Over the years, I’ve acquired a number of businesses. Some of those I bought when the owner decided to retire, like Ted’s Plumbing and Heating. Other times, I looked for a business that would complement what we already do, in order to offer our clients more service options, like Valley Furnace Service.
A lot of the “why” behind acquiring businesses comes right back to our clients. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how many businesses we may run. Instead, it’s about the clients we’re able to help. Even though a business can provide many services, one business can only serve so many clients. One business can be limiting, so expansion is necessary.
Every new company I’ve brought into our family of businesses was welcomed because I knew it would help our clients. Plus, I saw in those companies, prospective clients who weren’t getting the level of service they deserved — service I knew we could provide.
I tend to approach service differently than other plumbing, heating, and air-conditioning businesses. A lot of other businesses have a quick in-and-out approach to service. They just want to do the repair as quickly as possible, collect their money, and rush onto their next customer. It’s impersonal, and when they hurry, they can miss details that will save a homeowner headaches and money down the road.
I’ll admit, there are some people who prefer that kind of service. They want things fixed quickly and that’s it. But our clients are looking for a different service experience. When we walk into a client’s home to service an existing system or fix a new plumbing issue, we take the time to talk to the client and ask questions to make sure that we’re fixing the issue so it meets their expectations of how it should work now and in the years to come. We don’t want to just Band-Aid a symptom that’s creating an issue; we want to find the source of the problem and fix that, so it will last for the long term.
For example, if we go out to service a client’s toilet that isn’t filling properly, we’ll ask about the other toilets in their home. Are they the same style? Are they the same age?
After 40 years as a plumber, I’ve seen it time and time again, where more often than not, if one toilet experiences a specific issue, the other toilets of a similar age or style, will probably fail in the same way. So we’ll take the time to have a look, to see if we can prevent the issue from cropping up in the months and years to come.
We do this because it saves our clients a lot of time and money in the long run. And that’s why we have a diverse family of businesses — for our clients. All of our experience and resources come together in a way we know will benefit our clients. We never want you to wake up in the middle of the night only to realize your toilet isn’t working. As any homeowner will tell you, Lynn and I included, it’s no fun when the toilet, or any other system in your home for that matter, decides it no longer wants to work.