2024, it’s a new year, and the best way to conquer it is to adopt new ideas to make your plumbing business more profitable. Whether you’re in residential plumbing or commercial plumbing, you may work on new installations, maintenance, repairs, replacements, and emergency services.
But as a small business owner, you not only have to master your craft, but you need to know how to leverage the right business tools to efficiently increase your cash flow.
Whether your plumbing business is a one-man band or a small fleet of contractors, we have 5 useful business tips that you can incorporate into your operations to improve your functionality. To ultimately become more profitable in 2024 including:
- Accepting mobile payments
- Accepting ACH transactions
- Invoicing clients digitally
- Offer customer financing
- Applying for merchant financing
- Expand your brand offerings
We will discuss the benefits of each one in more depth below.
1. Mobile Payments For Plumbing Services
Mobile payments come in a few different forms. The first involves using a smartphone with an NFC (near-field communication) enabled mobile wallet. Your customer would complete payment simply by tapping or hovering their phone near a terminal. For instance, a small card reader that you would keep with you on the go in your work vehicle.
The next type of mobile payment involves directing your customer to your website. From there they can key in their payment information from anywhere that has an internet connection. This is a mobile payment because the transaction can occur anywhere. Not only at a physical store-front location.
The Benefits of Accepting Mobile Payments For Plumbing Services
One of the best ways to make your plumbing business more profitable might not be what you expect. It’s not upgrading your plumbing tools. It’s improving your customer experience. One of the simplest ways to do that is by adopting mobile payment technology.
Though plumbing snakes, steel pipes, and drain lines are all beneficial, mobile payments can be a valuable tool for the plumbing business. It offers convenience, added security, and a more streamlined operation. By adopting mobile payment solutions, plumbing businesses can improve their payment process. All while increasing efficiency and thus revenue.
A mobile payment experience creates a smoother customer experience, adds security to transactions, and streamlines your plumbing business along every step.
For the most part, we all carry our phones on us all the time. It’s typically right in our pocket. So one of the most convenient things about accepting mobile payments is that your business can secure its funds on the spot.
No waiting around for your customer to send a check in the mail or for a completed invoice. The convenience of mobile payments gets you off the hook from having to make the ever-avoided collections call or email.
Because customers can use their mobile wallet or pay online, mobile payments are an efficient way to receive payments. Especially from a wider range of customers for any plumbing job.
If your heating and plumbing competitor does not offer mobile payments, but your business incorporates this practice, you will by default, create a break from the pack. Luring in more customers and potential for repeat business. Simply because ease and convenience are a number one priority for modern-day clientele.
In contrast to traditional payment methods such as cash or check, mobile payments are more secure. This is because:
- Mobile wallets never store full card numbers or personal information
- Mobile payments are encrypted with a one-time code for each transaction
- Mobile transactions never transmit the card verification code (CVV), cardholder’s address, or cardholder’s name
The additional security measures in place for mobile payments help to protect against fraudulent activity and identity theft. Therefore you will carry less liability as a merchant accepting digital payment.
Another benefit of adopting mobile payments for plumbing services is that it can help to streamline all business processes. From service to billing to payment.
Unlike cash or check payments, mobile payments can be more easily recorded and tracked. Which helps in account reconciliation. Saving in back-end effort and time.
Furthermore, if your customer uses contactless mobile payment, the transaction occurs instantaneously. With rapid transaction times in under 2 seconds, the payment portion of the service industry is a breeze. For both the contractor and the customer. With mobile payments, you ensure your clients that their time is valuable.
2. ACH Transactions For Plumbing Services
ACH (Automated Clearing House) transactions are a payment solution that processes electronic checks. The ACH network transfers funds from one bank account to another electronically. ACH payment processing solutions offer convenience for transferring funds for bill pay, subscription payment plans, direct deposit payroll, and so forth.
You can utilize ACH solutions for your plumbing business in 2 ways. The first is by initiating an electronic funds transfer from your merchant bank account to another bank account. The second is to request a transfer from someone else’s bank account to yours. In other words, you can credit or debit another bank account from your own.
Examples of crediting with ACH:
- Bill payment
- Initiating a refund
- Blind crediting
- Direct deposit payroll
Examples of debiting with ACH:
- Customer payment
- Accepting subscription service payments
ACH payment solutions are a simple setup. The right payment processor, like ECS, will provide an ACH form. Then, they can integrate the completed information into your website. From there, your customer needs only to provide a few pieces of information online to complete an ACH transfer.
