Getting Your Entrepreneurial Journey Off to a Solid Start

One contractor discusses what helped lead him to success when he first launched his own shop

Getting Your Entrepreneurial Journey Off to a Solid Start

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Many a skilled plumber and drain cleaner, at some point, has an itch to strike out on their own and open a shop. Daniel Bearden knows the feeling. He did exactly that a half dozen years ago and is experiencing success today. What advice does the owner of Bearden Plumbing Solutions, based in northern Georgia, offer those wanting to follow his lead? Honesty is the best policy, for one, and don’t fret too much about advertising.

“First, they should research the market and make sure it’s feasible from a financial standpoint,” Bearden says.

Yet he knows pure research isn’t going to be the principal influence on the decision.

“Most of the people who start their own businesses take the leap because they want to,” he says. “There is something inside of them, that entrepreneurial spirit, that drives them. You can’t talk them out of it.”

When a person makes the decision to become their own boss, Bearden says, they should resolve to hold themselves to a high standard of personal responsibility.

“They should always be ethical and honest and be a man or woman whose word is good. They should be forward-thinking and unafraid of change — they should be open to change and embrace it,” he says.     

As for promoting a business as the new plumber in town, Bearden’s example is a bit unusual. He does “zero advertising. We’re Google guaranteed and I have a hundred favorable reviews on my website. But 95% of my work is from word-of-mouth.”

Admittedly, some of that “word” is through social media. Bearden says he doesn’t know if he would have succeeded without Facebook, which he considers part of the organic growing of the business. But outright advertising? He tried it two years ago, spending some $13,000 on an ad campaign. When he could barely see a return on his investment, he dropped it.

“I’m a small-town businessperson and word-of-mouth is how I get work,” Bearden says. “It sort of blows me away. Just yesterday, I had to tell some people that we don’t actually do electrical work. They wanted to work with me.”

He says he is building his brand by establishing rapport with people rather than reaching out through advertising media.

“I know it will get to a point where it comes down to, ‘Alexa, call the plumber,’ and whoever has the biggest online presence will benefit. But right now, we’re doing it my way.”        

Read more about Bearden Plumbing Solutions in the June 2022 issue of Cleaner magazine.


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