SEO Melbourne Podcast #1 – Galant Plumbing’s Edward Clark & SEO Melbourne’s Girish Sawlani

 SEO TV welcomes Edward Clark from > https://gallantplumbing.com.au/

The Attraction Tradie

Girish SEO Melbourne & Edward Clark

Edward Clark is CEO of Gallant Plumbing and has compiled and authored a book The Attraction Tradie

This is a summary of what was said in our podcast.

How’s it going? What’s been happening over the recent past?

So my backstory is what led me to Gallant Plumbing, I don’t come strictly from a trade background, but more of a trade entrepreneur. I actually studied a business degree at RMIT but always had a passion for learning to build houses. So after I began studying carpentry, but while studying I saw lots of opportunity but unfortunately plenty of mediocrity. Since completing my qualification I have run a couple of businesses. A building inspection business and pest control business. During this period I discovered a gap in the market for maintenance plumbing. Which in 2015 led to the creation of Gallant Plumbing. 

Working in two different trade businesses in building inspection and pest control. Do you find they are very different from each other?

They definitely relate, there are certain connections. We were in a niche for both building inspection and pest control, so while they were very different there was certainly some overlap.

So you said that building was a passion for you, were you looking to get your building licence? Tell me what’s happening with that.

Building is definitely a passion. Through my experience my passion has become building a business in the trade rather than building a house. I’m looking towards the next stages of life with my wife which involves finding a property and likely renovating it. So building a house will be a personal venture rather than a business one. 

Are you looking to get your business licence? For your personal venture which could be used as an asset later on?

Maybe, I’ve definitely thought of it. 

Is it hard to get a building licence? 

I’ve got all the qualifications, but there is a process you need to go through. It’s pretty difficult to get which is a positive thing for the industry. So all up it would be a 12-24 month process. 

When did you start Gallant Plumbing? How did the brand Gallant Plumbing come about?

When the business was purchased it was called Cashmore Plumbing. Although it was founded by a man called John Cashmore in the 1970’s having the word ‘Cash’ in the name, in my mind, doesn’t bode well for building trust with clients. We purchased the business in 2015 and shortly after we relocated and rebranded to Gallant Plumbing. Gallant represents everything we want to be as a business, being bold, daring and courageous. Pushing the boundaries of what a trade business should be, but also being courteous, respectful and considerate. We wanted to represent a higher quality of care for our clients.

What kind of a gap was there in the market that you identified? 

I wrote a book for tradies that are good at being tradies but don’t necessarily know how to run a business.There are lots of different factors like how to run your business, how to market your business, the financials around the business. Often when you ask a tradie ‘how did you go last year?’ they often respond ‘I don’t know’ or ‘my wife does that’. So how do they make decisions if they don’t know what’s going on?

Do you think a TAFE should introduce business courses when teaching trade?

Look they do, but it’s not a core focus when it’s one of the most important things. For example when a plumber does a certificate four in plumbing which means they can run their own business, there is a large emphasis on the plumbing skills rather than business. 

What do you think they should do to improve the level of qualification to run your own plumbing business and how important of a role do business coaches play? 

They don’t know what they don’t know. They should be working with other professionals in the industry to understand what clients are appropriate. Business coaches help build that knowledge base but it’s a 5-10 year journey, so it’s important to surround themselves with other business people and not just other tradies.     

Why do you think a professional website is important?

It’s comparable to a retail shop. The first few seconds are extremely important when determining if someone wants to stay, interact or purchase. Is the website clear, can they get the information really quickly and do they trust us? Often when people search for plumbers, they have a plumbing issue, so websites are huge. 

Was digital marketing a big part regarding how you wanted to promote your business?

We are big on diversification, we have grown significantly going from a team of 3 to a team of 43. We usually have 30-50 jobs a day, we have a strong existing client base but we need to keep building on our client base and digital marketing is how we can target these new clients.     

We have worked on a digital strategy with you guys close to a year now. Do you feel like this has helped your business and website, target a more diverse audience?

Absolutely it’s helped! As the saying goes ‘you are who Google says you are’, if we are an expert in a certain niche of plumbing and people search for that plumbing, and we’re there, that’s very beneficial.    

You mentioned that you have tried a lot of SEO providers in the past and have gotten burnt. What do you think failed in the process?

It’s a pretty competitive space so people look to provide guarantees, part of making guarantees are results, so sometimes they cut corners and use ‘black hat SEO’ strategies to get results. I’ve had a couple of providers who gave guarantees but didn’t deliver so went rogue and damaged the website. 

We tend to talk about the inquiry rates which have helped us achieve better results because at the end of the day its the inquiries and call driven inquiries that really matter.

It doesn’t matter about the ranking, is the phone ringing, are there emails coming through? Can we turn those inquiries into sales? I don’t need to be ranked #1 in ‘plumbing Melbourne’, but rather can we improve our inquiry rate and how is the process in between transforming the inquiry into a client. 

What does the future hold for Gallant Plumbing? 

Within the last five years we’ve acquired seven businesses. A large part of our growth strategy is acquisition, the next two to three years is around consolidation or ‘bullet proofing’ our business. For us it’s all about the people so we will focus on making sure the service is great and customers are happy. 

Thanks guys, that was Edward from Gallant Plumbing. Thanks for coming in today!

My pleasure.  

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