The Benefits of Accepting ACH Transactions For Plumbing Services
ACH can be a valuable tool for plumbing services. It offers increased efficiency, enhanced security, customer convenience, and reduced costs. By adopting ACH transaction solutions, plumbing businesses can collect and set up payments more efficiently.
Plumbing providers can benefit from adopting ACH solutions in several ways:
ACH can help to create efficiency by streamlining the payment process for plumbing services. Plumbing businesses can easily set up automated recurring payment plans on their virtual terminal. These solutions can process payments automatically, and on a schedule, if need be. This allows plumbers to offer payment plans while reducing manual tasks, negating errors, and gaining more time to focus on other areas of the business.
Yes, customers may require a payment plan for an expensive service. However, ACH is also beneficial as it allows plumbers to offer routine subscription services such as quarterly checkups and annual drain cleaning. ACH would easily allow those subscriptions to be automatically billed and debited. This innovative solution can build dependable income streams while maintaining loyal customers throughout the year.
Next, ACH transactions offer enhanced security features compared to standard card transactions. Because ACH transactions are electronic transfers they are fully encrypted.
This means there is little room for criminal interception. Which means less chance for fraud and identity theft. Which ultimately means fewer opportunities for chargeback losses.
ACH can also offer customer convenience. It takes the hassle out of writing paper checks, which in general is not something you see often these days. That is because physical checks are transitioning into e-checks with the help of ACH transfers.
Transferring funds with the push of a button offers your customers convenience and ease. Furthermore, it showcases that you are up-to-date as a modern business in today’s society.
One of the best benefits that ACH processing offers are minimal merchant fees. Adopting ACH solutions can save your plumbing business on processing fees and additional costs associated with traditional credit card payment processing. Such fees include interchange rates, per transaction fees, network fees, processor fees, terminal fees, qualifying vs non-qualifying fees, etc.
Whereas, ACH transactions only use one processing network, the Automated Clearing House. Because of this, the transaction fees are more economical for your plumbing business.
For example, a credit card transaction might be 2.5% of the transaction total plus a $0.10 transaction fee. Whereas an ACH processing fee may be as little as $0.25 in total regardless of how high the transaction total is. In most cases, this means significant savings when processing using ACH versus a credit card.
3. Invoicing Clients For Plumbing Services Digitally
Adopting a software solution that can automate the invoicing and some accounting processes can become an indispensable time and money-saving tool. Moreover, you can easily integrate most of these softwares into your merchant portal.
The Benefits of Invoicing Clients For Plumbing Services
Invoicing can offer a professional appearance, efficient billing, accurate record-keeping, and customer convenience. By adopting invoicing, plumbing businesses can improve their efficiency in their accounting processes. Which could help to potentially increase revenue.
By adopting invoicing software, plumbers can create and send professional-looking invoices to their clients. This helps to establish their business as a reputable company. This is especially important for attracting new clientele.
With the quick and easy digital process of invoicing software, plumbing businesses can eliminate the need for paper billing. Including its potential risk of getting lost in the mail. Plumbers can itemize and detail the services and materials used at each job for a more comprehensive breakdown for clients.
For example, an invoice can specify the type of plumbing pipes used on a job site. Whether it’s pex pipes, copper pipes, abs pipes, cast iron pipes, polyvinyl chloride pipes (PVC pipes), or any other corrosion-resistant type of pipes.
The invoice can also detail the location of the plumber’s job. For example, the invoice would clarify if the contractor worked on the kitchen sink, the bathroom plumbing, the water heater, the water supply lines, or even the plumbing fixtures.
The more detailed an invoice is, the less likely a customer will issue a chargeback on their credit card or ACH transfer.
Additionally, invoicing also helps with accurate record-keeping. Digitally itemizing services and bills will keep better track of what has been paid in full and where any outstanding balances lie. This makes managing finances more efficient and helps to make sure that the business is getting paid for its services.
Digital invoicing also provides convenience for customers. Rather than having to pay on the spot with the above-mentioned mobile payment solution, it offers customers the option to pay for their services online. Customers can complete online payments with their credit card, debit card, or with ACH transfer. However, they would like to set up payment to better fit their needs.
4. Customer Financing For Plumbing Services
Providing financing options for plumbing installations or repairs to clients can be a valuable way for plumbing services to make it easier for clients to afford necessary services.
