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How Do I Market My Plumbing and HVAC Business On A Limited Budget?

How Do I Market My Plumbing and HVAC Business On A Limited Budget?

How Do I Market My Plumbing and HVAC Business On A Limited Budget?

Posted by Juliette Riddle

Uploaded 78 days ago

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How Do I Market My Plumbing/HVAC Business On A Limited Budget?

Are you having trouble getting the word out about your plumbing and/or HVAC company? Maybe you are just starting out and need advice? 

There are many options from low cost branding to major investments, Facebook Ads to Networking with real estate agents, but one thing is sure — it has to begin with a company mission and reason to hire your company. Once your company has its unique selling point nailed down, though, where do you begin?

Nick McDonald: First of all - Why hire you ahead of anyone else? What is your offer? Why are you different? What gives you stand out?

Should You Invest In Digital Marketing Strategies?

For smaller marketing budgets, Google Ads in a competitive market may not be the right place to put your limited marketing dollars. However, it is still important to have a visible presence online: a quality website, social media business pages, and valuable directory listings such as Yelp and Google My Business will generate calls.

Many members recommend focusing on building digital strategies around Facebook Ads and directories such as Thumbtack and Home Advisor. However, Facebook Advertising, while inexpensive, is hit or miss, and Thumbtack and Home Advisor may send leads, but are they high quality? 

Facebook Ads are probably the best of the three if used with a highly targeted strategy, but should also focus more on brand building.

Jamie Ryan: Jennifer Byrne
Facebook works, but I agree don't do ads to get business. Post with original content work best. If you are a family business, post pictures of your family with the work van. Tell stories about how and why you started your business. Don't bash competitors. Then boost those posts; always including a phone number and website. 

Mitchell Stonebarger: Jennifer Byrne I built a multi-track operation solely in FB ads. 

Jamie Ryan: Mitchell Stonebarger I think the ads are good for brand recognition, but to rely on them completely is not a good idea. Our business was also built on Facebook.

Directory listings such as Thumbtack and Home Advisor are pay per lead style platforms and can yield a high quantity of leads, but may fall short on quality. Many of our members caution others to stay away from Home Advisor for their expensive and questionable lead selling practices. Home Advisor also charges multiple contractors so it becomes highly competitive to book the customer. 

Word of Mouth, Does It Work? 

Established and new companies alike swear by word of mouth and local community networking. Of course, it still begins with having a defined business mission and brand visibility. 

Nick Weiss: Word of mouth is the best referral. If you can’t spend the money on leads or marketing, it's gonna be tough. If you’re absolutely desperate for a phone call, get with Angie's List, or Home Advisor...but it’s not quality leads. 

GlennandLisa Foltz: When I started, I went from business to business and handed out a flyer with my story on it. I know that’s out of most people’s comfort zones, but if you’re a good conversationalist, it will earn you more work than you can handle, after half a day of door to door! Then when you build a little budget, I got a website with some SEO, my area isn’t flooded with companies with websites so that’s paid off big. 

Michael Johnson: GlennandLisa Foltz It’s old-school but it works. That's one downside with a lot of new businesses, they will only do digital marketing. When I started I was door to door and introduced myself and if somebody did not answer, I put up door hangers. It was and is still very powerful. A ton of people are doing digital marketing, but there are very few people introducing themselves personally. It’s hard to scale, but when you are a new business it’s easy to do.

With quality work and exceptional customer service, you can build a referral network with your current customers. While performing work on a customers house, leave a personalized door hanger on the five surrounding houses, visit local supply houses and begin building relationships that can help build a strong referral network.  

A recent exchange between Housecall Pro members is a great example of two businesses showcasing a well rounded approach:

GlennandLisa Foltz: When I started, I went from business to business and handed out a flyer with my story on it. I know that’s out of most people’s comfort zones, but if you’re a good conversationalist, it will earn you more work than you can handle, after half a day of door to door! Then when you build a little budget, I got a website with some SEO, my area isn’t flooded with companies with websites so that’s paid off big. 

Michael Johnson: GlennandLisa Foltz It’s old-school but it works. That's one downside with a lot of new businesses, they will only do digital marketing. When I started I was door to door and introduced myself and if somebody did not answer, I put up door hangers. It was and is still very powerful. A ton of people are doing digital marketing, but there are very few people introducing themselves personally. It’s hard to scale, but when you are a new business it’s easy to do. 

GlennandLisa Foltz: Totally

Final Thoughts

Having a strong online presence through Google My Business, Facebook, and a business website is crucial, but it does not mean plumbing and HVAC companies have to spend a fortune to market their services. With great service and a solid company mission, taking a holistic approach through referrals, community connections, Facebook brand awareness, and a personal touch can go a long way to begin building your business. It may take more time, but will pay off with repeat customers being your biggest brand advocates. And, as you grow, you will have more budget to keep increasing online exposure. 

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