We know your pain, because many (and you better believe it), many plumbers are facing this same thing, right now! But you don’t have to be stuck there.

Listen, running a plumbing business can be the most rewarding, fulfilling job ever. But it can also feel overwhelming, and unprofitable. You know the long hours spent chasing payments and the constant pressure to survive in the business, which (let’s be honest), leaves you only a little room for family, friends, other relationships, and even yourself.

So what’s the way out? Is there even a light at the end of this pipe tunnel?

The answer is a big, shiny YES! You too, can build a plumbing business that makes millions. But, hey… you’ll need the dedication, consistency, and most of all, a million-dollar strategy.

Therefore, in this blog, we’ll show you how to escape the wrench and reach for the glowing penthouse by working smarter (instead of harder). We’ll also teach you how to manage your team better, target the million-dollar customers you need, and most of all, how to be more than just a plumber. Ready to take your plumbing business to the next level? Grab your tools and dive right in!

Think like a business owner not a plumber

The number one (and absolutely major) thing you need to think about is this: Is your company ready to become a million-dollar one? Here’s what we mean. Ask yourself how many million-dollar companies have their CEOs running errands?

Truth is that you cannot get your company to that big spot if you’re still running around offering little services. You need to STOP being just a plumber and start thinking (and acting) like a business owner.

But how? As you may already be able to tell, it is not just about a mind shift, you need to act on it—and there are two elements that you should hold dear to you; your time and your team (fortunately, both work hand-in-hand).

Listen, your time is your most valuable asset. By delegating plumbing tasks to your team and focusing on the bigger picture, you’ll  be freeing yourself from the little bits so that you can have the time to build a company that thrives, even without you on every call.

Let’s look at a real life example. Say you have a plumbing business with two talented team members and all three of you go together in your truck from one site to the other fixing pipes and unclogging drains. There’ll be no one ‘free enough’ to handle customer phone calls, or train new employees. Also, that single truck would have to jump from site to site with all three of you headed to a single location at a time.

But, what if you delegate?

That way, each of your talented plumbers will be independent enough to attend to multiple customers simultaneously. Hence, saving you time and resources, while making you more money. Also, your business just seems more professional when you don’t have the whole team in a person’s residential home.

But that’s just one part of the whole strategy. The other part has more to do with key metrics.

The power of metrics

Another thing that separates a million-dollar company from just a plumbing service business is the fact that company owners monitor their performances (and we’re not just talking income, losses, and profits). From customer acquisition cost, average job value, and repeat business rate, these metrics:

  1. provide a clear picture of your company’s health,
  2. helps you identify areas of improvement,
  3. shows you where to capitalize on for growth opportunities,
  4. empowers you to make informed decisions, and
  5. keep you in check.

In other words, data is your friend (because you’ve gone past just fixing leaks. You’re now building a successful enterprise soon to be worth millions).

So, what are these metrics? Among the many, here are eleven (11) of the most important performance metrics to consider:

1. Revenue and profit margins

Most plumbers already do this, but just because it is widely done does not mean it is still not important. Tracking your total revenue (gross and net) will help you understand your business’ financial health (and if there’s anything you need to cut down on).

2. Job success rate

Now, this is where we may lose most plumbers. You need to also monitor the amount of jobs that you completed successfully without any complaints. A low success rate means you need to take a closer look to see what could be wrong.

3. Customer satisfaction and reviews

Similar to the previous point, take note of the amount of feedback you get (positive or negative) because feedback gives you a more personalized insight into your business and its service. Also, great feedback leads to repeat business and referrals. For better monitoring, refer to Workiz automated review requests.

4. Average job value

At number four, is the average income earned per service offered. This metric matters for you to understand if your business is really moving toward more high-end jobs (or you’re still in the same spot).

5. Cost of goods sold (COGS) and operating expenses

Enough about your income. You also need to keep an eye on the cost of your expenses; from the costs of providing a service (labor and materials), to the costs of maintaining the business. The idea is to look for where you can cut costs for a more sustainable business.

6. Lead conversion rate

Still slightly about the money, this metric is about monitoring the percentage of leads or inquiries that convert into paying jobs. That way, you can evaluate how effective your marketing efforts are (because not all plumbing businesses need so many adverts. Referrals, too work magic!)

7. Workforce efficiency

Moving on to your team members; you also need to assess how effective they are regarding how long it takes to complete a plumbing job and how amazing they do it. This will help with delegations and future employee-related decisions.

8. Repeat business and customer retention rates

Slightly similar to number 2, this key metric requires you to evaluate the percentage of customers who return or continue to use your plumbing services over time. Remember that high rates indicate good customer loyalty and that’s a good thing!

