Friday, September 26, 2014

5 Keys to Building a Successful Local Plumbing Business


Seeing that some of our customers are local plumbing businesses, I thought that this week I would cover a few ways that you can increase your sales. Typically, local plumbing businesses are a dime a dozen, so in order to gain more business and become successful you need to make yours different and unique from the competition. Today, we are going to be looking at five different ways you can set your company apart of the rest in an attempt to get more business.

#1: Be the Friendliest

When you think of different plumbers or plumbing businesses, you don't necessarily think of the world's nicest people. Not mean, just not actively friendly. One huge thing that can help you establish a long lasting relationship with customers is just being nice. Go out of your way to be particularly friendly and helpful to your customer. The best way to establish long term relationships with your customers is to care about the best interest of the customer, not your wallet. Being friendly and helpful will play a huge role in new customers becoming repeat customers.

#2: Get on Social Media

Want to interact with potential customers more? Get on social media. Not only can you interact with your customers on social media, but you can also potentially see what your competitors are doing and who they are interacting with. When you do get on social media, make it a part of your branding. For example, put your Facebook and Twitter information on business cards that you give out to customers. Better yet, put your social media information on your work trucks. Make sure that if you do get on Twitter and Facebook, don't neglect customers or fans that try to communicate with you. If you get on social media, make a conscious effort to make sure that your accounts are active. It is better not to have social media pages at all than to get one and never use it. Inactive social pages make your business look bad and can leave a bad taste in potential customers's mouths. Although getting on social media can be a commitment, it can help increase business through brand awareness and customer interaction.

#3: Market Online

Online marketing is one of the biggest components to being a successful local plumbing company in today's society. I could write a blog post dedicated to online marketing, but I'll try to keep this short and concise. Three extremely basic categories that you should be utilizing in online marketing for your local plumbing business are social media, search engines, and trade networks. Facebook and Twitter both offer advertising options at reasonable rates that can help put your brands in front of your target audience. Both social media platforms offer extensive ad options that allow you to know for sure that your message is put in front of your exact target audience. As for search engines, I recommend advertising your business on both Bing and Google. Both search engines offer "pay per click" advertising where companies can bid for top search engine positions when customers search certain keywords. For example, when someone searches "[City] [State] plumber" on Google or Bing, you can set up a campaign to have your company pop up as one of the top results. Pay per click ads are a great tool, and you can choose how much you are willing to pay per click in addition to setting up daily budgets. Search engine advertising is a great tool to increase local plumbing business. The last thing I want to touch on in regards to internet marketing is trade networks such as Angie's list. Getting your company listed on these different trade networks establishes trust in the customers mind before you even provide them a service. In addition to establishing trust, trade networks can also be a great source for picking up local leads.

#4: Start a Referral Program

Referral programs are a great way to increase business. The basic model of a referral program is that you give already happy customers a chance to save money on their next purchase by asking them to refer your company to friends of theirs that might need a service of the sort. No two referral programs are the same; every company needs to build a referral program based on their business model and customer demographic. If you really provide a good service and do a quality job, you will find referral programs to be extremely beneficial to increasing sales.

#5: Be Happy

If you want your local plumbing business to be successful, you need to be happy as the owner. You are the cornerstone of the company, setting an example for all the employees to follow. You need to be a good example, but you also need to hire good staff members. Quality employees will make your life a lot easier and you will be a lot happier overall as a business owner. Happiness as an owner will often times rub off on employees and help the success of the business in general. If you are miserable as an owner, I recommend selling it off in favor of pursuing a career you would enjoy more. Business success is important, but personal happiness should be prioritized over financial success.

Read more →

Friday, September 19, 2014

The Ultimate Guide to Toilet Clogs | Chapter 4: Preventative Maintenance Solutions


Chapter 4: Preventative Maintenance Solutions

In the previous chapters of this guide, we have talked about every method for toilet unclogs from plungers to plastic knives. In this last chapter, however, I'd like to touch on a couple of preventative maintenance solutions you can take in order to prevent toilet clogs. As unfortunate as it is, some people take larger dumps than others. A certain percentage of that group will end up having to deal with frequent toilet clogs, so let's look at a couple of steps you can take to reduce toilet clogs in your home.

#1: Go More Often

So maybe you are one of those people that frequents clogging the toilet. That's fine, there's nothing wrong with it, but one thing you can do is go more often. Even if you don't feel like you have to, see what you can do about making yourself poop more often for the sake of both the toilet and your intestines. Going more often can be one of your greatest tools in keeping the toilet unclogged.

#2: Get a High Performance Toilet

So you are still having toilet clog problems after you try going to the bathroom more often. The next thing I would recommend doing would be looking into buying a high performance toilet. This has played a huge role in reducing clogs in my house. High performance toilets offer a 3" trap vs the traditional 2" trap, allowing more room for the fecal matter to travel. This toilet has worked wonders in my house, and it's quite the important asset in a preventative maintenance arsenal.

#3: Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

The last thing you can do as far as preventative maintenance goes is just be prepared. If you know that your household frequents toilet clogs, I recommend picking up both a heavy duty plunger and an auger for the sake of being prepared. That way, if all else fails, you have the "getter'done" tools to effectively do the job.

