Running a plumbing business in South Africa

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While the pandemic had a profound effect on many small businesses, those in the home services industry, which includes those int he plumbing business in South Africa, saw demand for their services increase by 750%. Much of that was thanks to the scarcity of individuals trained and qualified to meet that demand. Despite this, in South Africa, five out of seven businesses fail within a year and only 6% of SMMEs say they have received government support.

Starting any business is difficult and plumbing contractors often face unique hurdles. As one of the country’s largest suppliers for contractors, Builders is always ready to help plumbing contractors to add value to their businesses.

Munier Solomon, Senior Marketing Operations Manager from Builders says, “Small businesses are the life blood of our economy. By building, maintaining, and developing strong bonds with our trade clientele, we help sustain the economy. That ultimately adds value to the lives of everyday South Africans by strengthening a reliable network of plumbers, amongst other vital services.”

Also read: 10 Plumbing Tips Everyone Needs to Know

The demand for plumbers is evergreen. People will always need expert help when something goes wrong. That, however, does not mean running a successful plumbing business is guaranteed. Here are some of the biggest challenges you may face and how to overcome them when running a plumbing business in South Africa.


Every business needs capital. Whether it is for tools, funding to pay for a vehicle and petrol or money for a marketing budget, every plumbing business needs the kind of cash that may not always be readily available. Credit is a useful way to bridge this gap so long as it used responsibly. Credit should be viewed as a building block for business growth and not something you want to max out. Builders has a variety of financing options to help small businesses reach their potential, including:

– A Trade Account: Designed specifically for contractors, businesses, and developers, a trade account at Builders is a revolving line of credit that allows its beneficiaries to buy supplies on credit with 30 days to pay, interest free.

– Retail Loans: This solution offers finance for larger, once-off purchases of up to R125 000 and may be perfect for business owners who need to buy or replace equipment. The Builders loan offers fixed repayment options of 12 to 60 months and does not require a deposit.

Relationship Building:

Building a strong relationship with your supplier can save you money, get you better terms and give you access to valuable networking opportunities. Munier adds, “Every business needs a robust network to bolster it, from clients to suppliers. We’re committed to partnering with our plumber contractor clients to help you build the best possible business.”


One of the most difficult questions anyone who owns a plumbing business must answer is how much to charge for their services. Too much and you risk making yourself uncompetitive in a market that is very price sensitive. Too little and you may struggle to make ends meet or give the wrong impression.
Through its strong ties with the Institute of Plumbing South Africa (IOPSA), one of the biggest recognised plumbing bodies in the country, Builders is able to connect contractors to area-relevant information about pricing and a range of other topics.


The world is embracing technology and that applies to plumbing too. For example, renewing and verifying your membership to professional bodies can now be done digitally. Technology innovation in plumbing, however, is not just about gadgets. There have impressive advancements in equipment work processes that can help your business save time, money, and physical effort. Munier concludes, “Builders stocks the best equipment available, with prices that won’t break the bank. Managers at the depots are also well versed on what the latest developments in the sector are and thus able to give the kind of cutting-edge advice that will make sure your business grows from strength to strength.”

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