9. Response time

Very important, you need to ensure that you’re monitoring and improving upon the average time it takes you to respond to customer inquiries or emergency calls. With a built-in phone system you can get to calls faster and instantly create jobs from incoming calls and messages.

10. Digital presence and engagement

If you have no online presence, then you’re yet to get started. Whether it’s a website (and blog) or just social media, you should have a digital presence. That said, you need to monitor your website traffic, ROI on paid ads, social media engagement, and online booking rates so that you can ascertain the effectiveness of your online marketing strategies (or maybe you need another strategy).

11. Service area coverage

Finally, it’s vital to be aware of where your customers come from the most. When you know your hot spots, you can effectively optimize your marketing strategies and development plans.

If you’ve reached this point, you can as well give yourself a pat in the back, but that’s not all. There are multiple parts of the plumbing business — how can you tell what area has the most potential?

Number of plumbing jobs in big metropolitan cities across the states


Why service jobs is key

The plumbing business is divided into four: service, residential, commercial, and new construction. Here’s what you need to know:

Service Residential Commercial New-Construction
Concerned strictly with repairs and maintenance. Specializes in installation, repairs, and maintenance for homes and apartments. Focuses on plumbing systems (including fire sprinkler systems) for institutions like offices, schools, hospitals, etc. Works closely with architects and builders to install plumbing systems for new buildings. Repair and maintenance is rarely expected here.

But did you know that the service business is the most lucrative?

Here’s why:

You can bill higher and more percentage of the income is yours
Unlike the other fields where you may need to purchase equipment or other materials, service plumbing relies mostly on your expertise to diagnose problems. Not only is this ability to think on your feet a hot spot for premium prices, you need not split the fee with any purchase.

You have a higher shot at getting repeat customers
Just think about it. Systems will also require maintenance and you can attend to all forms of buildings from residential to commercial institutions. When you offer a service plan you are ensuring repeat customers and making sure you have booked jobs all year round. Also, when you help customers repair their systems, you save them money (that they’d have spent on another installation) and that satisfaction helps build trust and strong relationships with customers, hence, more callbacks.

You have a better chance at varieties
As previously mentioned, service plumbers have a better shot at working in several locations and institutions than the other field which have a constricted location for jobs. Not to mention that the strong foundation allows you to invest in marketing, grow your team, and ultimately, build your million-dollar plumbing empire.

Money Repost Illustration

Set your pricing

Now, let’s talk about money. Below are five things you need to know:

1. Research

Before you start to advertise how much your services cost, call companies in your area and pretend you are a customer asking for a quote on services you also provide. That way, you’ll have an idea of how much you should charge for your services.

2. Compare your pricing and decide on a sustainable pricing model

Since you’re not calling a single company, you’ll need to compare the several prices you get and determine which of these work best for your company and goals. Note that it’s not ideal to compare types of companies based on company “legitimacy.” Instead, you’ll want to portray yourself as a valued company with warranties, quality workmanship, professional services and getting there quickly.

3. Flat rates

Another great option is to introduce flat rates rather than pricing per hour. But how can you tell how much you should charge? There’s a formula; but first, you need to know your proposed expenses (Expenses), the time it’ll take to complete the job by the hour (Time), and your desired profit percentage (Profit). When you have these variables set, you can use this formulae:

Flat Rate = (100 X E) / (Time X Profit)

You can also use a plumbing job estimator to ensure you do not risk a loss.

4. “Good, better, best”

In the case that flat rates don’t just sit well with you, you can use sales proposals to demonstrate your professionalism and expertise by showing customers the full scope of your services. How this works is that you’ll be showing your customers detailed proposals with multiple options that meet their budget. Not only will this tool save you time and put your customers at ease, but it’ll ease things for you when it comes to invoicing. Fortunately, you can take advantage of the multiple sale proposal templates by Workiz for even easier pricing.

5. Service Plans

Another way to go about pricing (especially if you want to drive continuous recurring revenue all year round) is to introduce service plans. The great news is that Workiz also has some tools and templates to make this a super easy step. By offering your customers the opportunity for continuous, non-stop repair and maintenance service (with the guarantee that their system may never break down again), you can secure your business a steady flow of income, plus happy customers.

Branding and marketing

Remember when we mentioned something about digital presence? It’s time to talk about that (because no million-dollar business can survive without branding and marketing).