Wrapping it Up

As mentioned, there's not a whole lot you can do in regards to preventative toilet clog maintenance. However, if you do have frequent clogging issues that these few basic tips will be of great help to you. This chapter concludes our first ever multi-week series, "The Ultimate Guide to Toilet Clogs", so let us know in the comments below what you thought of the guide as a whole and what other multi-week series you would like to see us do. Thanks for reading and have a great week!

Read more →

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Ultimate Guide to Toilet Clogs | Chapter 3: Last Resort Tactics


Chapter 3: Last Resort Tactics

The unfortunate truth is that when it comes to unclogging toilets, they can't all be winners. If you have a plunger and an auger on hand, then you are covered 99% of the time. However, I have had instances where those tools didn't do it justice. Other times, you might be away from home and not have all the necessary tools you need. In this chapter, we will be covering some geurilla last-resort unclogging tactics.

So you don't have any tools

Everyone has days when they are down on their luck. You may very well find yourself in a tool-less toilet clog situation. There are a couple different scenarios that can play out here:

  • You don't have the necessary tools in your place of living, but you are within walking distance of another living quarters that is likely to have some kind of unclog tool. In this case, as awkward as it is, you need to ask somebody to borrow their plunger. You may not like doing this, but it is most certainly preferred to some of the other things we are going to mention.

  • You really don't have any tools. Believe it or not, this has happened to me before. I'm sure this situation could come up in multiple scenarios, but I'll explain how it happened to me. We were on vacation to family owned private property that has a house on it. Nobody lives there, but there is family in the area that maintains the property. Anyways, the toilet got clogged late one evening. Because nobody lives there, there was not a plunger to be found. There's one of two directions you can go with in this kind of situation. Either you go out to the store and buy the tool you need (which may not be an option in some cases) or you man up and unclog it yourself. If you have to do it yourself, here's the best way: slap on a double layer of latex gloves and get a plastic knife, or some disposable utensil of the sort. Basically, you need to chisel away at the feces until there is suffice room to flush or until another tool can finish the job. I have been a witness to last resort knife dislodges on multiple occasions. It's not fun, but sometimes it has to be done.

The tools I have don't work

You may find yourself in a position of not being able to unclog the toilet with your plunger. Make sure you are plunging properly first, but if it's still not coming undone there are a couple of measures you can take to fix your problem.

  • Just keep plunging. I have had several occasions when I feel like there's just no way I'm going to get this unclogged with a plunger. Even if it feels like that, you may not have an auger in your house and the plunger is going to have to get the job done. In this case, I recommend you just keep plunging. I have plunged for 15 minutes before just trying to get one toilet unclogged. Sometimes, you just have to tell that poop who's boss with sheer determination.

  • Get an auger. You may not want to do this, but if you commonly have trouble unclogging your toilets with a plunger, you may want to consider investing in an auger. You won't break the bank for one, and it is a particularly good investment if you have frequent big clogs.

  • Break out the plastic knife. This is worst case scenario "I plunged for 30 minutes and I can't go out and buy an auger" material. This is when you legitimately know you can't get it unstuck because you've come to a plastic knife and brute force to solve your toilet clog problems. I already explained the process once in this article, so I'll omit the meticulous details here. As terrible of a method as it is, sometimes it's what you have to do to unclog your toilet.

In Conclusion

I don't want to make myself out to be some kind of toilet unclog wizard, but I have had my fair share of unclogging experience. I hope that this guide has been a help to you so far, and I hope particularly that this chapter has shed some light on what you might do in a last-resort unclog situation. Thanks for reading, and as always, have a great week!

Read more →

Friday, September 5, 2014

The Ultimate Guide to Toilet Clogs | Chapter 2: Auger - The Heavy Doody Tool


Chapter 2: Auger - The Heavy Doody Tool

So last week we covered everything you need to know about the plunger. That's great, and statistically speaking it will work, but sometimes you need to go deeper. That's when you break out the auger.

What is an Auger?

The auger is, in layman's terms, the top of the line unclog tool. When a plunger just isn't getting the job done, the auger should be your next go-to utility. Basically, the auger allows you to snake a metal tip through your pipes in an attempt to unclog whatever is stuck in there. There isn't a ton of variety when it comes to augers, but we prefer General Pipe Cleaner's 3 ft. Flexicore Auger.

How do I Use an Auger?

As was with plungers last week, you can't really explain how augers work simply through text. The video below will show you how to properly use the auger and demonstrate how exactly it works.

A quick word of warning, if the you successfully unlcog the your pipe with the auger, it the metal head will come back up with fecal matter on it. I highly recommend you take it outside to hose it off after using it each time.

In Conclusion

Even though there is not a whole lot to say about the auger, it is an extremely effective tool that can be of great use to you if you find yourself in a situation where the plunger just isn't getting the job done. If you are interested in purchasing an auger, you can do so through our website here. We hope that this week's post shed some light on how augers work and whether or not you should keep one in your house. Leave a comment below if you have any suggestions for us, and check out last week's article to enter in our "Most Unconventional Unclog Story" competition where you could win a $20 Prepaid Visa gift card. As always, have a great week!

Read more →