start A Plumbing Business


Becoming your own boss may seem like a daunting experience, however, it doesn’t have to be. You’ve got the qualifications and valuable years of experience under your belt, so why not give it a go? With the right preparation and planning, you can become the go-to guy for everyone’s plumbing needs. Keep reading to find five tips to help you start a plumbing business today.

1. Find Your Niche

In order to avoid becoming “just another plumber”, find your niche. By having a specialty, people feel a sense of assurance. Rather than being a “jack of all trades”, you’ve honed in on (and perfected) a certain skill set. This helps to build credibility. Moreover, it helps to narrow down your competitors and gives you a better chance of standing out.

Think about whether you want to take on commercial or residential projects. Additionally, consider whether you’d want to specialise in installation, maintenance, or repairs. You can take this even further by catering to kitchen, bathroom, or outdoor assignments. 

2. Choose Your Area

If you are specialising in residential projects, most people hire local. Thus, it’s advantageous to look into the demographics of different areas. Some suburbs are more up and coming areas where there are a lot of new builds. Other suburbs may be more inclined to maintenance and repair jobs.

It’s also worth seeing what businesses are already in the area. You wouldn’t want to come into an area that is overly dense with plumbing services. On the other hand, you don’t want to find yourself in an area that rarely calls on your services. You’ll want to try and find a sweet medium.  

Alternatively, if you are looking into commercial projects, situate yourself amongst tradespeople. You might find a particular area to be a trade pub where project managers tend to source from. This provides visibility as well as the opportunity to network.

3. Value Yourself

Once you’ve determined what services you are going to provide, its time to establish your pricing. If you’ve been working for a while, you should have a good idea about what is fair and reasonable.

Nevertheless, think about:

  • The value of your qualifications;
  • Your market position (and the market in general);
  • The quality of your materials; and
  • Your fixed and variable costs.

Furthermore, you may want to go over your proposed pricing structure with your financial advisor or accountant. They’ll be able to point out any factors that you might have overlooked. Moreover, they can assist you with how to make price adjustments year to year.

4. Set Up Your Business

The first three steps broke down some key aspects associated with creating a business plan. Now its time to consider how to set up your business.

Business Structure

Firstly, you’ll need to decide on a business structure. The main three options to choose from are:

  • Sole trader – you are solely responsible;
  • Partnership –  you are going into business with at least one other person; and 
  • Company – a separate legal entity.

Australian Business Number

Next, you’ll need an Australian Business Number (ABN). You can register for an ABN online and the process can be completed within 10 minutes. You should be able to receive your ABN within ten minutes. However, if you don’t provide all the necessary details, it could take up to 28 days (manually reviewed).

An ABN is required for invoicing and tax purposes. It’s also required if you are looking to register a business name.


Your licensing requirements will depend on the state in which you operate your plumbing business. Be sure to check these requirements as soon as possible. You may find that you need to complete additional training and/or courses before becoming eligible. 

Industry Association

In conjunction with getting a license, consider the appeal of joining an industry association. This can provide you with benefits such as:

  • Credibility by having a Master Plumber logo;
  • Assistance with managing your plumbing business;
  • Free advertising on the Master Plumber site; and
  • Newsletters on industry updates.  

5. Get Your Name Out There

Whether you want to partner with a building company or seek out customers directly, you’ll need to market yourself. This might look like setting up a Facebook page or Instagram account. Alternatively, you could get your vehicle wrapped with your branding and take an ad out in the local paper. 

Its also worthwhile to have a website that provides your contact details, list of services, and pricing. A website is a great place to show past work and a place for customers to leave reviews. 

Whatever your medium, be sure that it is interactive and kept up to date. You’d be amazed by the amount of plumbers who still rely on business cards and fridge magnets as marketing tools.


These are just a couple of tips to help you get your plumbing business off the ground. If you are after more tailored advice or have any unanswered questions, reach out to a business advisor and/or lawyer

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