Keeping it in the family.
With over 15 years’ experience, Jon and Dan Simpkin make up 2 Brothers plumbing, residential and commercial plumbing superheroes, servicing Melbourne’s city and inner suburbs. Jacks of all trades, they repair apartments, offices, retail spaces, homes and residential properties, with no job too big or small. Great service aside, it’s their distinctive branding that makes them stand out. Not to mention that name. Kate Stephenson talks to Jon and Dan about marketing, snowboarding and drumming up repeat business.
‘People are always curious about the name,’ says dan. ‘they are drawn to the family business side of things. But in a Google search of faceless, corporate sounding companies on the internet, 2 Brothers stands out and commands more attention. People prefer a personal approach to things. they empathise with it.’
‘Everyone is always fascinated about how we can work together as brothers – they can’t believe we aren’t constantly at each other’s throats’ says Jon. ’But truth be told, we get on so well because we don’t have an issue pulling each other up for something. If something is wrong, we aren’t shy to say. Clearing the air is important. Crucially, we don’t hold grudges. I guess we’ve been battling on and o since we were kids so we know how to handle it. We get along great, even after eight years of working together.’
Brothers who plumb together...
‘We worked for the same companies when we were doing our apprenticeships,’ says Dan. Jon subcontracted to the company that I was working for after my apprenticeship. It feels like we’ve always worked together. It works because we have different strengths.’
Dan is the organised one, who is really good with the computer stuff and administration,’ says Jon. ‘I am more of a hands on person. We compliment each other.’
It’s a rarity that you find a two man out t that works so seamlessly, but their winning formula keeps them going from strength to strength. Having been trading for just over a year, 2 Brothers are relatively new kids on the block, and are looking to expand and hire apprentices to assist in the ever increasing workload over the coming months.
‘We specialise in commercial maintenance and installations and have been looking after a number of commercial clients for extended periods,’ says Dan. ‘These include schools, factories, office blocks, shops, hostels, medical clinics, pharmacies and veterinary clinics just to name a few.
As there’s only two of us, it can be a challenge to divide our time. If we are busy we split up. It’s all about time management. It all ows on. Sometimes we can go to rough in and might not be needed for a few weeks, it’s all about spreading yourself thinly enough on the ground. A lot of our work happens in the city. We do suburban work, renovations, new builds... really a bit of everything.’
It’s the little things
‘We get most of our custom through word of mouth or repeat business. Due to this it’s important to maintain a great reputation. The main thing is to be honest with people and make sure you do everything by the book. Never cut corners. Always do people the courtesy of being punctual. Clean up thoroughly after your jobs. Take your shoes off without being asked when you go into a client’s house. Little things like that make all the difference and enable you to stand out from the crowd.
We are firm believers in the power of digital marketing and have recently launched our new website 2brothersplumbing.com.au We have built its content to include plenty of client referrals and links to plumbing related advice and brought it to life with some on location imagery, which really tells the story of who we are. So far it’s working well as a brand reinforcer and reputation builder. We think that in this day and age a good website is key to success.’
What being a Master Plumbers Member means to us:
‘2 Brothers have been Master Plumbers Members for just over a year. We signed up just after launching the business.
It’s been invaluable; we’ve got a lot of work referrals through the plumber.com.au website.
It’s all about affliation. People know the Master Plumbers brand, so when you have the sticker on your car or logo on your website, there is the immediate association with a standard of quality.
When people see you are a Master Plumber, they are immediately more con dent that you are a professional tradesperson who knows what they are doing. We have loved it and will always be Members.
It was a great stepping stone for us as we established the business. We haven’t called on the Members only Technical Advisor, but the next time an issue comes up will certainly contact him for industry expertise – it’s good to always have that support network waiting in the wings.’
From St Kilda to the slopes – why a career in plumbing means a job anywhere
by Jon Simpkin, snowboarding plumber
‘I was already qualified as a registered plumber when I decided it was time to pack my bags for Canada. I got the job as a plumber in Lake Louise, every snowboarder’s dream come true. Looking after large scale hydronic heating systems and treated water for the town, a typical day would involve going up to the catchment points on the mountain and hiking through the backcountry to little wooden huts in the middle of nowhere. I would have to break up the ice to get the water owing and then follow it down through the different water treatment plants, testing the water at all the different points, getting from point to point on my snowboard with my plumbers’ pack on my back.
My experience brought home to me that plumbing is a profession you can take anywhere. No matter what country you come from everyone needs plumbing, heating, water, sanitation and drainage – you can pack your bag and take your skills anywhere – pretty much work anywhere in the world!’