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Old 09-11-2019, 07:34 AM   #11
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I know you didn't claim that, I was saying it seemed like your boss thought it was a new fangled thing that wasn't reliable because it wasn't the way he learned to do things.








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Ok. No my boss didn't think that 3/8" was new he did how ever think that because that was not how he had learned to do things it was automatically me being wrong. Oh yeah he also claimed that a 3/8" would just "snarl" up in a 11/2" or 2" drain.

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Old 09-11-2019, 12:48 PM   #12
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How are you on repairing Water Heaters Gas and Electric ?
you can sign up with the Mfg's as a service agent that way you get
paid to go to peoples homes and give them your CARD,
and put your sticker on their Water Heaters,
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Old 09-11-2019, 01:30 PM   #13
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So I have been thinking about maybe starting to learn about a niche to get in to for when I start a business some day. I was thinking I might as well try and learn more about it before I need it.

I know of a few that I would call a specialised or niche market. Those being things like slab leak detection, trench less sewer replacement or backflow testing and repair.

I wonder if you guys have ideas that does not require very expensive investments like trench less sewer replacement. I don't believe there is any record keeping if backflow devices or anything like that making it a good market to get in to testing those. Slab leak detection would be interesting but we barely have any slab on grade houses here so that is not really a market at all around here.

I live in a small town of 1500 people and work 40 minutes away in a college town of maybe 55000 people.

Any ideas?

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dont take this the wrong way, but you live in a low populated area, even 55000 is small, the investment in niche tools probably wont pay off....
you should study and build up your skills on how to run a successful plumbing business and stick with that, once you have a good customer base you wont have to niche..
if you dont have more of a dense population there wont be room for more than 1 or 2 guys doing the same thing, the country I live in has almost 3 million people and I can drive from the south side where im located to the north side in 30 to 40 minutes and west side where im located to the east side in about the same time, and further east is another county of 2 million plus people...
you need to sit back and look what your area needs rather than look at what you want todo...
whats the call for backflow testing, pipe bursting and so on, how many jobs do other companies do in those areas?
it all comes down to demand and supply...you may want to supply some service noone needs and to lay out big $$ on tools makes no sense if they will rarely be used...
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:22 PM   #14
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dont take this the wrong way, but you live in a low populated area, even 55000 is small, the investment in niche tools probably wont pay off....
you should study and build up your skills on how to run a successful plumbing business and stick with that, once you have a good customer base you wont have to niche..
if you dont have more of a dense population there wont be room for more than 1 or 2 guys doing the same thing, the country I live in has almost 3 million people and I can drive from the south side where im located to the north side in 30 to 40 minutes and west side where im located to the east side in about the same time, and further east is another county of 2 million plus people...
you need to sit back and look what your area needs rather than look at what you want todo...
whats the call for backflow testing, pipe bursting and so on, how many jobs do other companies do in those areas?
it all comes down to demand and supply...you may want to supply some service noone needs and to lay out big $$ on tools makes no sense if they will rarely be used...
That's what I really wanted to say yesterday not to sound too negative but I agree the population is too small.
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Old 09-11-2019, 07:25 PM   #15
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forget about the technical part of the business....learn about BUSINESS to keep the doors open. It's nothing fun or glamorous but the non plumbing stuff is the most important part
I am trying to understand a little business. Mr Parr helped me out with understanding some numbers. I will soon be going to my old boss and seeing what he can help teach me about business. He already said he would help me a bit when I got closer to that time.
I am sure business will be something I slowly learn over the next few years. For now I think there is only so much I can learn without actually being in business and dealing with it directly. I do believe I know the basics enough to make sure I don't go broke while learning more about doing business.

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Old 09-11-2019, 07:35 PM   #16
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How are you on repairing Water Heaters Gas and Electric ?

you can sign up with the Mfg's as a service agent that way you get

paid to go to peoples homes and give them your CARD,

and put your sticker on their Water Heaters,
It might be an idea. I am able to trouble shoot most water heaters though I have not done much repairing of gas heaters. I am confident that I can find and repair the problem.

Only thing about that is that as far as I see it. You go into a customer that starts off with a negative mood because of having to deal with warranty and now what if they as most likely did not install their product up to code and I tell them as a plumber I am obligated to bring it up to code if I touch it and that part is not free under warranty.

Second is that yes you can get a foot in the door to a new customer but that is the kind of cheap customer that did not want to pay for a plumber to install the heater in the first place (otherwise they would have called him back)

The mfg likely does not pay well for warranty calls so does one really want to out all that energy and time in to the small potential you might gain a cheap customer?

For the record I don't mind people being carefully with their money but I do mind the cheap type.

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Old 09-11-2019, 07:51 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by The Dane View Post
I am trying to understand a little business. Mr Parr helped me out with understanding some numbers. I will soon be going to my old boss and seeing what he can help teach me about business. He already said he would help me a bit when I got closer to that time.
I am sure business will be something I slowly learn over the next few years. For now I think there is only so much I can learn without actually being in business and dealing with it directly. I do believe I know the basics enough to make sure I don't go broke while learning more about doing business.

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Its real simple......... Time is money, and the more time consuming ---mind numbing ---things you delegate out to others you will be more able to focus on making more money doing plumbing.......

1. you get yourself a quickbooks program to post all your receivables and payments....

2. you hand this information over to an accountant every 4 months to do your year end taxes and also possibly have them do your payroll or get a payroll service to do it

3. You spend some money on advertiseing to get your name out there in the nitch you want to be in for your area--- maybe have some one do your advertiseing on the internet for you.....