Brand identity

This is the number one — how does your customer perceive you? Do you already look like a million-dollar company or you give off the feeling of just another small plumbing business? Everything from your uniforms (with clear, neat logos and name tags) to your trucks, business cards, websites and brochures will tell whether you are walking towards becoming a huge company or you’re still a small business. Invest in your branding and ensure to remain consistent with your tone, service, identity, and even your message.

Remember SEO

SEO is not just for tech people. That’s right. Even plumbers need to care about SEO because it’s what brings you from where you are to the top of the search results. The idea is for you to be in the face of your customers when their pipes burst and then you’ll be the first person they turn to (because most people go online for help when disaster strikes). So, if you haven’t already, put your business on Google My Business, Yelp, and any other SEO platform you know. The much closer it is to your service area coverage, the better. Here is a free SEO audit tool you can use to scan your website and optimize your online presence.

Get on social media

Whether it’s facebook, instagram, Tiktok, LinkedIn, or Twitter, be present. Post valuable content regularly (emphasis on the ‘valuable’). Respond to comments and messages on time, and most of all, let your online ‘fans’ see your company. This means that instead of posting just graphically designed images (many businesses make this mistake), post real-life photos and videos of your services.

Don’t skip the traditional adverts

Just because there’s the online space does not mean you should forget about the conventional ways of advertising. Attend community events, host training, and take the time to talk about your business during networking (word of mouth magic).

Encourage your customers to spread the word

Another thing that helps with marketing is to ask your satisfied customers to say something about the service they have received. Whether it’s just a rate of stars on Yelp, a review on your website or a sweet comment on your social media, these social proof points build trust and credibility with potential customers.

Get paid NOW

Before we move on to another important part of the million-dollar business, we have to talk about this.

DO NOT wait for days before sending your invoice — get paid as soon as the job is done.

There’s no two ways to it; it’s just ideal to get paid right away for a variety of reasons, including tight cash flow, situations where the client might have forgotten the invoice or payments, or simply the simple fact that requesting payment from a client weeks after the service diminishes your professionalism.

While we can go on and on about the risks of delaying, Richard Behney, founder of Million Dollar Plumber (a reputable and super successful podcast with over 300 videos, 40K downloads and 5 star rating) says it all.

He said “your right customer prefers quality over economy. It’s their home – not just a house – and they value professional products and services. And finally, your right customer not only personally benefits from your products and service, but is personally responsible for paying you…NOW! When you’ve completed the job…before you’ve pulled out of their driveway… NOT 30, 45, or 60 days later!”

Additionally (and as always), Workiz has a few mediums that can help make invoicing better, easier, and seem more professional for a million-dollar business. It’s called Workiz Pay. This all-in-one financial solution that includes tap-to-pay, card readers, and online payments helps to streamline your payments so that you can send invoices at the go without sacrificing your professional brand identity.


From pen and paper to an all in one system

Now that that’s done with, let’s look at how to leverage technology for operational efficiency, including job scheduling, invoicing, payments collection  and customer relationship management (CRM).

By now, you should know more than anything that your time is precious; and what better way to save time than to use technology to automate repetitive tasks like some of the things mentioned above. Workiz shines in this aspect as it is originally a field service management software solely designed to help you take your business from pen & paper to the automated world.

With Workiz automations, you can:

  • Alert your techs and team members before their next job
  • Notify customers of their scheduled job a day before with confirmation
  • Send those loved “Thank you” messages post-jobs
  • Subtly request a review after a job (not to mention that having a tool like Workiz can already boost your chances of getting good reviews and winning new customers).
  • Send auto-reminders for unpaid invoices.
  • Automate your service plans.
  • Notify customers of upcoming visits, and so much more.

To top it all, with Workiz’s reputation and years of experience, you can be sure that the software is seamlessly easy to use for both you and your customers.

Your customer service is your greatest asset

Speaking of customers, we need to say this: above everything, your customers are the only factor that’ll determine whether or not you’ll remain a million-dollar business (even if you get there). Keep your customers happy, and you’ve got the magic ingredient; and to do that, all you need is these five tips:

  • Treat every customer (new or recurring) with a personal interest to understand their needs and concerns.
  • Always listen actively to your customers before you act. Customers love it when they are being heard.
  • Get used to clear and consistent communication regardless of what’s happening.
  • Respect your customers and remain professional even in times when it’s challenging.
  • Finally, don’t hesitate to ask for feedback on how to make their customer experience even better.


To build a million-dollar business is not impossible and it’s definitely not as hard as you’ll think. However, you need three things: a great strategy (this blog has all of that in check), dedication (that’s up to you), and a field management software to make things seamless, professional, and easy (that’s where Workiz comes in). With these three elements at hand, you’re on your way to your goals.

Good luck and happy building!