The Sky Is Not Falling!

For many of us, the Coronavirus caused a disruption. For many, the disruption meant an economic challenge but for every challenge, there is an opportunity. The challenges and opportunities for the plumbing and drain cleaning industry are best observed by looking at the past economic challenges and why some businesses thrived and others died off. As a supplier to the industry, we observed a couple of things.

The first thing that occurred was that drain emergency calls declined at the beginning of the downturn. Where a tech was getting 10 to 12 drain calls per day, the numbers fell to 5 or 6 calls. For most of us losing ½ of your revenue is a challenge. There are bills to pay, mouths to feed and shelter to maintain. That kind of loss would send a good share of us into a panic trying to find things to supplement the loss. And some of the contractors serving the industry we supply couldn’t see a way out of it and closed their doors. For them, the sky fell and they couldn’t overcome the losses.

We saw homeowners going to the local building supply store and buying things like liquid plumber and hand-operated cables to unclog their drains rather can call a professional. Those were the calls that disappeared during the crisis. The remaining customers either couldn’t get their solutions to work or simply didn’t have the desire to try fixing it on their own.

But we also observed many contractors growing. Why would their businesses grow while others were dying on the vine? They both had a decline in call numbers but the savvy ones equipped their techs with the tools to maximize revenue from the reduced number of calls coming in. Instead of hurrying out the door to finish the other calls ahead of them, the techs explained the problem in a little more detail as well as offering them solutions to the problem of reoccurring drain clog calls. THIS IS NOT SELLING ANYTHING!

Many think you have to school your techs to be professional sales staff but this is educating your customers on what the problem is and ways they can fix the problem. After offering the options, a simple question to the owner is “What would you like me to do?” At the end of the week, the contractors who went down this path booked revenue numbers much higher with fewer calls than before.

So let’s run some revenue comparisons. If your tech opened 10 drains per day at $350 per drain, they would bring in $17,500 per week assuming they were busy every day. If the drain calls dropped to ½, the 5 drains per day for 5 days per week would be $8,750 in revenue. By getting just 2 descaling jobs in the same week, the tech would easily generate another $10,000 from descaling operations. If he snagged 2 lining or coating jobs for the week he’d add another $15,000 from those efforts. The revenue that these contractors booked was $33,750 or $16,250 more than they would have booked from just opening drains. These are the people who grew their businesses from adversity. We watched these contractors grow their business but our business also grew during the past economic downturns.

Some purchases get deferred during an economic downturn. Discretionary spending slows down or dries up, but sewer back-ups do not fall into the category of getting by without doing anything. Making the most of these opportunities will determine whether you grow or struggle. The choice is up to you. We have a full arsenal of tools to help you grow during periods of downturns.

For more information call us at +1-888-354-6464 or email us at

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