Long ago, my boss was reorganizing the marketing department at a big company and asked me what I wanted to do. Out of the blue, I blurted out, “I want to have my own business.” That was the first time I had ever said those words. He smiled and said, “well, then, you should be a product manager.” Product managers run the business for their specific products, and that provides a great foundation for starting a business. I became a product manager and later went on to have my own businesses. Sage advice!
Very recently, I worked with a young man, getting his MBA, who had gone through a long, unproductive job search. When I asked him what he wanted to do, he blurted out, “I want to have my own business.” Based on his interests, I responded, “think about a plumbing or electrical business.”
While technology changes the job market in almost every industry, every few years or so, plumbing and electrical work is here for the long term. Faucets will leak, freezing temperatures will burst pipes, old electrical wires will need replacing, and new buildings will need new plumbing and electrical work for many, many decades to come. The brands will change, but the plumbers and electricians will be essential, most likely, forever.
Simply put, what the world needs now is more plumbers and electricians! Owners of those businesses are retiring and no one is stepping in to take their places. Companies have been struggling for over a decade to find, hire and train new plumbers and electricians. “The Trades,” have been suffering from lack of trainees, even though plumbers and electricians can make six-figure salaries by the time they are in their 30’s. And even though plumbing and electrical work continued throughout the pandemic.
Why are young people resistant? Perhaps its because trades require physical labor and you have to get your hands dirty. The job may not seen as glamorous as technology or other product and services-based businesses. People have been raised without learning how to use power tools, so these jobs seem over their heads. You can’t work from home all of the time. Hours can be irregular.
On the other hand, many plumbing and electrical businesses provide paid internships, paying $15 or more per hour to learn the trade. Once fully trained, plumbers can earn $75 to $90 an hour. You can’t earn that much as a barista and chances are very high you won’t earn that much as a blogger. Just as importantly, successful owners of plumbing and electrical companies are looking to retire and they want to sell their businesses. That provides an opportunity to own a long term, profitable business, to build that asset, and to sell it for your retirement.
The young man I was speaking with found a plumbing business for sale by an owner who would stay for a year to train the next owner. He would also accept favorable terms. As the young man said, “if this goes through, I won’t ever have to look for a job again!”
If you or someone you know is looking to start a business, buy a business, pivot or expand a business, get some help! Join Cindy and me and our guest speakers for the Profitable Idea Coaching Program and evaluate your business ideas!
All the Best,
Amanda Weathersby, and Cynthia Flanders are Co-Leaders for the Profitable Idea LLC, which is now online!
© Copyright The Profitable Idea, 2023
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