Best cities for setting up a plumbing business

With plumbers in high demand across the country,’s business insurance experts have analysed the most populated towns and cities to find out which are the best for setting up a new plumbing business.

Each place was analysed on factors such as the number of planning applications, new builds and Google search volume to show the level of potential demand and potential earnings.

Reading tops the list with a high number of Google searches for plumbers per 100,000 people (2448) – a good indicator of demand. The town also has a relatively high number of job listings for plumbers (12.7 per 100,000 people) and boasts an average plumber salary of £40,073.

Manchester and Bristol follow closely, with Bristol having lots of job listings per 100,000 people, suggesting a thriving job market for plumbers. In contrast, Manchester scored well across multiple factors, including new builds and Google searches.

Luton has the highest average salary for plumbers (£49,460), which could make it attractive despite its lower ranking for Google searches and new builds completed per 100,000 people.

Despite its massive population, London does not lead in any individual category per capita, but does have a high number of planning applications per 100,000 people (693), suggesting that there are lots of developments that could require plumbing work.

Per 100,000 people
Rank Town/city Planning applications decided New builds completed Job listings Annual Google searches Average salary Overall score /10
1 Reading 408 214 12.7 2,448 £40,073 7.52
2 Manchester 352 315 16.0 2,215 £39,314 7.10
3 Bristol 363 140 24.8 2,609 £40,297 7.03
4 Norwich 385 35 16.1 3,878 £42,921 6.69
5 Edinburgh 747 482 7.6 1,751 £35,267 6.62
5 London 693 238 5.9 1,718 £42,272 6.62
7 Aberdeen 420 466 10.1 1,407 £36,317 6.28
7 Glasgow 349 329 10.7 2,148 £37,715 6.28
9 Birmingham 389 123 9.3 2,144 £45,884 6.21
9 Newcastle upon Tyne 314 372 10.7 2,625 £35,977 6.21

Kyle Eaton, business expert at business insurance, offers his tips for launching a business, saying: “Launching a business can be a challenging but rewarding venture. Remember, launching a business is a marathon, not a sprint. Take the time to plan carefully, but also be prepared to learn and adapt as you go.”

Market research: Understand your market thoroughly. Know your competitors, your target audience, and what needs your product or service will fulfil that currently aren’t being met. This isn’t just about understanding your competitors and target audience, but also about knowing where to get the best deals for the supplies or services you need. By comparing prices and quality from different suppliers, you can ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money, which is crucial when every penny counts in the early stages of a business.

Business plan: Develop a comprehensive business plan. This should include your business model, value proposition, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and an operational plan.

Legal structure: Choose the appropriate legal structure for your business (sole trader, partnership, limited company, etc.). This decision will affect your tax obligations and personal liability.

Finances: Secure funding if needed. This could be through savings, bank loans, angel investors, or venture capital. Also, maintain a strict budget to manage your cash flow effectively. Shopping around for the best prices can help you reduce overheads and increase your profit margins. It’s also applicable when securing funding – compare terms from different banks or investors to ensure you’re getting the most favourable conditions.

Compliance: Ensure you know all the legal requirements, including registrations, licenses, and permits. This includes registering with Companies House and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Brand identity: Create a strong brand identity. This includes your business name, logo, and overall brand aesthetic. Your brand should communicate your business’s values and appeal to your target audience.

Online presence: Establish an online presence. In today’s digital age, having a user-friendly website and active social media accounts is crucial for reaching customers and building your brand.

Networking: Build a network of contacts and relationships within your industry. Attend industry events, join relevant organisations, and engage on professional social platforms like LinkedIn. Seek mentorship and advice from experienced business owners. Their insights can help you avoid common pitfalls and accelerate your growth.

Adaptability: Be prepared to pivot your strategy as you gather real-world experience with your customers and as market conditions change. Flexibility can be a significant competitive advantage.

Customer focus: Always keep the customer at the centre of your business decisions. Providing excellent customer service and listening to customer feedback is vital for long-term success.

Mindset: Keep a positive, resilient attitude. You will encounter challenges and setbacks, but persistence and a willingness to learn from mistakes are crucial to success.

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