How to start a plumbing business in South Africa

How to start a plumbing business in South Africa

This is a guide on how to start a plumbing business in South Africa.

Competent plumbing professionals are needed now more than ever to design, install and maintain sustainable plumbing systems due to the increased risk to public health and safety and systemic implications of water conserving products.

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Here are some of the things you need to start a plumbing business in South Africa.

1. Experience

It’s very difficult to work in this field without experience. It’s best that you get experience before you start operating as a plumber, you can get experience by volunteering and working as an apprentice. You don’t need a college degree to be a plumber but taking a short course might help out a lot. This short course could be a couple of weeks or months.

2. Choose a specialty

Choosing a specialty will make you unique, don’t start off doing everything plumbing. This will just make you just another plumbing company. Decide on whether you are going to focus on residential plumbing or commercial plumbing. Even there you can choose to specialize further like fixing leaky pipes or clogged drains.

Being an expert in a particular part of plumbing will get you a lot of customers as people will generally trust you.

3. Build a website

The nice thing about a website is that you can build your website in such a way that you end up looking like the biggest plumbing company in town. People don’t know whether you are a big or small company when they come to your website, you can create an impression that you are a big company.

This will get you a lot of clients that generally prefer working with established and bigger companies. You can also use your website as a strong sales tool, you can optimize it to appear in search engines like Google and Bing. This will make it easier for people to find your company when they are searching for plumbing companies on the internet.

A website will also give you incredible data to analyse, you will know what pages people visit on your website. A website doesn’t have to be expensive; you can get a website for only R1 200 from Promta Web Services.

4. Network

Networking is very important for a plumbing business, especially if you don’t have enough start-up capital. You may get some of your first clients from networking, people will tell you all their problems as soon as you mention that you are a plumber. They will ask if you can fix this or that, the reality is that most people are constantly in need of plumbing.

5. Setup social media presence

Your social media presence will help you engage with customers, some people may be genuinely interested in what you do and want to ask some questions. Social media is a great way to engage with people, focus primarily on Facebook.

Plumbing companies don’t do very well on Instagram or Twitter. Focus on building a following on Facebook. Social media will do wonders for your plumbing business.

6. Invest in SEO

SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization; it’s practically optimizing your website to rank in search engines like Google. SEO is so important because it will direct a lot of people to your website for free. You optimize your website to appear in Google for relevant searches like “plumbing company in Vanderbijlpark”.

SEO can be quite expensive, more expensive than building a website. You can contact us for your SEO needs. It’s worth it because your website can get around 5 000 visitors per month and over 150 of them can become your customers.

7. Operating premises

You don’t have to have an office or a commercial space to operate your plumbing business. You can get started right from home. Working from home will save you a lot of money in overhead costs.

You will still need to register your business even when you are working from home. Registering your business costs R175 from the CIPC.


This was a guide on how to start a plumbing business. Starting any business is not easy and requires hard work. Do you have any thoughts or questions? Comment below.

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