The Benefits of Offering Customer Financing
There are many reasons why a plumber might want to consider offering financing options for installations or repairs. Financing options for clients can help make services more accessible to a wider range of clients. Which coincidentally attracts new customers.
Additionally, it can help to build customer loyalty and increase competitiveness. Which ultimately boosts sales and profits.
Greater Accessibility Attracts More Customers
A plumbing service can significantly reach more clients by providing a financial loophole to customers that otherwise would not have been able to afford their services. Offering financing options does just that.
It makes expensive repairs or installation more obtainable. Especially for potential customers who may not have the funds upfront but could afford to split the cost over time. In adopting financing, customers can afford plumbing services. And in return, the business receives payment immediately from the financier.
The fact of the matter is that customers are more likely to choose a plumbing provider who offers to finance expensive bills over one that does not. Additionally, financing options include opening a line of credit. With a line of credit, clients are more likely to return to the provider with whom they have credit versus one with whom they do not.
To be frank, if your plumbing business offers financing options, it will instantly have a competitive edge over one that does not. This is because you are offering more financial options to clients. Which expands the service opportunities they can choose from and afford.
5. Merchant Financing For Your Plumbing Business
Operating a business is financially taxing. As the old saying goes, you need money to make money. Because without it, how will you afford to purchase work vehicles, plumbing equipment, pay for staff, rent, utilities, gas, advertising, etc?
Merchant financing includes two unique options. The first is a merchant cash advance. The second is a small business loan. With merchant service providers like ECS, you can explore both options to see which is a better fit for you.
The Benefits of Merchant Financing For Your Plumbing Business
Merchant financing offers a ton of opportunities to plumbing businesses. With easy qualification, quick access to funds, flexibility, and automatic repayments, financing options can be your best bet to profit more in 2024.
With both merchant cash advances and small business loans the qualification process is simple. Credit has no role in the approval of a merchant cash advance. This is a huge benefit for merchants who have unhealthy credit scores.
And unlike traditional bank loans, where the stipulations are tight, online business lenders, like ECS, can provide easy small business loans in a matter of minutes. Furthermore, both financing options require no collateral.
Quick Access to Funds
One of the quickest avenues to accessing additional funds for your business is merchant cash advances. Typically you will experience same-day approval. And funds are generally deposited within 24 to 72 hours.
The same goes for a small business loan through ECS’s financing options. After an easy online application, you should receive approval in minutes and funding in as little as 3 days.
Small business loans and merchant cash advances offer a ton of flexibility. You can use them in any which way your business chooses. Either to advance in the industry or make ends meet in difficult times.
With both merchant cash advances and small business loans through ECS, repayment is automatic. Your financier will automatically deduct MCA payment from your daily settlement. And With our small business loans, repayment can extend for up to twelve years. That’s a lot of time to build, grow, expand, and pay back the money that got you to where you were always meant to be.
6. Expand Service Offerings
Consider diversifying your services by adding more to your portfolio. You could implement complementary offerings, such as water heater maintenance, sewer line inspections, or emergency plumbing services to any existing customer. You can also increase revenue streams to make your business a one-stop solution for various handyman needs, such as heating, cooling, and electric.
Benefits of Expanding Your Service Offerings
Offering more ultimately gets you more. Below are the top 3 reasons you need to consider expanding your brand.
If you offer additional complementary services, you build trust. Customers who trust that you’ll do your job and go above and beyond to inspect and maintain their property before and after your service are more likely to stick with you for any future needs. They are also more likely to recommend your business to their family, friends, or anyone they know looking for a good and honest plumbing business.
Expanding your brand expands your customer reach. Say you incorporate new contractors or skills into your lineup, such as heating, air, and electricity. Doing so means more people will find you for needed work.
Say someone needed both plumbing and electric for their house remodel. Before you expanded your brand, you may have only been able to provide plumbing. But with expanded services, you can provide both plumbing and electric, doubling your profits. Adding this extra service comes at a small investment cost of further education or a new team hire. In the long run, both choices are sure to pay off.
Competitive Packages and Convenience
Offering a one-stop-shop solution for home services is beyond convenient for clients. No one likes researching who to go with for their home repairs, let alone researching someone to provide multiple services, so offering more at the convenience of hiring one company saves your clients time and, most likely, money. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Whether you focus on residential or commercial plumbing and heating solutions or both, whether you are an entire crew or a singular contractor, there are plenty of opportunities out there to increase your revenue this year.
All the tips above have numerous benefits, but we have outlined each with one goal in mind. More profit for your plumbing jobs in 2024.