How to Start a Plumbing Business - A Comprehensive Guide

Are you a skilled plumber with a passion for entrepreneurship? Starting your own plumbing business in the UK can be a rewarding journey. As the demand for plumbing services continues to grow, there's ample opportunity for success in this industry. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to establish your plumbing business, complete with essential tips and statistics to help you thrive.

Running low on time? Jump right to it:

  1. Research and Planning
  2. Legalities and Regulations
  3. Funding
  4. Business Name and Branding
  5. Getting your first work
  6. Networking
  7. Hiring and Training
  8. Customer Service
  9. Pricing and Invoicing
  10. Bookkeeping and Finances

Research and Planning

Before diving in, conduct thorough market research.

In the UK, the plumbing industry is estimated to be worth over £19 billion, indicating a promising market. Identify your niche, whether it's residential repairs, commercial installations, or eco-friendly solutions. One of the best tips is to chat to other plumbers and gas engineers to hear what tips they have to offer. Part of your research can also be taking on jobs on the side - that will help you to learn the ropes.

Legalities and Regulations

Compliance is crucial. Obtain the necessary licenses and certifications. Did you know that in the UK, a plumber needs to be Gas Safe registered to work on gas appliances? Ensure you have the right insurance, too — public liability insurance, for instance, is a standard requirement. One of the low cost places you can get this is with Hiscox.


Launching a plumbing business requires capital. On average, startup costs in the plumbing industry can range from £2,000 to £10,000, covering tools, a work vehicle, marketing, and more. You may be able to get a bank loans but again, if you start work on the side this may mean you can self generate the money that you need to get started.

Business Name and Branding

Choose a memorable business name and create a professional logo. Branding helps establish your identity and build customer trust. Consider showcasing your logo proudly on your van, along with your contact details. This eye-catching display will not only grab attention but also make it easy for potential customers to reach out to you.

Getting your first work

A lot of business comes through personal recommendation and the best place to get your first work is through family, friends and neighbours. Remember though that you need to do a great job. People will only recommend you if they like what you did and you might lose a relationship too if your work is sloppy. It's also worth noting that a lot of homeowners search for local businesses online? It comes second to working your own network of friends but having a user-friendly website is also worthwhile.


Try to get to know other people in the trade. A lot of businesses use subcontractors. This means that building relationships in the industry can lead to partnerships and referrals.

Hiring and Training

Once you get really going, you might want to hire some people. If you plan on this, consider that 59% of UK tradespeople believe there's a skills shortage. Offering training opportunities can make your business more attractive to potential hires.

Read more: How to hire an apprentice

Customer Service

Outstanding customer service is your competitive edge. Happy customers can lead to repeat business and referrals. In the UK, 70% of trade work comes from recommendations.

Pricing and Invoicing

Pricing your services competitively is important but don't go too cheap. If you don't sometimes lose on price you probably aren't charging enough. Under-charging is one of the top reasons why new businesses fail.

Bookkeeping and Finances

Accurate financial records are a must. If you're just getting going, use an all-in-one specialist trade app like Powered Now to track your income and expenses. This organised approach will simplify tax reporting and financial planning.

Read more: 3 Reasons why you need more than just an accounting software

Did you know that Powered Now is linked to Xero? Let Powered Now take care of all the administrative tasks for your field trade business, including paperwork, customer communications, and scheduling. Meanwhile, Xero can handle your accounts and payroll seamlessly. With this efficient setup, you can rest assured knowing that you won't have to enter any information twice, and your accounts will be managed effortlessly as a result of your well-organised approach.

powered now connected to xero

Wrapping up

As you embark on your plumbing business journey, remember that every successful venture begins with a solid foundation. By following these steps and leveraging the insights provided, you'll be well-equipped to establish a thriving plumbing business in the UK's dynamic market. Your dedication, combined with industry knowledge and exceptional service, will set you on the path to long-term success.

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