In this series, ActionCOACH Mary Ann Hauser (MAH) and team virtually sit down with business owners to learn how they are working through COVID-19. Check out their inspiring stories for tips on how to cope with and successfully recover from this pandemic as well as ideas on how to avoid making common mistakes. And be sure to look at special offers from these businesses – we can all use a little extra help right now!
MH: Mary Ann Hauser
MG: Matthew Gilmore, Owner of Gilmore Electric
Special Offer: Free estimate with mention of this article!
MH: Tell me a little bit about what you do and how long you’ve been doing it.
MG: I started Gilmore Electric in 2001. I grew up doing electrical work for my dad since I was old enough to walk, and I used to work for a large company here in Winston-Salem. Eventually I got enough work on my own that I started my own company in 2001, so we’ve been around for 20 years now. We primarily do residential service and remodel work – anything from changing a light bulb all the way up to a whole house remodel. We do a little bit of commercial work – some office spaces and service jobs – but we have specialized in residential for the last 20 plus years.
MH: Describe your target customer.
MG: We don’t have a very narrow target, but the majority of our remodel and service work comes from Winston-Salem, and we serve all over the Triad. We have a good mixture of jobs that come from word of mouth and referrals and jobs from other contractors – we work with 3 or 4 contractors that call us in for remodel work.
MH: What has been the biggest impact of COVID-19 on your business?
MG: Things slowed down a lot and people were hesitant to bring us in their homes for fear of the unknown, but things are starting to slowly come around. We wear masks and gloves as much as possible. We’ve been trying to take those precautions to put the customers’ minds at ease. Some are a little more concerned than others, but we do everything we can to keep their best interest in mind.
MH: What are some other actions you’ve taken because of the pandemic?
MG: Along with those safety precautions, we also limit the number of guys on the job at any given time to two workers. That limits the amount of people on site and keeps the amount of exposure down for the homeowner, which gives them peace of mind. We’re looking out for their safety as well as ours.
MH: What is the biggest thing you’ve learned since you became a business owner?
MG: The biggest thing I’ve learned, as simple as it is, is to have great customer service. If you tell a customer you’re going to call them, call. Doing what you say you’re going to do builds rapport and trust with customers that they can believe you.
MH: What inspires you these days?
MG: I enjoy seeing the final result of the work and seeing a smile on the customer’s face at the end of the job. That is our main goal and what keeps me motivated at the end of the day: to be able to say we’ve done a good job and the customer is happy.
MH: Do you have any offers you would like to include?
MG: I’ll do a free estimate for anyone who calls and mentions this interview.