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This sample marketing plan was created with Marketing Plan Pro software.

Water Tubes Plumbing is entering its first year of operation. As a start-up organization, WTP must have a concerted marketing effort to ensure success and future profitability. Water Tubes offers the market a professional plumbing service for residential new home builds. WTP's level of professionalism will stand out in an industry that is not known for professionalism.

Market Summary

WTP possesses good information about its market and knows a great deal about the common attributes of the most prized customers. This information will be leveraged to better understand who is served, their specific needs, and how WTP can better communicate with them.

Market Needs

Water Tubes Plumbing is providing its customers with a high quality, professional plumbing service for new residential homes. WTP seeks to provide the following benefits that are important to their customers.

  • Professionalism- time is money, so hitting all targeted goals is very important. This is just one aspect of professionalism. Another aspect of professionalism is standing behind the work product under all circumstances.
  • Quality work- having quality work eliminates warranty claims in the future and reinforces the perception of quality for the entire home.
  • Competitive prices- new residential home construtction is a tight market and every percent of margin is important. Business is lost when prices are not competitive.

There are two market trends in the plumbing industry:

  • Mergers and consolidation of smaller, independently owned companies. This generally occurs as a cost saving method to achieve scale of economies.
  • There has been a recent proliferation of new plumbing companies that specialize in new builds, both residential and commercial. This trend is occurring with the realization that providing general plumbing service is labor intensive because of the need to have a 24 hour on-call service.

Market Growth

For 2000, the U.S. plumbing industry had $9 billion in revenue. The rate of growth generally parallels the rate of growth for the construction market. Currently, the outlook is quite good. Interest rates are at a five year low and this has helped the construction/plumbing industry immeasurably.

SWOT Analysis

The following SWOT analysis captures the key strengths and weaknesses within the company, and describes the opportunities and threats facing Water Tubes.


  • Strong relationships with many different new home builders.
  • Extensive industry knowledge and expertise.
  • Well designed training programs.


  • Since Don is the main employee, he will have difficulty balancing his limited time between doing jobs which is the source of short-term revenue, and business development which effects long-term sustainability.
  • A limited marketing budget to develop brand awareness and visibility within the home building community.
  • Possible difficulty unseating already established firms for the prime contracts.


  • Participation in an industry that is generally a positive growth industry, although it occasionally goes through downturns.
  • Decreased customer acquisition costs as WTP becomes more rooted in the local community.
  • The ability to leverage employee's labor to generate profits.


  • The recognition by other plumbing companies that customer service and professionalism are indeed keys to success.
  • Difficulty in controlling the work quality of the employees.


The plumbing market is quite competitive and consequently in order to reap decent profits, large quantity of work must be done. Competitors can be broken down into three groups:

  1. Chains- these plumbing companies are a franchise or a division of a larger chain. The chains typically do repair work instead of new building construction, but sometimes they do work with new builds.
  2. Private companies- These companies are typically local companies that provide plumbing services. In order to generate sufficient revenue, they will offer a wide range of services.
  3. Large commercial & residential companies- These are the local Starbucks of the plumbing world and will bid on any type of plumbing project, whether commercial or residential, repair or new builds. The majority of jobs that this competitor will work on are the larger commercial projects, but getting a contract with a volume home builder would be attractive.

The buying habits of the target segments are based primarily on networking. Once a relationship is established, the builder will typically give the plumber one to two jobs to display their work before any type of long term contract/relationship is developed.

Service Offering

Water Tubes offers the finest in residential home plumbing construction as well as custom new home construction. Residential construction is chosen because it is straight forward and clean. Estimates are far more accurate and the company is dealing with a few contractors instead of many home owners. Additionally, there is no need to be on call 24 hours a day, a major downside of being a traditional plumber.

New construction will be typically bid at $1 per foot plus a multiple of $400 per fixture. Fixtures include sinks, toilets, tubs, etc.

The two other elements of Water Tubes services are professionalism and trim quality. Professionalism of Water Tubes is clearly a service offering that will be highlighted as well as trim quality which is the part of plumbing that is visible to the customer.

Service Business Analysis

The plumbing industry is a state regulated industry. The state regulates the industry through a licensing process based upon the Universal Building Code. The code is state specific and is a comprehensive code for all building issues. There are three skill levels of plumbers. The first is the Apprentice who is basically a skilled laborer. In Eugene, Apprentices earn from $8-$12 per hour depending on experience level. The next level is a Journeymen. To achieve the Journeymen license you must pass the state Journeymen test. Journeymen in Eugene typically earn from approximately $18 per hour. The last step in the plumbing hierarchy is a Master Plumber. A Master Plumber is a Journeymen with more than 10 years experience and their earning potential is from $35-$50 per hour.

In order to do work in the state, it is required that a deposit is made into the workers compensation fund of $4000 during the first year. This is for new companies only that have no record of revenue and no record of worker compensation history. After one year of no claims, $1000 is refunded per year and after five years the entire amount is refunded. In essence, this is acting as a bond for newly formed companies.

The timetable for work in this niche is as follows:

  • Two people, one full day, rough-in (plumbing in the floors and concrete).
  • Two people, one full day, top-out (plumbing in the walls).
  • One person, one full day trim (sections visible to the end-user).

Keys to Success

The keys to success are to provide the customer with:

  • A fair price.
  • Outstanding service.
  • Quality work.

Critical Issues

Water Tubes is still in the speculative stages as a start-up business. Its critical issue is to only expand at a rate that is designed to serve the customer. Expansion should only occur when it is required to meet the needs of the current customers, not theoretical, future customers.

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