The Future Of Business – Plumbers To Nano-Plumbers. Hard to believe I’m mentioning plumbers in a blog post, but I have a story to share. On Friday my wife noticed a wet spot in the ceiling down in our wet room area, you know, where we hang our coats and change our boots and such. It didn’t seem that bad but it was now showing itself, so I called a friend who recommended someone, I called them and they didn’t answer their phone. I tried a cell number and left a message. I felt better because I was dealing with the problem in a calm rational manner.
On Saturday we didn’t do much, a little gardening, house cleaning and I watched the Blue Jays Baseball Game, nice relaxing day in my books. My wife was fussing about this leak downstairs, so I went and look at it, it seemed to have stopped leaking as the ceiling was drying out. I called the number for the plumber again but no answer again, I left another message. We carried on with our day, we had a friend over for BBQ and sat back sipping some wine before calling it an evening. We didn’t even mention the plumbing problem to our company because we didn’t feel it was urgent I guess, we should of asked for a referral. It was a very nice evening, we merely took it easy and went to bed as if the world was all is we would have it.
Hee it is Monday morning, I slept in, I guess I was tired. I got up, had a shower, went to the kitchen, had a banana and went downstairs to my office. I have to walk right by the where the leak is so I took a quick peak. I ran for the phone and called my plumber friend again, only this time more frantically, NO ANSWER!!! So I grabbed the phone book and called the first one I saw. I have to say this, the girl on the phone could tell I was a little stressed, I mean it looks like the ceiling is going to crash to the floor because of the weight of the water. She talked to me as if I was calling 911, in a nice calm voice she asked me to describe the situation and then got the plumber on the phone. It turns out he is close by my home and said he would be there in 15 minutes, he arrived in ten minutes.
He walks in, assess the damage, and was able to find the problem I couldn’t find, that’s because it was well hidden and I really didn’t know what I was looking for (other than water) and where I should be looking for it. He knew where to go, and found the problem. It was actually two pipes that were leaking, and the water build up on the ceiling, he said it has been leaking probably for 6 months because the water was turning yellow.
He fixed the problem, now I have some drywalling and painting to do, but the problem has been solved. That’s what we pay people to do right, solve problems. But my point isn’t the leak being fixed, it has more to do with the plumber.
I talk about, you talk about it all the time. We talk about the future of business changing and how it will be done, but how will plumbing be different? How could this plumber fix my problem with his smart phone? How could he fix it remotely? He couldn’t, and I don’t expect that to change in my lifetime.
Some businesses will change very little, someone still has to be the plumber. I’m sure many types of businesses will be able to automate production lines and so on, but how would the plumber take his or business to that automated state? Today, they can’t.
Do you run a business like this? How will your business adopt the future of business? I suspect you will either use smart phones and the Internet on some level, but your work is very hands on.
I would recommend building a network of people, your current and old customers, get them to refer regularly, build a tribe online that is like-minded in the plumbing niche, and share your trade secrets on a blog, teach people how to fix simple plumbing problems. Steal the audience the TV audience by offering better information, even service. You will become the leader of your industry if you stick with it long enough, patience and persistence always prevail.
I’m grateful for traditional industrial age workers like plumbers, but how will that industry change in the new economy? The Future Of Business – Plumbers, how will they survive?
Let’s look ahead to the future where the plumber repair man may be extinct! Imagine this, you are building a house or an office building, it doesn’t matter. You have found a source for pipes or lines that have nanomaterial, so they are self-repairing. As soon as a weakness or the potential for a pin-hole leak to start, the nanotechnology instantly senses it, and repairs it. Or it sends a message to the installer for tracking purposes, that would be a fail safe for followup. The followup would be done remotely, because nanobots are wireless devices, they can be reprogrammed and or data can be downloaded from them.
Nanotechnology could serve in this way, it would revolutionize the plumbing industry, but who will adopt it? Today this type of product and service would be expensive, but in the next decade, it could be reasonably priced and accessible to everyone. Even older homes could be retro-fitted with the newer technology. From Nanosilver Coatings to Nanobots, there are many different types being worked on today, it’s a matter of time before this technology is in the hands of developers. The cost savings over time will out weight the high cost up front. The same arguement can be had with solar panels for your home, but that’s another story for another time.
How does this Nano-Plumbing idea make you feel?