4 You make up STICKERS with your name and number on them.....

5 you answer the god dam phone when it rings and dont let people wait the whole day to hear back from you...

6 find your nitch and build up on it with someone who can advertise it for you,....


very simple and very easy....you should be cooking in 15 to 25 years...
















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Old 09-11-2019, 08:14 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ShtRnsdownhill View Post
dont take this the wrong way, but you live in a low populated area, even 55000 is small, the investment in niche tools probably wont pay off....
you should study and build up your skills on how to run a successful plumbing business and stick with that, once you have a good customer base you wont have to niche..
if you dont have more of a dense population there wont be room for more than 1 or 2 guys doing the same thing, the country I live in has almost 3 million people and I can drive from the south side where im located to the north side in 30 to 40 minutes and west side where im located to the east side in about the same time, and further east is another county of 2 million plus people...
you need to sit back and look what your area needs rather than look at what you want todo...
whats the call for backflow testing, pipe bursting and so on, how many jobs do other companies do in those areas?
it all comes down to demand and supply...you may want to supply some service noone needs and to lay out big $$ on tools makes no sense if they will rarely be used...
I don't take things the wrong way too often (I have thicker skin than that)

I fully understand that I don't live in a densely populated area. I was in no way trying to spend a lot of money on special tools that might not be used much.

I am fully intending on focusing on building up a customer base and some business skills first.

I completely understand your supply and demand comment and had no intention of randomly spending money on tools I do not know if there is a market for around here.

I clearly said that pipe busting (trench less) is not something I would be looking at. For the exact reason that the market as I see it does not have a need for it and the investment would not make sense.

The backflow testing is something that I know no one around here does or even know of someone who does it. Now because there is no a record keeping of those devices in this area I also know it gets installed and forgotten so I doubt there is a real market for it unless I could convince the inspectors that they should start recording where those devises are installed, at least in commercial buildings. Then maybe they could help spread the word that I was able to do that.

I did not mean to make it sound like I have the idea that I absolutely need to have a niche. I know it's not the most important thing but I figured I would ask if anyone here knew about other things that might be worth looking in to. If it was obvious what the market needed I'm sure someone else would already have jumped on it. I was looking out of pure curiosity if there was something that this market could possibly need that people just wasn't aware of.

I have heard a couple times now that backflow testing might be a good market because no one really wants to take the clases for it and get in to it. I'm not sure how that works if no one keeps track of the devises and enforces the testing on them.

Here is a good example on how backflow devices are treated here. A couple of years ago a place that makes weed killer chemicals for farmers wanted this devise they had bought from overseas to be installed on the waterline that they use to fill up the tank where they mix all the deadly chemicals. It was a devise that could count gallons and then shut off automatically when it reached a certain gallon amount, this way they could set it and walk away instead of babysitting it until the correct amount was reached. The waterline they used was directly connected to the bottom of the chemical tank so I told them that they needed a backflow preventer and that I could install it but with it being chemicals I would make sure they got it tested at the required interval. If not they could maybe reroute their water line up above with an airgap. They asked a few questions and somehow decided to completely forget about it all and just keep doing things the way they used to do it. My boss got pissed with me saying I talked to much and I should just have installed it and be out of there. He did not one bit care that it could cost lives if they never had it tested and it failed.

On here I see things like smoke testing and think to myself that would be an inexpensive interesting thing to be able to do and it would make a guy stand out a little.

So all in all I was just curious to see what other guys might know about that I didn't. Just a little something to make a guy stand out from the rest of the regular plumbers instead of blending in with everyone else. Not really a thing to focus on as a main source of income.

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Old 09-11-2019, 08:58 PM   #19
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It might be an idea. I am able to trouble shoot most water heaters though I have not done much repairing of gas heaters. I am confident that I can find and repair the problem.

Only thing about that is that as far as I see it. You go into a customer that starts off with a negative mood because of having to deal with warranty and now what if they as most likely did not install their product up to code and I tell them as a plumber I am obligated to bring it up to code if I touch it and that part is not free under warranty.

Second is that yes you can get a foot in the door to a new customer but that is the kind of cheap customer that did not want to pay for a plumber to install the heater in the first place (otherwise they would have called him back)

The mfg likely does not pay well for warranty calls so does one really want to out all that energy and time in to the small potential you might gain a cheap customer?

For the record I don't mind people being carefully with their money but I do mind the cheap type.

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It sounds like you are doing everything you can to come up with reasons why it won't work. What you should be doing is coming up with reasons why you can make it work. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. Do you want to give up before you even start, or rise above and conquer?

You are getting a lot of excellent advice in this thread, especially the parts about making quality service your niche, and focusing on the business aspect. I hope you do find a niche. That would be cool, but again, if it were so easy everyone would have already done it.

It sucks to have a butt head boss. We've all been there. Put your head down and bowl right along, laughing him off if you must. Look at it as him actually doing you a favor. He is highlighting things to make you realize that you never want to make those same mistakes yourself. As the commercial said; "You can learn a lot from a dummy." You will be moving on soon enough.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:59 PM   #20
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So all in all I was just curious to see what other guys might know about that I didn't. Just a little something to make a guy stand out from the rest of the regular plumbers instead of blending in with everyone else. Not really a thing to focus on as a main source of income.

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Do what Mark says answer the god damn phone always! I go to the throne the phone is there, I go to down the driveway to get the mail the phone is in my pocket. I have notepads and pens in every pair of shorts, pants and coats, bathroom, garage, truck etc...

And a several more things...It takes a lot of dedication and DISCIPLINE.

A guy at noon called asking when I would be available for a powder room reno finish. I was there within an hour and installed all those complicated fancy fixtures by dinner time.
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