When to commit to drain relining

When to commit to drain relining

If you clean drains and have a camera, you are a great candidate to take the plunge and start drain lining.

You’ve decided that it’s time to start lining pipe, but you’re still not sure if you’ve made the right decision. Here’s a method that may be useful to determine any additional information that you might need to help move you along the path of success.

Some of you will remember the days when you had no camera equipment, you relied on a CCTV specialist to video a line that you wanted to inspect. When cameras were new, the prices were extremely high, and enough guys were competing for your business for camera work. Then the day came when you absolutely needed a camera on-site, right now, and your camera guy can’t make it today but has time next Tuesday. So, you did the best you could without the camera. You cleared the drain and told the homeowner you’d be back next Tuesday with a CCTV guy to see what the problem was. But by Saturday the line was choked again, you get the call, you apologise that you don’t have a CCTV available and your customer says he’ll call someone else. You lost a job and a good customer and gained a bad reputation all round – not a great result and an experience that you wouldn’t want to go through again.

We are beginning to see that same scenario today in the drain lining industry. You now have the camera and can see the line is about to collapse. The line needs immediate lining before the line needs to be dug up and replaced because it collapsed, but your lining guy is busy and can’t be there till “Tuesday”! So how do we go through the process of deciding if it’s time to begin lining pipe, and when is it better to continue with your lining guy? The methodology applies to any business decision you are facing.

The first consideration is:

  • What is your core business?
  • Do you clean drains as a regular part of your business model or do you do other things?
  • Are you a one-man-band or do you have employees and trucks?
  • Do you have camera equipment now and regularly inspect sewer lines?
  • If so, continue on. If not, decide if that’s the direction you want to head.
  • If you are cleaning drains, how many drains do you clean where roots are involved?
  • Are your competitors taking customers away from you by offering lining?
  • Do you have a reasonably priced reline guy available at the drop of a hat?

Can I make any money lining pipe? Each market is different. Obviously, costs vary depending on the city you live in, distances between jobs, actual labour costs, insurance, and overhead for you but drain relining can be a very lucrative business and it is a growing market.

The bigger question is “can you sell it”? If you don’t have a marketing plan and expect people to ask you for lining, you will be waiting a long time. Few people call in saying “I have about $10,000, and I was thinking about relining my sewer pipe!” A more likely call is “how soon can you be at my house to clear my sewer choke?” Here’s your opportunity to offer drain lining as one of the options that would prevent future calls for drain cleaning. After analysing the fault on site, showing the customer the camera’s view of the problem, you can promote lining, selling is as much involved as giving the client their options and asking him or her which direction they want to go.

So as in all things, circumstances change and what you decide today, may be different as market forces change, but it is better to make these changes fully prepared with the information required.

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