Pro Tip #5 - Planning on Starting A Drain Cleaning Business?

Pro Tip #5 - Planning on Starting A Drain Cleaning Business?

Crucial tips to learn before setting up your drain cleaning business.
Pro Tip #4 - A quick glance at In-house Pipe Relining Reading Pro Tip #5 - Planning on Starting A Drain Cleaning Business? 10 minutes

Don't do it, before you've read this article. We're about to cover some crucial aspects you need to get right, or your chances of success will be so much smaller.

Don't worry - you won't find any pushy sales notes here. This is pure, professional courtesy from us, backed by decades of experience from the field. Our product offering is so good that you'll purchase them if you see them fit for your operation. If not, pushing them through articles like this wouldn't matter anway.

By starting to chase information from Google, you will find yourself surrounded by sound professional guidance about what to take into consideration when setting up your drain cleaning business. And while we have no mandate to say whether the information you're getting is right or wrong, we want to chip in our own perspective.

If we were to open up the whole bigger picture of setting up your business along with the steps to incorporation, sales, marketing and more, it would take FOREVER. So we decided to scale down a little bit. You'll be able to find further information and more in-depth guidance in our upcoming course regarding this topic, but more on that later.

For the sake of keeping this article decently sized, we decided to bring out four (4) of the most important factors we see causing either success or failure for new entrepreneurs, depending on whether these are accounted for or not.

So, let's dive right in:

Our first topic is, surprisingly NOT, equipment. Instead, we're gonna take a look at your mindset.

You're probably already an experienced technician. You might have your licenses all set up. But the thing is, most people who jump into drain cleaning business do so by assuming that the business is there. That the customers are just there waiting for you to launch, and they have some 100$ bills waitin'.

Sadly, while that could be for some, thats not the case for most. When you move towards entrepreneurship, you need to set your mind straight. You are going to have to serve people. You're going to have to do sales. And customer service. And marketing. And the successful execution of all of these starts with the fact that you realize you need to do this, every time and in every encounter you have with people.

That's your best business card. Whether you're just talking to strangers telling about yourself, or a customer who has called you, you should always try to leave a great impression of yourself. Even if the tone of the comms is negative.

They might think your prices are high, or they might show you similar disrespect in other forms. And you still need to remember to act professional, and preferrably with a smile.

This is the first and most important thing to remember. You are the face of your business, and if that face is pissing people off, they will always find a competitor of yours to work with. And vice versa, when you're hunting for business.

Our second topic is about OPTICS. And while it sounds obvious, this one ties up to many other areas around it, including the first topic I wrote above.

Optics matter to people. From how do you carry yourself in front of them, to how you execute jobs to what your business looks like. Are you dragging feet when you come to their house? Are you staring at the floor when you're talking with them? Does the back of your truck look like someone threw in a grenade?

Or are you demonstrating a firm handshake, a nice smile and focus towards the customer when you meet with them and interact with them? Is your shit in a military-grade order, everything in it's place and cleaned up after last use?

It doesn't matter how much you slap cash on the table for your logo or vehicle wrap or website, if these basics aren't in order. But when they are, and you build your brand to reflect the basics, you'll be set for life.

You'll be someone the customers can proudly advertise to their friends. And for a small business, that's priceless.

Then, from a Sales Point of View, our next and third topic is word of mouth. You know. Referrals. And we'll also extend this to recurring relationships too.

Even though you'll be a small business just starting up, you should have couple of systems in place from day 1. Or especially because of you're a small business just starting up.

When you start working and getting your first jobs, make sure to plan ahead that when you finish those jobs with great reviews, you need to put those testimonials to use. If someone is happy about what you've done for them, shouldn't you record it in some way?

The first step is to always ask for a permission to use the customers feedback in your further sales and marketing efforts. Record it in some way - be it a video review, just a written testimonial, a review on a platform you use for marketing by sending them a link for easy experience - you name it. Just make sure that what ever you do regarding this, be ready when you face the customer. It's also part of the optics mentioned above that you have a system in place which you follow concisely during your meeting with the customer.

The second step is taking this a little bit further. If your customer is already happy enough to give you a recorded review and recommendation, the next logical step is to go proactive instead of passive. Ask the customer, whether they would have anyone in their network in need of your services?

You when taking the second step, you should of course understand the nature of service you have provided for the customer. If you have provided them with an emergency unclogging, they're initial reaction will probably be "well, I wouldn't know if any of my friends have a current plumbing disaster". But even here, you'll be able to frame your services in a way that would make them look good to their friends by doing this: "I'm happy that we managed to fix your unclogged drain and prevent any further problems. I would love to suggest that in order to make sure this doesn't happen again, you should utilize our Service Subscription. For a low annual fee, we'll come by and conduct an pipe inspection to your home. If we find further issues, we'll quote you for fixing them upfront. Preventative maintenance." and then it's easy for you to continue "By the way, as you are happy with our service, would you happen to have friends or family that you think would benefit from our Preventative Inspection Service? If you do, I would highly appreciate some contact details. If they end up ordering from us, both you and they are going to receive a 5% discount from us for their next service need".

Pretty cool, huh?

As we are an equipment supplier after all, the fourth tip is going to focus on tools and equipment. But probably not in the way you'd expect.

One of the best lessons to learn early on is that you should ALWAYS match your equipment to one of two things:

1. The majority of the jobs that you execute

2. Or the line of work you would like to have.

It's that simple. We don't believe it serves any meaning to fill your truck up with anything and everything you can get your hands on just because "well, if I ever need it I will have it!" or "now I can say yes to more jobs" if that's not what you want.

We are massive fans of systemization and focus. Here, focus would mean that instead of being a generic "Drain Cleaning Company", you could start productizing yourself to become the go-to "Household Clog Ninja" who only works with small diameter pipes found inside people's homes. No commercial jobs, no need to invest the extra 30k$ to larger equipment, no problems about having to find and recruit and pay for help because the jobs are too big for just one man.

Of course there's a huge difference for whether it's possible or meaningful, based on whether you live in a big city or a small town. In bigger cities, it's much simpler to focus on one specific niche as you'll have infinite amount of customers when you do your job right. In smaller towns, you might be forced to take on a wider set of services due to lower total amount of people living there. No people, no buildings, no pipes.

So what we're saying is that even in our catalogue, there are hundreds of products you probably shouldn't hoard for yourself. If they are a reasonably grounded investment with an expected ROI, of course. But if you're just buying it for the heck of it, don't. It's not in our interests either to see you go bankrupt with all that cool equipment and no way of making them make money.

 

Closing words

Alright friend, that's all for now. Like said, there would be so much more to talk about and if there's anything specific you would need help with, never hesitate to contact us directly. We would love to give you more tips and help you with whatever you're up against. You can reach me through my personal email at atte@pipemade.com.

Take a look at our other Pro Tips articles, as you will find a wealth of information there as well.

Also, if you're just starting up and are having second thoughts about how you should equip your business, you can refer to our Master Gear List for Drain Cleaning here (link).

Safe travels, looking forward to getting in touch with you!

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